Bob Dylan Accused of Sexually Abusing a Minor in the 1960s
A woman has sued 1960s countercultural icon Bob Dylan over alleged instances of sexual abuse that she claims the singer carried out against her while she was underage over 50 years ago, according to TMZ, which obtained a copy of the recent lawsuit.
The tabloid reported on Monday (Aug. 16) that the suit accuses Dylan, the now 80-year-old singer-songwriter whose real name is Robert Zimmerman, of sexually grooming and subsequently abusing the accuser, identified as J.C., in 1965, when she was 12 years old. The famous folk and rock musician turned 24 in 1965.
J.C., now 68, claims the alleged abuse took place in New York's Hotel Chelsea — a destination known to Dylan fans as the birthplace of some of his songs — after he had provided her with alcohol and drugs.
The suit accuses Dylan of abusing J.C. at points in April and May of 1965, also alleging he threatened violence against her to enable it. According to a chronology available on Dylan's website, the musician was on tour in England at times in April and May of 1965.
Indeed, the argument that J.C.'s timeline doesn't match the records of Dylan's movements looms large over the accusations, and pointed out by Consequence. The only window of time in which the singer could have been in New York in April and May 1965 was a short period in mid-April, according to a report from Rolling Stone.
J.C. says she's suffered from depression, anxiety and humiliation as a result of the alleged abuse. She's suing Dylan for battery, assault, infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment and is requesting damages.
A representative for Dylan said the "56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended," per USA Today.
CNN noted the lawsuit was filed a day before the New York Child Victims Act expires on Aug. 14. A lawyer for J.C. said the suit was filed pursuant to the act, and that it gave her "opportunity to seek redress."
That attorney, Daniel Isaacs, added, "The complaint speaks for itself. We'll prove all of the allegations in a court of law. The complaint was filed after much research and thorough vetting and there's no doubt that she was with him at the Hotel Chelsea."
Bob Dylan began his career in 1960s New York and, in 1965, released two albums now largely considered folk rock classics, Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. That same year, the singer made rock 'n' roll history by "going electric" at the Newport Folk Festival.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, resources are available to help. Visit RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) online or dial 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673) to speak to someone now.