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Mandy Moore reveals she was “drowning” in abusive marriage to Ryan Adams

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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“I was living my life for him. It [was] an entirely unhealthy dynamic. I had no sense of self.”

Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams were married in 2009 in a last-minute ceremony in Savannah, Georgia.

They had only been engaged for a month, but they called a local pastor and turned up to the church, she in a a lace dress and sandals and he in skinny jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers. The ceremony lasted eight minutes. Moore was 24 and Adams was 34. Their marriage would last seven years until their separation and eventual divorce in 2016. 

Last week, Moore was one of the seven women who spoke to the New York Times to detail allegations of abuse against her musician ex-husband. According to Moore, their marriage was one of sustained and prolonged emotional abuse, in which her husband would constantly belittle her career. “He would always tell me, ‘You’re not a real musician, because you don’t play an instrument,’” Moore told the New York Times.

In a new interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, Moore has opened up about how “unhealthy” and abusive their marriage really was.

Moore and Adams in 2012

“I felt like I was drowning,” Moore said. “It was so untenable and unsustainable and it was so lonely. I was so sad. I was lonely with him.”

“I was living my life for him. It [was] an entirely unhealthy dynamic. I had no sense of self.”

According to Moore, her marriage to Adams also damaged her career, as she was too frightened to accept work that might take her away from Adams and cause a rift in their relationship.

“I would do little jobs,” Moore said. “It’s not like I completely stopped working. I would do things here or there, but it would become abundantly clear while I was working, things would completely fall apart at home. I couldn’t do my job because there was a constant stream of trying to pay attention to this person who needed me and wouldn’t let me do anything else.” 

On his Twitter, Adams called the New York Times article “upsettingly inaccurate” but apologised “deeply and unreservedly” to “anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally”. He also refuted Moore’s comments on their marriage directly to the newspaper via his lawyer, calling the report “completely inconsistent with his view of the relationship.”

In 2018, Adams made a series of flippant remarks on social media about his marriage to Moore. “She didn’t like the Melvins or BladeRunner,” Adams wrote on Twitter. “Doomed from the start… If only I could remember the start lol.”

“When someone told me we got married I thought they were joking,” Adams added in another tweet, since deleted. “Then I realised how many painkillers I was taking. Honestly there weren’t enough to numb the shock. Gollygooops.”

After deleting his tweets, Adams apologised for the comments. “I was trying to be funny. But I have and will always choose to remember the amazing moments. It isn’t classy or OK [to] lessen what was. I am happy for everyone and doing my best.” 

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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