Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Photo credit: Suzi Pratt/WireImage/Getty Images

What was the accusation?

Over a year after the New York Times published allegations of sexual misconduct by seven women, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams released a lengthy apology on Instagram. The newspaper had interviewed multiple women, including ex-wife, actor-singer Mandy Moore, who claim Adams championed rising female artists initially, but then blocked their progress and exploited them for his own sexual satisfaction. Adams did not confirm or deny the allegations, but did claim accountability for harm caused and committed himself to make changes.

Key Apologia Strategies:

 Mortification, Corrective Action, Bolstering




There are no words to express how bad I feel about the ways I’ve mistreated people throughout my life and career. 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.  I’ve gotten past the point where I would be apologizing just for the sake of being let off the hook and I know full well that any apology from me probably won’t be accepted by those I’ve hurt. I get that and I also understand that there’s no going back.  To a lot of people this will just seem like the same empty bull***t apology that I’ve always used when I was called out, and all I can say is, this time it is different.  Having truly realized the harm that I’ve caused, it wrecked me, and I’m still reeling from the ripples of devastating effects that my actions triggered. There is no way to convince people that this time is truly different, but this is the albatross that I deserve to carry with me as a result of my actions. Realizing the consequences of my actions, I took a hard look inwards and sought to find the truth behind them. What pain was I carrying myself that was so poorly and wrongly being projected onto others? I made a promise to myself that no matter what it took, I would get to the root of these issues and finally start to fix myself so I could be a better friend, a better partner, and a better man overall.

That being said, no amount of growth will ever take away the suffering I had caused. I will never be off the hook and I am fully accountable for my harmful behavior, and will be for my actions moving forward. In my effort to be a better man, I have fought to get sober, but this time I’m doing it with professional help. Sobriety is a priority in my life, and so is my mental health. These, as I’m learning, go hand in hand. But I will not bore anyone with stories of my demons or use them to excuse what I’ve done. I really want to express that I’ve internalized the importance of self-care and self-work. I’m really trying. Music is how I lay my soul bare, and in working through this, I have written enough music to fill half a dozen albums. Some of these songs are angry, many are sad but most of them are about the lessons I’ve learned over the last few years. Those ones an expression of my deepest remorse. I hope that the people I’ve hurt will heal. And I hope that they will find a way to forgive me.


Aswad, J. (2020, July 4). Ryan Adams Issues Long Statement Aplogizing for Past Sexual Misconduct. Retrieved from Variety: https://variety.com/2020/music/news/ryan-adams-apologizes-sexual-misconduct-statement-1234698318/

Savage, M. (2020, July 6). Ryan Adams apologies for ‘mistreating’ women. Retrieved from BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-53306131

Yasharoff, H. (2020, July 5). Mandy Moore reacts to ex Ryan Adams apologizing a year after sexual misconduct allegations. Retrieved from USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2020/07/05/ryan-adams-apologizes-year-after-sexual-misconduct-allegations/5379753002/