This is why Mandy Moore got divorced

Mandy Moore seemed absolutely smitten when she tied the knot with rocker Ryan Adams in 2009. Shortly after saying “I do,” the pair settled into domestic bliss in a sun-filled California home with nine snuggly pets and constant music. At the time, the marriage seemed like an unlikely pairing — a gritty, alternative rocker and a former teenage pop princess-turned-actress with about a decade between them — but their differences may have been what fueled their attraction.

“There was a period in my life when [my marriage] was so beautiful,” Moore regaled to People in 2016. “And I had this really fascinating person [through whom] I got to see a completely different perspective on the world.” That beauty unfortunately proved to be fallible. In 2015, the couple called it quits, and it for a time, it seemed relatively drama-free. Moore reignited her acting career with a starring role in NBC’s critically-acclaimed drama, This Is Us, and Adams dropped his sixteenth studio album, Prisoner. Life seemed to be moving forward.

Then, in 2019, The New York Times dropped a bombshell report detailing sprawling allegations of abuse against the former Whiskeytown singer. The FBI opened an investigation into whether Adams’ interactions with an underage fan were legal, Adams claimed the allegations were “upsettingly inaccurate,” and Moore finally started pulling back the curtain on the sordid details behind her divorce.

The split might have been mutual, but the divorce settlement wasn't

Hours before Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams confirmed their divorce, the “Candy” singer posted an Instagram meme about Mercury in retrograde. It clued fans into the fact that the star might have been having a hard time. Strangely enough, when the news finally broke, the whole thing appeared to be mutual. A rep for the couple told E! News, “It is a respectful, amicable parting of ways, and both Mandy and Ryan are asking for media to respect their privacy at this time.”

Nearly a year later, court documents obtained by TMZ painted a different picture. Moore was struggling to reach an agreement with Adams about their eight pets. Adams promised to take two of the cats, but ultimately left Moore to care for all of the animals on her own. She wanted the rocker to take half of them.

Beyond that, Moore was requesting spousal support, but Adams refused to pay up. Court documents claimed he made $151,000 per month, which was more than four times Moore’s monthly earnings. Adams ended up winning that one, and both parties held on to the publishing rights of their respective songs. According to TMZ, by the time the divorce was finalized, Moore got the Prius, their Griffith Park home, a Beverly Hills condo, and $425,000 in cash. Adams got the ’59 Cadillac, 2008 Porsche Carrera, multiple bank accounts, his comic book collection, and pinball machines.

Mandy Moore didn't tie the knot for the right reasons

Mandy Moore was just 15 years old when the 1999 single, “Candy,” catapulted her into the kind of fame that allows someone to tour with *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. Despite her speedy rise — and high-profile roles in early aughts favorites like The Princess Diaries and A Walk to Remember — the artist didn’t fall into the same trap as her peers. There was no tabloid scandal like when Britney Spears shaved her head and attacked a paparazzo with an umbrella in 2007. Moore didn’t find herself in rehab like Lindsay Lohan. It would take years before the star publicly revealed that she was struggling behind-the-scenes when she married Ryan Adams.

Two years before Moore walked down the aisle, she accidentally discovered that her mother was leaving her father for a woman. In an interview with Glamour, the singer-actress admitted that it happened when she inadvertently peaked at an email draft while setting up her mother’s laptop. “I thought, Why is Mom writing me?” Moore said. “It was basically her telling us how she had fallen in love with a friend and was going to leave Dad.”

Moore struggled with the revelation and claimed she had “no choice but to compartmentalize what was happening.” That’s when she decided to get hitched. “I couldn’t control what happened to my immediate family, but I could control starting my own,” she told Glamour. “Not the smartest decision. I didn’t choose the right person.”

Ryan Adams' addiction put a strain on their marriage

Ryan Adams has always been transparent about his struggle with addiction. In 2007, he told The New York Times that it was a miracle he didn’t die before achieving sobriety ahead of the release of his ninth studio album, Easy Tiger. “I snorted heroin a lot — with coke. I did speedballs every day for years,” he said. “And took pills. And then drank. And I don’t mean a little bit. I always outdid everybody.”

