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An unnamed woman has accused Bob Dylan of sexually abusing her in 1965 when she was just 12 years old, according to a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court on Aug. 13.
Identified only by the initials “J.C.,” the woman alleges that over a six-week period in April and May 1965, Dylan abused her, provided her with drugs and alcohol, and threatened physical violence, “leaving her emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day.” She says Dylan facilitated the abuse by establishing an “emotional connection” and grooming her using his status as a hugely famous musician. The complaint includes few specifics of the alleged abuse.
The woman further claims that Dylan’s alleged abuse resulted in economic losses, including medical costs related to his conduct — some of which she alleges occurred in his apartment at the Hotel Chelsea, where Dylan famously wrote lyrics for his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. She is suing Dylan for assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seeking compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages.
A spokesperson for Dylan sent the following statement to Billboard: “The 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.”
Filed by attorneys Daniel Isaacs and Peter Gleason, the suit was made possible by New York’s Child Victims Act, a law established in 2019 that suspended the ordinary statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claims for a two-year period that ended Aug. 14 — just a day after the Dylan complaint was filed. The child sexual abuse lawsuit lodged last week against Nicki Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, was also a result of the law.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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