A woman has filed a lawsuit accusing Bob Dylan of sexually abusing her when she was 12 years old in 1965.
In the suit, the woman, identified as “J.C.” who now lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, claims that Dylan abused her between April and May 1965 and that Dylan “exploited his status as a musician by grooming J.C. to gain her trust and to obtain control over her as part of his plan to sexually molest and abuse J.C.” It claims that Dylan gave J.C. “alcohol and drugs,” abused her multiple times, and that some of the alleged incidents occurred in Dylan’s apartment at the Hotel Chelsea in New York City.
As a result of the alleged abuse, the lawsuit states, J.C. “sustained physical and psychological injuries… and, upon information and belief, some or all of these injuries are of a permanent and lasting nature.” J.C. is seeking compensatory damages for an unspecified amount to be determined by a jury at trial.
A representative for Dylan tells Rolling Stone that “the 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.”
The lawsuit was filed last Friday, August 13th, in New York, just before the window closed for the state’s Child Victims’ Act. The law, which was enacted in 2019, allowed survivors of childhood abuse to sue their abusers and other institutions that may have protected them regardless of whether the statute of limitations had passed on the alleged incidents.
The lawsuit also arrives after a judge dismissed an unrelated suit against Dylan over royalties connected to his 1976 album Desire. The widow of one of Dylan’s co-writers, Jacques Levy, claimed Levy had a deal with Dylan for a stake in the income generated by the songs they wrote together, and thus was entitled to a portion of Dylan’s recent $300 million publishing deal. A judge dismissed the suit, saying Dylan “owed all copyrights to the Compositions.”