On Friday, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams went from denying the abuse allegations made against him in a New York Times exposé last year, to apologizing for them. And when asked about Adams’ statement on Monday’s Today, his ex-wife Mandy Moore, who told the times that he was psychologically abusive, kept things diplomatic—but noted that something about Adams’ apology didn’t quite sit right.
The Times published its story on Adams last February; seven women and more than 12 of Adams’ associates “described a pattern of manipulative behavior in which Adams dangled career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing female artists for sex,” the Times wrote. “In some cases, they said, he would turn domineering and vengeful, jerking away his offers of support when spurned, and subjecting women to emotional and verbal abuse, and harassment in texts and on social media.”
Moore was one of the women the Times spoke with. In 2010, she said, Adams offered to work with her on a new album—and urged her not to hire new management after she parted ways with her own, placing himself in the driver’s seat of her career. But then, she said, he seemed to sabotage her—booking time at the studio to record songs they’d co-written, but swapping a different female performer in her place. She recalled him telling her over and over that she was not a real musician because she did not play an instrument.
“His controlling behavior essentially did block my ability to make new connections in the industry during a very pivotal and potentially lucrative time—my entire mid-to-late 20s,” Moore said.
At the time, Adams denied all the claims against him. Moore’s account, he told the Times, was “completely inconsistent with his view of the relationship.” But on Friday, he changed his tune in an exclusive and lengthy statement given to The Daily Mail, in which he said isolation and sobriety had led him to a place of introspection.
“There are no words to express how bad I feel about the ways I've mistreated people throughout my life and career,” Adams said. “All I can say is that I’m sorry. It’s that simple. This period of isolation and reflection made me realize that I needed to make significant changes in my life.”
Adams acknowledged that to many, his apology might seem more like an apology for getting caught than actual contrition. That said, he added, “I hope that the people I've hurt will heal. And I hope that they will find a way to forgive me.”
On Monday’s Today, Hoda Kotb asked Moore about Adams’ statement.
“It’s challenging because I feel like in many ways I’ve said all I want to say about him and that situation,” Moore said. “But I find it curious that someone would make a public apology but not do it privately.”
Moore said she had not heard from Adams, and added that she is “not looking for an apology, necessarily.”
But that said, she added, “I do find it curious that someone would sort of do an interview about it without actually making amends privately.”