Bob Dylan Lawsuit Over Alleged 1965 Sexual Abuse of Minor Dropped

The lawsuit against Bob Dylan—brought by a woman identified as J.C. who claimed that the singer-songwriter groomed sexually abused her in 1965 when she was 12—has been dropped, as Billboard reports and Pitchfork can confirm. The news comes shortly after Dylan’s attorneys accused J.C. of destroying evidence after she failed to turn over emails and text messages by a court-ordered deadline. J.C.’s legal team recently notified the judge that they had been discharged by the plaintiff as her attorneys, as confirmed in a document provided to Pitchfork. The request to dismiss the case with prejudice was made at a hearing earlier today (July 28).

Filed in New York State Supreme Court on August 13, 2021, the complaint alleged that the abuse occurred in Dylan’s room at the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan between April and May 1965. Dylan was 23 or 24 years old at the time. The lawsuit claimed that 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.” It also argued that he “exploited his status as a musician to provide J.C. with alcohol and drugs and sexually abuse her multiple times.” 

When the lawsuit was filed, a spokesperson for Bob Dylan shared the following statement with Pitchfork: “The 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.” The lawsuit was filed under the  New York state’s Child Victims Act, passed in 2019, which provided a window for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file suit against an attacker regardless of year. 

After the initial filing, a debate surfaced about whether or not Dylan was in New York City during the timeframe of the alleged abuse. J.C. later filed an updated version of the lawsuit, claiming the abuse took place during “several months in the spring of 1965,” as Billboard points out.

When reached for comment by Pitchfork, Dylan’s lead counsel—Orin Snyder of Gibson Dunn—offered the following statement:

This case is over.  It is outrageous that it was ever brought in the first place. We are pleased that the plaintiff has dropped this lawyer-driven sham and that the case has been dismissed with prejudice.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline 
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)

Crisis Text Line (chat support)
SMS: Text “HERE” to 741-741

This article was originally published on Thursday, July 28 at 8:08 p.m. Eastern. It was last updated on July 28 at 8:40 p.m. Eastern.

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