FBI investigating Ryan Adams
The 44-year-old singer was the subject of an exposé in which it was claimed by a number of women that he had been controlling and emotionally abusive.
LONDON - The FBI have reportedly opened an investigation into Ryan Adams following claims he exchanged sexually-explicit texts with an underage teenager.
The 44-year-old singer was the subject of an exposé by the New York Times newspaper earlier this week, in which it was claimed by a number of women - including his ex-wife Mandy Moore and former fiancee Megan Butterworth - that he had been controlling and emotionally abusive, and one account came from a woman who had allegedly received sexually-explicit messages from the star when she was underage.
And now, sources told the publication that agents from the Crimes Against Children Squad are opening an investigation and will seek to interview the 20-year-old bassist - who was identified only by her middle name Ava - to try and obtain some of the 3,000 text messages they exchanged over a nine-month period, as well as any other evidence she may have.
If they find her account credible, they will then take the investigation further, which could see them obtaining both her and Adams's phone records.
A lawyer for the woman declined to comment as her family are currently deliberating on how to proceed.
Ava struck up an online correspondence with the musician in 2015 and accused him of exposing himself over Skype video chats.
The pair first connected over music, as she was an up-and-coming bass player but their texts soon turned graphic. In one message, he allegedly told her: "I would get in trouble if someone knew we talked like this (sic)"
Andrew B Brettler, the star's lawyer, said: "Mr Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.... If, in fact, this woman was underage, Mr Adams was unaware."
The Do You Still Love Me? singer has also maintained his innocence on Twitter.
He previously posted: "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."
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
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.— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) February 13, 2019
Meanwhile, the release of the singer's upcoming album Big Colours - the first of three records he planned to bring out this year - has been cancelled.
According to Variety, refunds are being offered for money spent on advance orders and retailers have been told it will no longer be released.
Adams's label, Pax-Am, have removed pre-order details from their website.