The rocker ultimately quit cold turkey with the help of then-girlfriend Jessica Joffe, but addiction still bled into his marriage with Mandy Moore. Off the heels of Moore’s 2018 Glamour interview, Adams took a dig at Perez Hilton, who quoted Moore’s comment that she “didn’t choose the right person.” Moore — who allegedly didn’t appreciate Blade Runner or the ’80s rock band the Melvins like Adams did — apparently was the one who was wrong for him. And actually, Adams didn’t even remember marrying her because he was too high on painkillers.

“Doomed from the start … If only I could remember the start lol,” he wrote in a now-deleted series of tweets (via Entertainment Tonight). “When someone told me we got married, I thought they were joking. Then I realized how many painkillers I was taking. Honestly there weren’t enough to numb the shock. Gollygooops.” Adams later apologized for his comments.

Ryan Adams didn't find his marriage with Mandy Moore inspiring

Ryan Adams made a career out of love songs, and anti-love songs, and other people’s love songs. No, Taylor Swift’s already perfect album 1989 didn’t need a male perspective, but 2004’s Love Is Hell is arguably the perfect soundtrack to listen to while walking home alone on a rainy summer night as you wallow in heartbreak (not that we’d know from experience). In a streaming era where the art of LPs is effectively on life support, Adams released six albums throughout his six-year marriage, including a live album and his Taylor Swift covers. Yet, none of these albums had a song for Mandy Moore. If that’s not a sign, what is?

In that same now-deleted Twitter rant where Adams admitted he was too high to remember his wedding, he also revealed that he wasn’t inspired by Moore. When a fan accused him of writing 75 percent of his music while thinking about the This Is Us actress, Adams claimed (via Entertainment Tonight), “There’s not actually a single song about her. Like not one. Fact.” According to Radar Online, he likened his marriage to being “stuck to the spiritual equivalent of a soggy piece of cardboard.” Honestly, rude.

Ryan Adams controlled Mandy Moore's music career

Mandy Moore entered 2009 with a decade of music industry experience under her belt. That year, she tied the knot and released her sixth studio album, Amanda Leigh, before taking a break to focus on her acting career. In the years that followed, she became a real-life Disney princess in Tangled, appeared in the short-lived series Red Band Society, and even had a story arc on Grey’s Anatomy – but none of this was a calculated career decision. Her exit from the music industry had everything to do with her marriage.

In a 2019 interview with The New York Times, Moore revealed that “music was a point of control” for her ex-husband. When the pair met in 2007, she was hoping to cultivate the kind of “artistic credibility,” as the outlet put it, that would set her apart from her past as teen pop star. It certainly wasn’t lost that Adams was generally considered a savant at the craft. The year after the wedding, Moore became a free agent, and, per the publication, “Adams offered to work on her next album.”

Throughout this process, the rocker allegedly “discouraged” the singer from working with outside managers or producers, which she claimed “[left] him in charge” of her career. The pair reportedly wrote songs and booked studio time, but the album never happened. Moore told The New York Times that Adams would always cancel. While a rep for the rocker denied these claims, Moore didn’t release an album for a decade.

Mandy Moore didn't feel like Ryan Adams supported her career

Before Mandy Moore was even old enough to graduate from high school, she had the kind of career most adults dream of. Her debut single “Candy” peaked at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. It didn’t quite reach Top 40 status despite its habitual presence on mainstream radio, but it did spend 20 weeks on the chart. A year later, she broke over the threshold with “I Wanna Be With You,” a single from her second album that peaked at No. 24.

Despite her early success, Ryan Adams wasn’t all that impressed. In The New York Times’ 2019 report, Moore revealed that the Grammy nominee would regularly berate her talents and tout his accomplishments over hers while they were together. “He would always tell me, ‘You’re not a real musician, because you don’t play an instrument,'” she said.

Adams’ lawyer denied Moore’s allegations and claimed the rocker was “supportive” of the star’s “well-deserved professional success.” Nonetheless, this is consistent with what Moore claimed when her divorce was finalized in 2016. “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,” she said (via The New York Times).

