Bob Dylan Is Being Sued for Allegedly Sexually Abusing a 12-Year-Old Girl in 1965

bob dylan

**Trigger warning: this article references sexual abuse which some readers may find distressing. Please read with caution and exercise self-care. 

As more cases of sexual misconduct come to light thanks to the power of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, Bob Dylan has become the latest powerful man to be accused of wrongdoing.

The singer stands accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl at his Chelsea Hotel apartment in 1965, in a civil complaint filed at the Manhattan Supreme Court. Dylan would have been 24 years old at the time of the alleged incident.

According to the lawsuit, “Between April and May of 1965 the defendant, 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..”

The complaint also alleges that Dylan “provided J.C. with alcohol and drugs, and sexually abused her multiple times.”

Additionally, attorneys for the alleged victim are arguing that the folk singer “befriended and established an emotional connection with the plaintiff, J.C., to lower her inhibitions with the object of sexually abusing her.”

Dylan also stands accused of making threats of physical violence against the plaintiff, which left her “emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day.”

To elaborate, the lawsuit claims that J.C. has suffered, “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” as a direct result of the abuse allegedly perpetrated by Dylan.

Her lawyers state that “some or all of these injuries are of a permanent and lasting nature,” requiring money for treatment.

Dylan is being sued on the grounds that he committed assault, battery, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, with the 80-year-old singer denying all claims through his spokesperson.

“The 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended,” they said.

The lawsuit was able to be filed — despite the alleged misconduct taking place 56 years ago — thanks to New York state’s Child Victims Act which came into effect in 2019. The ruling provided a 12-month window for victims of childhood sexual abuse to come forward and file claims against their alleged attacker, irrespective of when the alleged abuse occurred. The window was then extended as a result of the pandemic.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, please contact the Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence National Help Line on 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) or head to The Australian Human Rights Commission for a list of state by state resources.

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