The Times They Are A-Changin’. Indeed.
Legendary folk singer Bob Dylan, 80, is being sued for allegedly giving a 12-year-old girl drugs and alcohol before sexually abusing her at the Chelsea Hotel in 1965.
“The ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ musician allegedly used his star status to groom, gain the trust of and control the victim “as part of his plan to sexually molest and abuse” her, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court papers, which only identify the plaintiff as ‘J.C.’,” the New York Post reported.
“Bob Dylan, over a six-week period between April and May of 1965 befriended and established an emotional connection with the plaintiff,” said the papers, filed on Friday on behalf of J.C., now a 68-year-old woman who lives in Greenwich, Conn.
The suit alleges that Dylan — whose real name is Robert Allen Zimmerman — established the “connection” to “lower [J.C.’s] inhibitions with the object of sexually abusing her, which he did, coupled with the provision of drugs, alcohol and threats of physical violence, leaving her emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day.”
Said the Post:
J.C. says the emotional effects of the alleged abuse have been long-lasting and that she has had to seek medical treatment for them, according to the filing.
The fallout she suffered — including depression, humiliation and anxiety — “are of a permanent and lasting natures and have incapacitated plaintiff from attending her regular activities,” the suit claims.
J.C. brought allegations of assault, battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress against Dylan. She is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.
Dylan’s spokesman told the Post that “This 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.”
But Daniel Issacs, J.C.’s lawyer, said, “The complaint speaks for itself.”
“She provided a lot of detailed information regarding the time in question that leaves no doubt that she was with him in the apartment during the time in question,” Isaacs said.
The lawsuit was filed last Friday in New York, just before the window closed for the state’s Child Victims’ Act, Rolling Stone reported. “The law, which was enacted in 2019, allowed survivors of childhood abuse to sue their abusers and other institutions that may have protected them regardless of whether the statute of limitations had passed on the alleged incidents,” said the magazine.
Dylan has released more than three dozen albums since he emerged on the scene in 1963 and in 2008 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his “profound impact” on American music. In recent years, he has weighed in on political and social issues in America.
In 2018, Dylan turned a popular song into a gay anthem. The song “She’s Funny That Way,” which was a hit for cowboy singer Gene Austin way back in 1929 and later performed by Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, was been changed by Dylan into “He’s Funny That Way.”
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