Mandy Moore lost herself in her marriage

Mandy Moore’s six-year marriage to Ryan Adams completely consumed her. In an interview with People, the star admitted that a weight was lifted when she filed for divorce — though she did have the occasional moment where she’d curl “up in a ball on the floor.” Yes, moving on is hard for everyone, even if you’re ultimately better for it. It’s also hard to see what’s happening when you’re on the inside. A little distance gives you perspective. For Moore, that meant the slow realization that she had completely lost sight of who she was and what she wanted outside of her partnership with Adams.

“I wasn’t a participant in my own life for awhile,” she told People in 2016. “I poured so much of myself into my personal life and when that wasn’t as fruitful as I hoped it would be and I extricated myself from that situation, I was able to realize I wasn’t honoring myself and my dreams and what I wanted in life.”

After finalizing her divorce, Moore became an award-winning actress. She took home two SAG awards for her work on This Is Us, along with an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination. She also reinvigorated her music career and released her album Silver Landings in 2020.

Did Ryan Adams spiral into chaos after his divorce?

Though we’ll never know if Ryan Adams was unraveling prior to his divorce, he certainly appeared to unravel after it. Following Mandy Moore’s 2018 Glamour interview, the star posted a series of worrying tweets where he admitted he was deeply suffering in the wake of his divorce — and yes, he relapsed. The tweets were later deleted.

“I’m doing the best I can right now. I am in pain. It’s real. People will leave you and your life will fall into total chaos. You will feel like you’re having a heart attack. They might not even care,” Adams wrote (via Radar Online). “But I would never leave my post as my cat’s dad. But I am in pain. I am crumbling.” The musician also went on to say he felt “abandoned like a pile of bones, like it never mattered” and that it was within his right “as a human being to f**king fall apart.” As bad as Adams felt, this was a turning point for the star. Two months after the tweets, Adams revealed that he was 60 days sober.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA’s 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Mandy Moore never got an actual apology

Ryan Adams initially denied the sprawling abuse claims detailed by The New York Times, but he eventually issued a public apology after taking a year to reflect and work on his sobriety. In a 2020 statement published by the Daily Mail, the rocker admitted he was sorry for “the ways [he’s] mistreated people throughout [his] life and career.”

“To a lot of people this will just seem like the same empty bulls**t apology that I’ve always used when I was called out, and all I can say is, this time it is different. Having truly realized the harm that I’ve caused, it wrecked me, and I’m still reeling from the ripples of devastating effects that my actions triggered,” Adams wrote. ” … That being said, no amount of growth will ever take away the suffering I had caused. I will never be off the hook and I am fully accountable for my harmful behavior, and will be for my actions moving forward.”

Adams wasn’t wrong. This apology did seem empty to some, most notably his ex-wife, who called him out in the nicest way possible. In an interview with Today, Mandy Moore admitted that Adams never personally reached out to her to say sorry. “I find it curious that someone would make a public apology but not do it privately,” she said. And that’s all she wrote.

Things opened up for Mandy Moore after her divorce

In more recent years, Mandy Moore has revealed a lot about the traumatic, dark times she experienced while married to Ryan Adams, but she’s ultimately come out the other side stronger. Divorce opened up a whole new world for the star. “I don’t feel guilty for [the divorce]. I don’t fault myself for it,” Moore told People in 2018. “When people said, ‘I’m sorry,’ I was like, ‘No. Sorry would have been had I stayed in a very unhealthy situation.’ I didn’t. I found my way out. And when I did, things opened back up again.”

Moore’s divorce ultimately led her to her current husband, Taylor Goldsmith of the band Dawes. According to People, the pair first met on Instagram after she posted a photo of his band’s album. At the time, the This Is Us star was still grappling with the trauma of her previous split, but Goldsmith became a huge support. Harper’s Bazaar reports that the couple tied the knot in 2018.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have somebody who is like, ‘I got your back.’ I found the right person and I feel like we can handle anything together,” Moore told People in 2017. “… I’m better equipped to appreciate everything because of what I’ve gone through. I cannot believe my life and good fortune.”

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