No less a towering musical figure than Bob Dylan has been accused of sexual misconduct. A lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court on Friday, Aug. 13, by a plaintiff identified only as “J.C.,” which Paste has reviewed, alleges that Dylan groomed and sexually abused her “over a six-week period between April and May of 1965,” when she was only 12 years old, seeking damages for “severe psychological damage and emotional trauma.”
The suit alleges that Dylan “befriended and established an emotional connection with the plaintiff, J.C., to lower her inhibitions with the object of sexually abusing her, which he did, coupled with the provision of drugs, alcohol and threats of physical violence, leaving her
emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day.” It also alleges that Dylan “exploited his status as a musician to provide J.C. with alcohol and drugs and sexually abuse her multiple times.”
A current Greenwich, Connecticut, resident, J.C. and her attorneys filed the claim in New York, alleging that, “at certain times,” the abuse she suffered took place at the famed Chelsea Hotel in New York City, where Dylan is said to have kept an apartment. J.C. claims she sustained “physical and psychological injuries, including but not limited to, severe emotional and psychological distress, humiliation, fright, disassociation, anger, depression, anxiety, personal turmoil and loss of faith, a severe shock to her nervous system, physical pain and mental anguish, and emotional and psychological damage.”
Reps for Dylan denied the allegations in a statement issued to multiple outlets: “The 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.” They had no further comment when reached by Paste.
J.C.’s suit was filed under the New York Child Victims Act—an act that enables victims to file claims regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse occurred—on the penultimate day of the act’s look-back window, which closed Aug. 14.
Complicating matters, some have observed that Dylan’s whereabouts were consistently well-documented during the period in question, as the then-24-year-old musician was touring the U.S. and U.K. at the time.
(Note: This piece has been updated to include Dylan’s reps’ response.)