Bob Dylan's Busy Schedule May Vindicate Him In Sexual Abuse Lawsuit


Foto: AFP

A lawsuit filed against Bob Dylan late last week made headlines with sexual molestation accusations against the Nobel Prize laureate.

But as journalists and Dylan fans have had time to review the specifics in the allegations, they've uncovered a significant problem with the facts put forward by the plaintff: Dylan may not have been in New York City at any point when the alleged assaults occurred.

The plaintiff in the suit alleges that Dylan "befriended her," plied her with drugs and alcohol and sexually abused her multiple times at his Chelsea Hotel apartment in New York City between April and May of 1965 when she was just 12 years old.

But Dylan was on tour for most of the period. He was performing along the West Coast in April of '65, playing shows in California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Then on April 25, 1965, Dylan flew to England for a tour there. He remained across the pond until June 2, 1965.

Dylan scholars have documented much of this period and numerous recordings exist from the English tour. Dylan even gave interviews on camera when he arrived in London in late-April of '65. One such interview was used in his 1967 Don't Look Back film.

On May 23, 1965, a few days after returning to London from Portugal, Dylan was briefly hospitalized in London due to an illness.

"If Dylan was in New York in mid-April, it was for no more than a day or two," Dylan author Clinton Heylin told Rolling Stone in a new interview.

Heylin, whose book The Double Life of Bob Dylan documents the singer's life and career from 1944 - 1966, added that in those days Dylan usually spent his time off in Woodstock, not New York City. If he did stay in the Big Apple, Dylan (who was far from wealthy at the time) usually stayed with his manager in an apartment in Gramercy.

"It's almost impossible to find one week — let alone six — that spring when Dylan could have been staying at the Chelsea Hotel," Heylin said.

The plaintiff claimed the abuse she suffered at Dylan's hands occurred multiple times, and the emotional effects of it have been long-lasting. She says she has had to seek medical treatment in the years since to treat depression, humiliation and anxiety of "permanent and lasting natures."

Dylan is accused of assault, battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress. The accuser is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.

A spokesperson for Dylan said the allegations were "untrue and will be vigorously defended."

This lawsuit marks at least the second time Dylan has been sued since he sold his song catalog for more than $300 million to Universal Music Group late-last year. In July, a judge threw out a song royalty claim from the estate of a former collaborator, which Dylan's lawyer called a "sad attempt" to profit from his windfall.


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