The FBI is taking preliminary steps to determine whether indie musician and accused abuser Ryan Adams broke federal law during explicit text and webcam conversations with an underage girl, The New York Times reports.
The move comes one day after a bombshell report from The Times, which included testimony from seven women who allege the 44-year-old is responsible for a litany of emotional abuse and sexual misconduct.
Citing an anonymous law enforcement source, The Times states the FBI is focussed on allegations Adams’s conversations with the girl included explicit images of her when she was 16.
The girl, identified by the paper as Ava, said she began her online correspondence with Adams when she was only 14. After discussing her work as a bassist, Ava said Adams’ messages took on a sexual nature. Ava said she sent explicit messages with Adams, and that he exposed himself during webcam chats.
The Times reports some of the messages include Adams indicating “i would get in trouble if someone knew we talked like this,” and that he referenced accused sexual abuser R. Kelly, who was acquitted on child pornography charges in 2008.
“If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol,” reads one of his alleged messages.
The FBI is reportedly now seeking to interview Ava, now 20, about her correspondence. Moving forward, the agency could potentially subpoena mobile phone records from both parties.
Adams’ lawyer denied he ever engaged in explicit conversations with anyone “he knew was underage.”
That denial comes a day after Adams personally combated the report, saying “I would never have inappropriate interactions with someone I thought was underage. Period.”
But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate. 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.
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) February 13, 2019
The allegations against Adams have sparked a conversation about abusive and coercive male figures in the alternative music scene – a field which has escaped a widespread reckoning against abusers as observed in other parts of the entertainment industry.
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