Mandy Moore Opens Up About Ryan Adams Marriage: "I Felt Like I Was Drowning"

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Mandy Moore

On the podcast 'WTF With Marc Maron,' the 'This Is Us' star recounted what went wrong in her seven-year relationship to the singer-songwriter, who now faces allegations of emotional and verbal abuse and manipulation of young women.

Less than a week after Ryan Adams was accused of sexual misconduct in a New York Times exposé, a new podcast episode sees Mandy Moore open up about their seven-year marriage, saying that during the union, "I felt like I was drowning." The This Is Us actress recounted how she met Adams, where the relationship went wrong and how it fell apart on the latest episode of WTF With Marc Maron, which dropped Monday. 

The relationship began one year after Moore's mother announced she was leaving her father to live with a woman with which she had an affair. The emotional upheaval was the "largest factor" in her decision to marry Adams, Moore said: "When you feel out of control in a situation, [like] I can't control my immediate family, and the fact that this particular situation blew us up in a way ... I guess kind of just thought, I'll create my own family." Moore first met Adams when she was 23 years old and on tour in Minneapolis after one of his shows, and said she was immediately "smitten" by his idiosyncratic "lens on the world."

After they got married, Moore said that Adams continued to make music while her professional life quieted. "I was living my life for him," she told Maron. "Being the mother ... it's an entirely unhealthy dynamic. Oh, I had no sense of self. I was imperceptible, I was so small in my own world." When asked by Maron if her parents had a similar dynamic, Moore said they didn't, but that her relationship with Adams "made me feel worthy, it made me feel like I had value if I could be there for somebody else and serve their needs," she added. "I think it, like — not to go down a rabbit hole with, like therapy — but I think it goes back to feeling undeserving of what I've had in my life as a young person and finding success and I think there was part of me that was like, 'Well, this part of my life, I'm okay to not live for myself right now. I've had enough of that.'"

Moore added that Adams was "estranged from his family" and that she felt that she could show him what being in a family was like. "That's not how it unfolded, she said. "I think my co-dependency fed into his co-dependency and some other underlying issues that is was the perfect cacophony of madness. I was so not serving myself." The breaking point came, Moore said, at a time when "I felt like I was drowning. It was so untenable and unsustainable and I was so lonely, I was so sad. ... I knew that this wasn't the rest of my life. I knew that this wasn't the person I was supposed to be with, I knew that I wasn't the person I was meant to be."

Moore added that there was a lot of "drama" to the breakup, even after she filed divorce in 2015. She said that she and Adams had conversations "in loops" for months.

In the Times story, seven women including Moore accused Adams of emotional and verbal abuse during relationships or after his romantic overtures were rejected. Five women said that Adams made advances after initially offering to be their professional mentor. One accuser was 14 years old when she met Adams and the two began an explicit correspondence online.

The Times later reported that the FBI's New York office opened an inquiry into the allegations of Adams having an explicit relationship with a minor following the story. Moore's lawyer told The Hollywood Reporter that neither he nor Adams had been contacted by law enforcement.