A lawsuit accusing singer Bob Dylan of drugging and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 1965 has been dropped following allegations that 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-led sham.”
Attorneys for the plaintiff, identified in court documents as JC, 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 bond” with her to “lower her inhibitions for the purpose of sexually abusing her, what he did”.
According to the lawsuit, multiple episodes of abuse occurred at Dylan’s apartment in Manhattan’s notorious landmark, the Chelsea Hotel, in April and May 1965.
The lawsuit further alleged that Dylan, now 81, used drugs, alcohol and threats of physical violence. The girl left emotional scars and psychological issues, according to the lawsuit. A spokesperson for Dylan said the allegations were “false and will be vigorously defended”.
Prior to the judge’s ruling, Snyder had sent Failla a letter suggesting that JC had “destroyed evidence directly relevant to the central factual allegations in this litigation.”
According to the letter, JC failed to produce key emails related to the case.
“These are not just any emails. These are emails from 2021 (after the lawsuit was filed) to and from the plaintiff herself discussing – and casting doubt on – the main factual allegations she has done in this lawsuit,” the letter read.
“To make a more specific point, the other participants in these emails directly question the inconsistencies and impossibilities in the Claimant’s claims, and the Claimant responds point-by-point in the response emails, which themselves are both internally inconsistent and inconsistent with the material allegations in this case.”
Snyder said that because JC could not produce the emails or text messages related to the case, “Dylan’s ability to mount a fair defense was irreparably compromised.”
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”.