On 13 February The NYT released a report on Ryan Adams including an account of sexual misconduct with an underage fan, and several accounts of abusive behaviours in his previous relationships, including Phoebe Bridgers, Mandy Moore, and Megan Butterworth.
In light of the reports the FBI has since opened an inquiry into Ryan Adams' "sexually explicit communications" with the minor. The NYT has shared a new report using their "law enforcement official with knowledge of the matter" as their source on the investigation, who says the Crimes Against Children Squad "will seek to interview the woman, the official said, and try to obtain the text messages and any other evidence she may have in her possession".
The original report by NYT listed the then-minor as "Ava" (now 20), and reported that she started communicating with Adams at the age of 14, resulting in over 3000 text messages being sent in just nine months. The communication picked back up when "Ava" was 15 and 16, resulting in a Skype video chat in which "Adams was already naked".
Following the multiple women coming forward about Adams' abusive behaviours, British supermodel Karen Elson has also uploaded a statement to her Instagram, revealing she had a "traumatizing experience with Ryan Adams". She adds, "I'm not quite brave enough yet to speak about my specifics. I'm encouraged that many women have bonded and helped each other heal. This is the power of sisterhood and I'm very grateful for these women."
Not every woman is comfortable sharing her story. We must respect that! These matters are complicated and are hard to dissect, express and even understand. We blame ourselves and we shame ourselves. While I don’t want to share my specific experience, reading The NY Times story is profoundly healing.
Liz Phair, who was meant to be working on an album with Ryan Adams in 2017, also replied to a curious follower wondering if she had anything to add to the reports. Phair replied, "If I do, I’ll write about it. But I think you can extrapolate. My experience was nowhere near as personally involving, but yes the record ended and the similarities are upsetting."
If I do, I’ll write about it. But I think you can extrapolate. My experience was nowhere near as personally involving, but yes the record ended and the similarities are upsetting— Liz Phair (@PhizLair) February 14, 2019
In light of all the reports and the investigtion, Adams' first of three albums supposed to land this year, Big Colors, has, according to Variety, been "put on hold".
Although Pax-Am (Adams' label with a distribution deal with Universal's Blue Note) and Universal haven't commented on the situation, the pre-order page for his record on the Pax-Am site has been taken down.
Furthermore, equipment companies that manufacture gear for Adams have revealed that his products will be taken out of circulation and will be discontinued. Benson, an amp company that has just announced a new Adams' signature amp, explained in a statement, "We are saddened and surprised by the recent allegations against Mr. Ryan Adams as documented in the New York Times. We have decided to suspend our relationship with Mr. Adams at this moment, and will no longer move forward with the development of the Ryan Adams signature model. We have no further comment at this time."
Defcon4, a Ryan Adams-branded Walrus Audio pedal, will also be removed from distribution and development. Colt Westbrook, president of Walrus Audio, revealed on Instagram, "In light of recent news and allegations, we have discontinued the Defcon4 and are not selling any more direct or wholesale."