Bob Dylan Biographer Says Alleged Abuse Victim’s Timeline Is “Not Possible”
Earlier this week, a woman sued Bob Dylan for sexual abuse. The woman, identified only as JC, claimed that Dylan abused JC multiple times over a six-week period in 1965, when she was 12 years old, and that he “lower[ed] [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.” Dylan’s lawyers denied the claim. Now, one of Dylan’s many biographers is claiming that the woman’s story of abuse is “not possible” because of everything Dylan had going on in 1965.
The British writer Clinton Heylin has written many books about Dylan, including, most recently, The Double Life Of Bob Dylan: A Restless, Hungry Feeling, 1941-1966, which covers Dylan’s early years and which came out this past May. Talking to The Huffington Post, Heylin expresses deep skepticism about the timeline laid out in the lawsuit and about the claim that Dylan would’ve abused her at New York’s Chelsea Hotel:
It’s not possible. Dylan was touring England during that time, and was in Los Angeles for two of those weeks, plus a day or two at Woodstock. The tour was 10 days, but Bob flew into London on April 26 and arrived back in New York on June 3…
If Dylan was in New York in mid-April, it was for no more than a day or two. Woodstock was where he spent most of his time when not touring. And if he was in NYC, he invariably stayed at his manager’s apartment in Gramercy, not the Chelsea.
Heylin also notes that Dylan had a film crew following him around constantly during that time, making the DA Pennebaker documentary Don’t Look Back. Heylin also notes that Sara Lownds, the woman who would later marry Dylan, was already pregnant with their first child at the time, and that Dylan was also seen with women like Joan Baez, Nico, and Marianne Faithfull during that stretch. Heylin seems to think it’s significant that none of those women were super-young, though that part of the defense, at least from where I’m sitting, doesn’t really tell us anything. Heylin also says that he’s contacted Dylan’s manager and offered to serve as an expert witness.
JC’s lawyer tells the Huffington Post, “We stand by the pleading.”