FBI opens inquiry into Ryan Adams’ alleged communications with underage girl

Liz Phair and Karen Elson also say they too had negative experiences with Adams

Ryan Adams, photo by David Brendan Hall
Ryan Adams, photo by David Brendan Hall

The FBI has opened an inquiry into Ryan Adams’ alleged communications with a minor, according to the New York Times.

The allegations were first detailed in an exposé published by the Times on Wednesday. Amongst other things, Adams is accused of corresponding with an underage girl — identified in the story as “Ava” — over the course of several years starting when she was 14. Ava recounted several instances in which Adams’ interactions became sexual nature; she specially cited a Skype session in which he appeared on-screen naked.

According to the Times, agents with the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Squad have begun to look into the allegations to determine whether Adams violated federal child exploitation laws. Agents will reportedly seek interviews with the alleged victim as well as with her friends and family. They may also subpoena hers and Adams’ cellphone records.

Through his lawyer, Adams has denied that he “ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.”

(Read: The Ryan Adams Allegations Offer Another Chance to Look in the Mirror)

In the original Times exposé, Adams’ ex-wife, Mandy Moore, as well as musicians Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Jaye, all went on record to accuse the singer-songwriter of psychologically abusive behavior, harassment, and other misconduct — allegations which Adams has denied.

Since the publishing of the article yesterday, two more female musicians have accused Adams of similarly inappropriate behavior. Liz Phair, who was known to be collaborating with Adams on an album in 2017,  acknowledged a negative experience that led her to end the collaboration. “My experience was nowhere near as personally involving, but yes the record ended and the similarities are upsetting,” she tweeted.

Meanwhile, Karen Elson, who toured with Adams in 2017, said she too had a “traumatizing experience.” “While 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,” Elson wrote an Instagram post.

Another former Adams collaborator, Natalie Prass, tweeted, “Believe women, believe survivors.”


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