Music | January 7, 2022 1:34 pm

Bob Dylan Responds to Sex Abuse Lawsuit, Calling It a “Brazen Shakedown”

Lawyers for the musician called the allegation against him "false, malicious, reckless and defamatory"

Bob Dylan performs as part of a double bill with Neil Young at Hyde Park on July 12, 2019 in London, England. The musician recently responded to a sex abuse lawsuit against him.
Bob Dylan performs as part of a double bill with Neil Young at Hyde Park on July 12, 2019 in London, England.
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Back in August, a woman identified simply as “J.C.” filed a lawsuit against Bob Dylan, claiming the musician groomed and sexually abused her back in 1965 when she was just 12 years old. Now, as Rolling Stone reports, Dylan’s lawyers have filed a response to the suit in a state court in Manhattan, calling the woman’s claims a “brazen shakedown.”

“This case — based on plaintiff’s alleged interactions with Bob Dylan more than 56 years ago — is a brazen shakedown masquerading as a lawsuit,” Dylan’s response reads. “It was filed in bad faith for the improper purpose of extracting a huge payout on the threat of negative publicity. The allegation is false, malicious, reckless and defamatory. Mr. Dylan will not be extorted.”

J.C.’s initial lawsuit claimed that the alleged abuse took place at the hands of Dylan between April and May of 1965 at Manhattan’s Chelsea Hotel. However, after Dylan historians pointed out that he wasn’t even in New York during that timeframe, she filed an amended complaint changing the time period to “the spring” of 1965.

Dylan’s new filing also points out that his accuser has previously claimed to be abducted by aliens and makes her living as a psychic. “According to her own website, plaintiff is a psychic who specializes in ‘channeling’ the deceased loved ones of grieving families — for a fee,” it says, adding that she apparently claims “she speaks to cats, dogs and other animals — alive and dead — as well as insects and plants.”

Peter Gleason, a lawyer for J.C., defended her work as a psychic and said she refuses to “be bullied” by Dylan’s legal team. “Some people refer to Bob Dylan as a prophet,” he told Rolling Stone. “People have labels. More than half of Americans believe in psychic phenomena. If you’re going to attack somebody for their beliefs, you’re encroaching upon very dangerous territory. This is what this country is based on, freedom of beliefs. It shouldn’t divert our attention from the allegations. This case is about the facts.”

We’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out in court, but Dylan’s lawyers have made it clear they don’t intend to settle and will fight to the bitter end to clear his name.

“Mr. Dylan may have seemed like an easy mark for the lawyers who filed and hoped to profit off of this fraudulent lawsuit,” their new filing says. “They likely assumed he would not be up for the fight and would instead pay extortion to avoid the burden, publicity, and expense of defending himself. They could not have been more wrong. Mr. Dylan seeks and will achieve justice, vindication and full accountability.”