Ryan Adams’ Album Reportedly On Hold, Musician Dropped By Gear Companies As FBI Opens Inquiry Into Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Ryan Adams
John Davisson
– Ryan Adams
performs at Bridge School Benefit at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif.

F.B.I. agents from the Crimes Against Children Squad have reportedly begun investigating allegations that Ryan Adams sent sexually explicit text messages to an underage fan following a New York Times article published Wednesday. In response to the claims in the NYT piece, guitar pedal and amp companies have dropped their relationships with Adams and the release date for his upcoming album is apparently being pushed back indefinitely. 

An official, who declined to be identified because the person was not authorized to discuss the case publicly, told the New York Times Thursday that agents will try to interview the fan, who is now 20, and obtain the text messages in question, along with any other evidence.  
The NYT piece, “Ryan Adams Dangled Success. Women Say They Paid a Price,” included interviews with his ex-wife Mandy Moore and several other women such as musician Phoebe Bridgers, who detailed controlling and emotionally abusive behavior from the singer/songwriter. 
A fan referred to as Ava told the Times that Adams began messaging with her online when she was a 14-year-old bass player and that they eventually began sending explicit text messages. The publication reviewed 3,217 text messages sent during a nine-month period when Ava was 15 and 16 and reported that she told NYT that Adams once appeared naked during a video chat on Skype. The singer/songwriter often expressed concern about Ava’s age and asked to see proof that she was 18. The Times notes that she sometimes said she was 18 but didn’t show him her identification. 

“And tell me that your mom is not gonna kill me if she finds out we even text,” he wrote Ava in one text. 


After the NYT piece was published Adams posted an apology on Twitter but denied any wrongdoing regarding interacting with someone who he thought was underage. 

“I am not a perfect man and I have made many mistakes. To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly. But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate,” he posted on Twitter

“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.”

He added, “As someone who has always tried to spread joy through my music and my life, hearing that some people believe I caused them pain saddens me greatly. I am resolved to work to be the best man I can be.  And I wish everyone compassion, understanding and healing.”

Adams’ album Big Colors was scheduled for release April 19 as the first of three albums due out in 2019 but pre-orders have now been removed from iTunes, Apple Music and the website for the singer’s own Pax-Am label. Following news of the sexual misconduct allegations,  music retailers say album release was “put on hold indefinitely,” according to the Times.

On Thursday, the first of those new albums, Big Colors, which had been scheduled for April 19, was put on hold indefinitely, according to music retailers.

Benson Amps, JHS Pedals and Walrus Audio each put out statements on social media severing ties with Adams. Walrus said it has discontinued the Defcon4 pedal while JHS said it has discontinued the VCR Ryan Adams Signature Pedal and Benson said it will no longer be developing a Ryan Adams signature model.