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Lawsuit accusing Bob Dylan of drugging and sexually assaulting 12-year-old in 1965 is dismissed

The lawsuit alleged Dylan “established an emotional connection” with the girl to “lower her inhibitions with the object of sexually abusing her." Manhattan Federal Judge Katherine Polk Failla dismissed the case Thursday with prejudice, meaning it has been permanently closed.
Image: American folk-rock singer Bob Dylan performing on June 1, 1965 in London.
American folk-rock singer, Bob Dylan performing on June 1, 1965 in London.Val Wilmer / Redferns

A lawsuit accusing singer Bob Dylan of drugging and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 1965 was dropped following allegations she destroyed evidence in the case.

Manhattan Federal Judge Katherine Polk Failla dismissed the case Thursday with prejudice, meaning the case has been permanently closed.

"This case is over. It is outrageous that it was ever brought in the first place," Dylan's attorney Orin Snyder said in a statement, calling the case a "lawyer-driven sham."

Attorneys for the plaintiff, who was identified in court documents as J.C., did not immediately return a request for comment.

The lawsuit, filed last year, alleged that Dylan befriended the girl in May 1965 and "established an emotional connection" with her to "lower her inhibitions with the object of sexually abusing her, which he did."

According to the lawsuit, multiple episodes of abuse occurred at Dylan’s apartment at the famed Manhattan landmark, Hotel Chelsea, in April and May 1965.

The suit further alleged that Dylan, now 81, used drugs, alcohol and threats of physical violence. The girl was left with emotional scars and psychological issues, according to the lawsuit. A spokesperson for Dylan said the allegations were "untrue and will be vigorously defended."

Before the judge's ruling, Snyder had sent Failla a letter suggesting that J.C. had "destroyed evidence directly relevant to the central factual allegations in this litigation."

According to the letter, J.C. failed to produce key emails related to the case.

"These are not just any emails. They are emails from 2021 (after the filing of the lawsuit) to and from Plaintiff herself discussing — and casting doubt on — the key factual allegations she has made in this lawsuit," the letter reads.

"To put a finer point on it, the other participants in these emails directly question inconsistencies and impossibilities in Plaintiff’s allegations, and Plaintiff responds point-by-point in reply emails, which themselves are both internally inconsistent and inconsistent with material allegations in this case."

Snyder said because J.C. could not produce the emails, or text messages related to the case, Dylan's "ability to mount a fair defense have been compromised irretrievably."

Dylan, who has released more than three dozen albums since 1963 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his “profound impact” on American music, released two albums in 1965 — “Bringing It All Back Home” and “Highway 61 Revisited.”