Ryan Adams accused of sexual misconduct by several women

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Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ryan Adams found fame with albums like Gold and songs such as New York, New York in the early 2000s

Several women have accused alternative rock star Ryan Adams of emotional and verbal abuse and offering career opportunities as a pretext for sex.

A report in the New York Times outlines a pattern of manipulative behaviour, including accusations of psychological abuse from his ex-wife, Mandy Moore.

Another woman said Adams sent explicit texts and exposed himself during a Skype call when she was a teenager.

The star, who rose to fame in the early 2000s, has denied the allegations.

"I am not a perfect man and I have made many mistakes," he said in a statement posted on social media .

"To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologise deeply and unreservedly.

"But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate. Some of its details are misrepresented; some are exaggerated; some are outright false. I would never have inappropriate interactions with someone I thought was underage. Period."

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Acclaimed indie artist Phoebe Bridgers was among the seven women and dozens of associates who were interviewed for the New York Times article.

She said that Adams reached out to her when she was 20, offering to release her songs on his record label. Their relationship turned romantic, but Adams became obsessive and manipulative, she claimed, demanding to know her whereabouts and threatening suicide if she did not reply to his texts immediately.

When she broke off their relationship, Adams "became evasive about releasing the music they had recorded together and rescinded the offer to open his upcoming concerts," the New York Times reported.

Through his lawyer, Adams rejected Bridgers' account, describing their relationship as "a brief, consensual fling," and denying he had threatened to withhold her songs.

This Is Us actress Mandy Moore also described a pattern of abuse, describing instances of "destructive, manic sort of back and forth behaviour" during their six-year marriage.

"Music was a point of control for him," she added, saying the star had belittled her own musical career.

"He would always tell me, 'You're not a real musician, because you don't play an instrument.'"

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Moore, who is now a successful actress, says her musical career stalled because of Adams' behaviour

Another woman, identified only by her middle name, Ava, told the paper her relationship with Adams started in 2013, when she was a teenage bass player.

Although they never met, she shared 3,217 text messages she had exchanged with Adams over a nine-month period when she was 15 and 16, describing how their correspondence became sexually explicit.

In one text he wrote to her: "I would get in trouble if someone knew we talked like this".

The newspaper reported that Adams, then 40, "fretted about Ava's age" and repeatedly asked for reassurances that she was over 18.

"If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol," he wrote in one message, referring to the R&B singer, who has faced allegations of inappropriate relationships with teenagers, which he denies .

Adams' lawyer said the star "did not recall having online communications with anyone related to anything outside of music," adding that "if, in fact, this woman was underage, Mr Adams was unaware".

Familiar behaviour

After the report was published on Wednesday, dozens of female artists came forward to say they had been through similar experiences in the music industry.

"None of this is surprising to female artists," wrote country musician Caroline Rose on Twitter .

"This is an important article," added singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton . "This also cracks the door on more like him in our industry. There are more. We're all fed up."

"Literally find me a woman in the music industry who hasn't had a some dude pull that Ryan Adams 'I wanna help you' with strings attached [expletive]?" wrote music journalist Jessica Hopper .

"And like in this story, these are some of the reasons women abandon careers, keep their dreams private, record in their bedrooms alone."

"Having to perpetually question if a potential collaborator is interested in you musically or personally is an enormous and unspoken barrier for women in music," said Tamara Lindeman, of Canadian folk band The Weather Station .

"Every gatekeeper is a man. And so you have to ask yourself."

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