- Legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was sued in a New York court by a woman who alleges he sexually abused her multiple times in the 1960s when she was 12 in Manhattan's Hotel Chelsea.
- Dylan's spokesman called the allegations “untrue” and said the lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court by the Connecticut accuser “will be vigorously defended” by lawyers for the singer.
- The complaint was filed before the expiration of a one-year window in New York state opened by the Child Victims Act, which allowed adults to sue for alleged child sexual abuse no matter when the purported conduct occurred.
A woman is suing legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan in a New York court, alleging he sexually abused her when she was 12 years old in the 1960s.
Dylan's spokesman called the allegations “untrue” and said that the lawsuit, filed Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court, “will be vigorously defended” by lawyers for the singer.
The lawsuit was first reported by the New York Post.
The suit was filed a day before the expiration of a one-year window opened by a New York state law, the Child Victims Act, which allowed adults to sue for alleged child sexual abuse no matter when the purported conduct occurred.
The lawsuit claims the now 80-year-old Dylan over a six-week period in April and May 1965 “befriended and established an emotional connection with” the girl to groom her to be sexually molested.
The suit says Dylan, whose legal name is Robert Zimmerman, “exploited his status as a musician to provide” the girl “with alcohol and drugs and sexually abuse her multiple times.”
The complaint also accuses him of threatening physical violence against her and says she has been left “emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day.” And it says the girl, who in April 1965 had just turned age 12, suffered physical injuries.
The lawsuit alleges the multiple Grammy Award-winning singer abused the girl at certain times in his apartment at the Hotel Chelsea, a then-seedy hotel in Manhattan that now has landmark status due to its architecture and famous clientele.
Dylan is known to have kept an apartment at the hotel, which is named after its neighborhood, from 1961 through 1964, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. He also stayed there in fall 1965 to write songs for his album “Blonde on Blonde.”
Dylan performed on a short tour in England from April 30, 1965, through May 10, 1965, footage of which was used by film director D.A. Pennebaker in his documentary “Don't Look Back.”
The lawsuit specifically says that “upon information and belief,” Dylan “maintained an apartment” at the Hotel Chelsea between April and May 1965, the time period during which the abuse is alleged to have happened.
The criminal statute of limitations for Dylan's alleged abuse of the girl is long expired.
The woman who sued Dylan is identified in the lawsuit by the initials J.C. The complaint says the accuser currently is living in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The suit alleges assault, battery, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It asks for unspecified monetary damages.
The plaintiff's lawyer, Daniel Isaacs, when asked for comment, said, “The complaint speaks for itself, and we shall prove our allegations in a court of law.”
Dylan, who wrote the iconic '60s songs “Blowin' in the Wind,” “The Times They Are A-Changin'” and “Like a Rolling Stone,” is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an Academy Award-winning songwriter, and a winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In 2016, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
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