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More than a half-century ago, American icon Bob Dylan repeatedly sexually abused a girl who’d just turned 12, a bombshell of a lawsuit alleges.
Over the course of six weeks between April and May of 1965, Dylan “befriended and established an emotional connection” with the girl, who’s identified in the complaint by the name “J.C.,” the lawsuit alleges. Dylan “exploited his status as a musician to provide J.C. with alcohol and drugs and sexually abuse her multiple times,” according to the lawsuit. This alleged abuse sometimes took place at Dylan’s apartment at the Hotel Chelsea, a New York City institution.
A representative for Dylan didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment but denied the allegations to the New York Daily News.
“The 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended,” Larry Jenkins told the News in a statement.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court, just before the closure of the “lookback window” created by the Child Victims Act. That landmark piece of legislation gave survivors of childhood sex abuse an opportunity to sue their attackers, no matter how long ago the alleged abuse took place.
“J.C. sustained physical and psychological injuries, including but not limited to, severe emotion and psychological distress, humiliation, fright, dissociation, 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,” the lawsuit alleges.
Specifically, the lawsuit accuses Dylan of assault, battery, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. J.C. is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.
Dylan, who was born Robert Allen Zimmerman, is now 80 years old and one of the most decorated singer-songwriters in U.S. history, with both Pulitizer and Nobel Prizes to his name. J.C. now lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The lawsuit’s existence was first reported by the New York Post.