A new lawsuit alleges that Bob Dylan sexually abused a 12-year-old girl in 1965.
The suit claims that Dylan “befriended and established an emotional connection with the plaintiff” — referred to only as “J.C.” in the court documents — over a “six-week period between April and May of 1965.” It further alleges that the musician sexually abused the plaintiff, supplied her with drugs and alcohol, and threatened her with physical violence. The lawsuit claims that these actions left the woman “emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day.”
According to the documents filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court, Dylan, who would have been 24-25 years of age around the time of the alleged events, “exploited his status as a musician by grooming J.C. to gain her trust and to obtain control over her.” The rocker is accused of assault, battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress.
The plaintiff, who is now 68, is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
The New York Child Victims Act, which was passed in 2019, opened a “look-back” window for people who claim they were sexually abused as minors to file lawsuits against their alleged abuser, even though such cases would normally be too old to prosecute due to the statute of limitations. The lawsuit against Dylan was filed on Friday, Aug. 13, the day before the window closed.
A spokesperson for the musician told USA Today that “the 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.”
Regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has remained one of rock’s biggest stars for more than 60 years. His material includes some of the most iconic works ever recorded, including “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “All Along the Watchtower,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “Hurricane” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Dylan has won 10 Grammys, an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize and a Nobel Prize across his storied career. His most recent album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, was released in 2020.
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