Will Bob Dylan be canceled at 81? According to many news outlets, from TMZ to NBC News, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Page Six… Dylan is accused of having sexually abused a 12-year-old girl in 1965, in a new lawsuit. The famous singer-songwriter allegedly groomed, sexually abused, and threatened physical violence against the woman (now 68) identified only as ‘J.C.’ in the court documents.’ Over a six-week period between April and May of 1965, Bob Dylan ‘befriended and established an emotional connection with the plaintiff,’ say the papers filed on Friday. It further says that Dylan established the ‘connection’ to ‘lower [J.C.’s] 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.’ The abuse allegedly took place multiple times, and sometimes at the famous Chelsea Hotel in New York City.
The plaintiff claims that she is still suffering from the abuse and had to seek medical treatment for depression, humiliation, and anxiety. The emotional effects ‘are of a permanent and lasting nature and have incapacitated plaintiff from attending her regular activities,’ the suit claims.
The allegations of ‘assault, battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress against Dylan’ are certainly very serious and a spokesman for the famous musician told The Post on Monday that ‘This 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.’
Every time such allegations are made against a famous person, we must wonder: Why now? Why 56 years later? The #metoo movement has been a thing for more than a decade now, although I am well aware that it’s certainly not easy to go after an icon like Dylan.
Then there is another point, how can she bring some solid evidence to demonstrate she is telling the truth, 56 years later? On the other hand, how can Dylan bring some solid evidence she is lying?
Interestingly, 1965 is a well-documented year for Dylan: it’s the famous year he went electric at the Newport Fold festival in July, just 2 months after the alleged abuse. He also went on tour in England in April and May, at the same time as the alleged abuse, but it was only for a short period of time: he arrived in England on Monday, April 26 and he played his last concert on May 10. Just before that period, he was touring North America and had 19 dates from February to April. This precise calendar of Dylan’s occupations makes the claim a bit more difficult to swallow. Could the abuse have taken place between these dates? I mean, if the plaintiff had been entirely making this up, wouldn’t she have picked other dates that could play in her favor?
Last December, Bob Dylan sold the rights to his music catalog for $300 million, so could this lawsuit be another attempt to profit off of the recent catalog sale? Dylan is certainly worth a lot of money and can hire the best lawyers; as a matter of fact, he just won another lawsuit filed by the estate of ‘Desire’ co-writer, Jacques Levy. But this is a very different kind of lawsuit, one that could tarnish his reputation forever.
There are only 2 possibilities: the allegations are true, and Dylan, the God of all songwriters, will be canceled by the current culture – but what can they do? cancel his Nobel Prize? Or he can prove that the allegations are not true, but some people will always say he could get away with it because he is Dylan and very rich. The irony of the story is that I don’t think the truth really matters for today’s cancel culture: whether the allegations are true or not, people only see the headline ‘Dylan sued for sexually abusing a minor,’ and his reputation will be tarnished by this new lawsuit.
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And that on my birthday…. He is one of my all time favorite musicians and songwriter…. Let’s see how this will play out…