The lawsuit that accused Bob Dylan of grooming and sexually abusing a minor in 1965 has been dropped, as first reported by Billboard.
The plaintiff, identified as “J.C.,” recently fired her legal team, and on Thursday, July 28, submitted a request to dismiss the case with prejudice (meaning it cannot be refiled), per Pitchfork. Prior to her withdrawing the case, Dylan’s attorneys had accused J.C. of destroying text messages and emails that were “directly relevant to the central factual allegations in this litigation,” arguing that “Defendant’s ability to mount a fair defense [had] been compromised irretrievably,” and calling for “case-ending sanctions and monetary sanctions.”
“This case is over. It is outrageous that it was ever brought in the first place,” Orin Snyder of Gibson Dunn, lead counsel for Bob Dylan, told Paste. “We are pleased that the plaintiff has dropped this lawyer-driven sham and that the case has been dismissed with prejudice.”
Filed in New York Supreme Court on Aug. 13, 2021, the lawsuit alleged that Dylan groomed and sexually abused a then-12-year-old J.C. “over a six-week period between April and May of 1965,” and had sought damages for “severe psychological damage and emotional trauma.”
The suit had alleged that Dylan “befriended and established an emotional connection with the plaintiff, J.C., 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.” It further alleged Dylan “exploited his status as a musician to provide J.C. with alcohol and drugs and sexually abuse her multiple times,” and that the abuse, “at certain times,” had taken place at New York City’s Chelsea Hotel.
The suit was filed under the New York Child Victims Act—an act that enabled victims to file claims regardless of when their alleged abuse occurred—one day before the closure of the act’s look-back window.
“The 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended,” reps for Dylan stated in response to the lawsuit’s initial filing.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, contact RAINN via chat or phone at 800-656-4673 for support and resources.
Listen to a 1999 Dylan performance from the Paste archives below.
[Note: This post has been updated with the statement from Dylan’s legal team.]