Legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan allegedly groomed and sexually abused a 12-year-old girl multiple times when he was living at New York City’s Chelsea Hotel in 1965, a bombshell lawsuit states.
The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, states that in a six-week period between April and May 1965, Dylan “exploited his status as a musician” to gain the trust of a young girl identified in court filings only as “J.C.,” according to the lawsuit, a copy of which was provided to The Daily Beast by J.C.’s attorney, Daniel Isaacs.
“Dylan exploited his status as a musician by grooming J.C. to gain her trust and obtain control over her as part of his plan to sexually molest and abuse J.C.,” the suit claims.
J.C. claims she “suffered and continues to suffer from emotional and physical injury, including, but not limited to, serious and severe mental distress, anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment, as well as economic losses,” the filing states.
“Defendant Dylan engaged in outrageous conduct towards Plaintiff with the intention to cause, or with reckless disregard for the probability of causing, Plaintiff to suffer severe emotional distress,” it explains, adding that she remains “emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day.”
The iconic 81-year-old singer-songwriter, whose given name is Robert Allen Zimmerman, is accused of plying the pre-teen with alcohol and drugs before sexually assaulting her multiple times at his apartment in the infamous Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan. The lawsuit obtained by The Daily Beast also claims that the “Like a Rolling Stone” artist, who would have been 23 or 24 at the time, physically abused the girl.
J.C., who is now 68, lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, according to the lawsuit. She is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.
“I would just add that the complaint speaks for itself and we shall prove our allegations in a court of law,” Isaacs told The Daily Beast in an email.
The lawsuit is filed under New York’s Child Victim Act, which temporarily eliminated the statute of limitations to allow individuals alleging they were sexually abused as minors to file lawsuits. The window for these lawsuits to be filed closed on Aug. 14, the day after J.C.’s suit was filed. Although J.C. resides in Connecticut, she filed the suit in New York because the alleged abuse took place there.
Dylan’s manager and agent did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment, but a spokesperson for Dylan told the New York Daily News and Pitchfork that the “56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.”
The alleged abuse occurred the same year Dylan’s fifth album, Bringing It All Back Home, was released. One of the most venerated musicians in history, Dylan also boasts a Nobel Prize and a Pulitzer.