NEW YORK: Alternative singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has been accused by several women of emotional abuse and exploiting his position as a career mentor as a means to obtain sex.
An expose in The New York Times details a pattern of manipulative behaviour from the 44-year-old Grammy-nominated artist, including testimony from performer Mandy Moore, his ex-wife.
In one instance the paper — which interviewed more than half a dozen women and reviewed a trove of the US rocker’s digital communications — describes Adams as sending graphic texts to a 14-year-old aspiring bass player and exposing himself on Skype.
The paper said he continued the sexually provocative correspondence for months despite appearing to doubt that she was of age.
The country-influenced rocker — known for his strong personality — also allegedly presented women with opportunities to build their profiles while pursuing sex with them, turning angry and sometimes verbally abusive when rejected.
Adams, who found fame as a solo artist in the 2000s thanks to his debut album “Heartbreaker,” apologised but denied the accusations shortly after the story’s publication, saying “to anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologise deeply and unreservedly.”
“But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate,” he tweeted. “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.”
Adams’ ex-wife Moore — who rose to celebrity as a pop star and now acts in the series “This Is Us” — said Adams belittled her career while engaging in a “destructive, manic sort of back and forth behaviour.”
“Music was a point of control for him,” she said.
The music industry has been less impacted by the #MeToo movement and crusades against workplace harassment than industries including Hollywood and media.
The allegations against Adams come amid renewed scrutiny of R&B superstar R. Kelly, 52, whose career has flourished for decades despite accusations of child pornography, sex with minors, operating a sex cult and sexual battery.