Bob Dylan Sexual Abuse Accuser Drops Case After Destroyed Evidence Allegations
By Sophie Schillaci
The unnamed woman who filed suit against Bob Dylan last year, alleging that the musician had sexually abused her as a 12-year-old child in 1965, has withdrawn her case, according to Billboard. The move comes amid a series of chaotic developments in the case, culminating in Dylan's legal team accusing her of destroying key evidence.
At a hearing on Thursday, Dylan's accuser asked to have the case permanently dismissed.
"This case is over. It is outrageous that it was ever brought in the first place," Dylan's lawyer, Orin Snyder, said in a statement to Billboard. "We are pleased that the plaintiff has dropped this lawyer-driven sham and that the case has been dismissed with prejudice."
The lawsuit, previously obtained by ET, was filed in August 2021 by a woman identified only as J.C., who claimed that Dylan -- whose real name is Robert Allen Zimmerman -- "befriended and established an emotional connection with [J.C.] to lower her inhibitions with the object of sexually abusing her."
J.C.'s lawsuit claimed that Dylan's alleged abuse, "coupled with the provision of drugs, alcohol and, threats of physical violence," left her "emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day."
The lawsuit documents claimed that the alleged abuse occurred during a six-week period between April and May of 1965, and allegedly took place at Dylan's apartment at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. This timeline was allegedly revised to say "several months in the spring of 1965" after historical documents appeared to indicate that Dylan was away from New York City for most of April and May of that year.
In a statement to ET, a spokesperson for the 81-year-old musician denied the accusations, stating the claim "is untrue and will be vigorously defended."
At a July 15 hearing in connection to the case, Dylan's lawyers reportedly informed Judge Katherine Polk Failla that the Plaintiff had failed to produce key text messages and emails by a court mandated deadline. After being warned of sanctions if they did not comply, J.C.'s lawyers said days later that they had been fired from the case.
On Wednesday, Billboard reports, Dylan's legal team requested "case-ending sanctions" and told the judge that evidence "strongly suggests Plaintiff has destroyed evidence directly relevant to the central factual allegations in this litigation, and that the evidence may be lost forever. This would mean Plaintiff will never be able to comply with her discovery obligations and the integrity of these proceedings and Defendant’s ability to mount a fair defense have been compromised irretrievably."
The suit, which would have typically been barred by the statute of limitations, had been filed just before the closing of a one-year window under recent New York statute allowing past victims to sue their alleged abusers.