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Karen Elson Slams Ryan Adams Comeback Interview: ‘An Apology Should Contain Accountability’

Musician Karen Elson shared her thoughts on Ryan Adams’ first in-depth interview, in Los Angeles Magazine, since allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer initially surfaced in 2019, accusing the article of “attempt[ing] to gaslight and rewrite the experiences of many” as well as criticizing Adams for not apologizing for his actions.

While Elson, a former girlfriend of Adams’, wasn’t one of the women who came forward with allegations against Adams in the initial New York Times reporting, she hinted at a “traumatic experience” with Adams in a since-deleted Instagram post following the February 2019 article.

“While I’m not quite brave enough yet to speak about my specifics,” Elson said at the time. “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.”

Following the publication of the interview, Elson tweeted about why she couldn’t talk about Adams, revealing that the threat of legal action has prevented her from detailing her experience.

“My thoughts on Ryan [Adams], in light of his interview. In 2018 I sent Ryan a cease and desist due to my suspicions of his alleged involvement behind some calculated, malicious, and explicit cyber harassment that occurred shortly after I stopped communicating with him,” Elson said. “Ryan denied any wrongdoing and I was ultimately threatened with a ‘false prosecution lawsuit.’ I have spoken very little about my situation for this reason but was subsequently made aware others had allegedly experienced similar things online when distancing themselves from him.”

Elson — who was only briefly mentioned in the article — also criticized Adams for not apologizing to some of his alleged victims, as well as the interview’s author for not reaching out to her; the interview instead features anecdotes from a pair of Adams’ female roadies who describe how distraught he was following the Times article and the subsequent downfall of his career, and how he had provided them a “safe and welcoming workplace.” (“The gig that I felt the safest as a woman was the one that gets taken down by this article,” one of the roadies said.)

“I’ve never asked people to boycott his music. I am a big believer in redemption if you are able to admit wrongdoing and make amends. He has yet to both. This article attempts to gaslight and rewrite the experiences of many without asking for their opinion on this beforehand,” Elson said. “I hope Ryan comes to the realization that an apology should contain accountability. I look forward to the day I’m able to receive that.”

Neither Elson, a rep for Ryans nor the article’s author immediately responded to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

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