The FBI is investigating whether 44 year-old singer-songwriter Ryan Adams engaged in criminal sexually explicit communications with an underage fan, according to the New York Times. Yesterday, the Times reported that Adams began online communication with the young woman when she was 14 and continued until she was 16. They allegedly never met in person but exchanged text messages and video chats that sometimes included nudity.
Adams was also accused of abusive and manipulative behavior that includes dangling career opportunities to female artists while pursuing them for sexual relationships. Adams, through a lawyer, has denied all allegations.
FBI agents from the Crimes Against Children Squad plan to interview the underage woman and try to obtain text messages and any other evidence she may possess, a law enforcement official told the Times. If her account is deemed credible, they will move on with the investigation, “which could include subpoenaing both her cellphone records and those of Adams from their service providers.”
Apparently, Adams repeatedly asked the underage woman (who the Times identifies as “Ava”) about her age and requested to see her identification. She never showed it to him and would occasionally lie about her age.
“The Times reviewed extensive communication between Adams and Ava, including direct messages on Twitter that began when she was 14, and more than 3,000 text messages spanning a nine-month period when Ava was 15 and 16,” the Times reports. “The text messages from late 2014, when Ava was 16, included explicit photographs of her. She said the pair also conducted video calls on Skype, where Adams exposed himself during phone sex. The Times has reviewed screenshots of these interactions.”
Adams apologized on Twitter but continued to deny allegations and reject the the Times’ reporting. In addition to the female artists who detailed Adams’ abusive behavior to the Times, several other collaborators have come forth on Twitter since the piece was published.
Jason Isbell, who is scheduled to appear on one of Adams’ upcoming albums, tweeted that he was unaware of Adams’ behavior, but that he believes the accounts.
“Believe women, believe survivors,” Natalie Prass wrote. Prass and Adams have toured and performed together in the past.
Liz Phair tweeted, “My experience was nowhere near as personally involving, but yes the record ended and the similarities are upsetting.” He and Phair recorded new music at Pax Am back in 2017.
Believe women, believe survivors
— Natalie Prass (@NataliePrass) February 13, 2019
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) February 14, 2019
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