Karen Elson Comes Forward, Says She Also 'Had a Traumatizing Experience' with Ryan Adams

Model and musician Karen Elson has spoken out against Ryan Adams, hours after seven women accused him of harassment and emotional abuse

Shortly after seven women accused Ryan Adams of harassment and emotional abuse, model and musician Karen Elson shared that she too had a “traumatizing experience” with the singer-songwriter.

On Thursday, one day after The New York Times published a story in which Adams’ ex-wife Mandy Moore and six other women accused him of being manipulative, controlling and obsessive, Elson, 40, began to open up about her own history with Adams.

“I also had a traumatizing experience with Ryan Adams,” she wrote in a since-deleted post shared on both her Instagram Story and her regular feed.

“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,” she added.

“I hope all those speaking out are given the grace and dignity they deserve. The trauma that lingers is often a very powerful silencer of women as is the business that enables these men to thrive without ever facing consequences.”

In response, Moore shared a screenshot of Elson’s message on her own Instagram Story, writing, “I [heart emoji] you so much and commend your bravery, @misskarenelson.”

Elson, who is also a singer-songwriter, joined Adams on a handful of tour dates during the summer of 2017, serving as an opening act.

Adams, who has denied the allegations made in the Times story, has yet to respond publicly to Elson.


Shortly after the Times story was first published on Wednesday, Elson, making no reference to her own history with Adams, shared that she was “deeply disturbed by the allegations.”

“I support all the women who are coming forward to share their experiences of trauma and abuse. These women are tremendously courageous and are advocates on behalf of all women. Please be kind to them! #MeToo and #TimesUp,” she wrote in an Instagram Story post.

Hours later, on Valentine’s Day, Elson went on to share a post about all the ways love should never manifest itself, though it was initially unclear if she was seemingly referencing the allegations made against Adams or perhaps referring to her own ex-husband, rocker Jack White, as the former couple’s acrimonious divorce also made similar headlines.

Theo Wargo/Getty; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Love does not gaslight Love does not prey on insecurities Love does not manipulate Love does not cause chaos in its wake Love does not isolate Love does not threaten Love does not intimidate Love does not make you doubt your intuition Love does not silence women,” she wrote.

“Show yourself an act of self LOVE by knowing your worth and walking away from any of the above scenarios. Happy Valentines!” she added.

Moore went on to share a screenshot of the post on her own Instagram Story, commenting, “This!! Thank you @misskarenelson”


In a series of tweets posted shortly after the release of the Times story, Adams apologized for his past “mistakes,” while also claiming the article “is upsettingly inaccurate.”

I am not a perfect man and I have made many mistakes. To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly,” he began. “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,” Adams added, in reference to a 20-year-old woman named Ava who claimed in the Times story that Adams had “sexual conversations” with her when she was just a teen.

“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,” Adams went on to write in a separate tweet.

Adams’ lawyer Andrew B. Brettler also denied the claims to the Times, saying his client never “engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.” Brettler also says the allegations come from “disgruntled individuals” who blame the singer for personal or professional disappointments, according to the outlet.

Moore, 34 — who has previously opened up about her difficult marriage to Adams (they wed in 2009 and divorced in 2016) — has claimed her ex-husband took charge of her music career in 2010 three years after they first met when she was 23.

The actress also accuses her ex of being “psychologically abusive” and belittling her musical abilities. “His controlling behavior essentially did block my ability to make new connections in the industry during a very pivotal and potentially lucrative time — my entire mid-to-late 20s,” Moore told the Times.

Adams denied Moore’s claims via his lawyer, saying her “characterization” of their relationship is “completely inconsistent with his view.”

“Speaking your truth can be painful and triggering but it’s always worth it,” Moore wrote on Instagram after the article was published. “My heart is with all women who have suffered any sort of trauma or abuse. You are seen and heard. #sisterhoodforever.”

If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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