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A recent lawsuit claims Bob Dylan sexually abused a twelve year old girl in 1965. If it's true, what will happen to the singer of 'Rough and Rowdy Ways'?

Rough and Rowdy Ways? Did Bob Dylan assault a 12-year-old girl?

On August 13th, a lawsuit was filed against the renowned folk singer-songwriter Bob Dylan for allegedly sexually abusing a twelve year old girl in 1965. The woman, who is now sixty-eight years old, remains anonymous under the title J.C. which was stated in the lawsuit. 

The news comes as a shock to the world as Bob Dylan has remained one of America’s most prolific and beloved artists. Now, at eighty years old, Dylan is under scrutiny for his possible mistreatment of a child at New York City’s legendary Hotel Chelsea back in 1965. Read more about the fifty-six year old case which hasn’t been filed until last Friday.

Bob Dylan accused of sexual abuse in 1965

J.C. claims that “over a six-week period” Bob Dylan “befriended and established an emotional connection” with her and sequentially sexually abused her numerous times throughout the time span of two months in 1965. At the time, J.C. was only twelve years old.

J.C.’s lawyers allege that Dylan had begun a relationship with J.C. in order “to lower her 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,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also details that Bob Dylan had allegedly abused his celebrity status by “grooming J.C. to gain her trust and to obtain control over her”. Additionally, the documents detail that Dylan sexually abused her “at certain times” in his New York City apartment at the Hotel Chelsea.

Bob Dylan’s response and NY Child Victims Act

A representative for Bob Dylan released a statement to USA Today on Monday detailing that “the 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.” Besides this statement, no other response from Bob Dylan has been released so far.

The lawsuit was filed only one day before the New York Child Victims Act was set to expire on August 14th. The New York Child Victims Act was created to allow victims of childhood sex abuse to find justice against their abusers even if the statute of limitations for the alleged offenses had already passed.

Attorney Daniel Isaacs confirms that in-depth research was done to verify certain points of J.C.’s account. Isaacs reported, “The complaint speaks for itself. We’ll prove all of the allegations in a court of law.” He added, “The complaint was filed after much research and thorough vetting and there’s no doubt that she was with him at the Hotel Chelsea.”

J.C. explained in the lawsuit that she has undergone “serious and severe mental distress, anguish, humiliation and embarrassment, as well as economic losses”. The lawsuit details that she is seeking financial damages as well as punitive damages from Bob Dylan.

What’s at stake for Bob Dylan?

The musician has become an American figure like no other, thus he has a lot to lose if this lawsuit doesn’t go in his favor. The singer-songwriter has thirty-eight studio albums, one of which was released only a year ago. The album Rough and Rowdy Ways continued Dylan’s somber American folk style.

In 2020 the star saw his first number one chart hit with his Rough and Rowdy Ways track “Murder Most Foul” recounting the assassination of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Yet, Dylan has sold over 125 million records throughout his decades long career. His hit songs such as “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” remain his most iconic tracks.

Bob Dylan also has both a Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” In 2016, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Due to his fame and numerous accolades, the singer’s net worth is nearly $350 million. Clearly, the Rough and Rowdy Ways creator has more than enough to lose if he has to pay up. 

What do you think about the latest sexual abuse allegations against Bob Dylan? Did you listen to Rough and Rowdy Ways? Let us know in the comments below!

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