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Lawsuit accuses music icon Bob Dylan of sexually abusing underage girl in 1965

A lawsuit claims the singer sexually abused a 12-year-old more than 50 years ago. A spokesperson for Dylan said the claim is untrue & will be 'vigorously defended.'

WASHINGTON — A lawsuit filed in New York City has accused music legend Bob Dylan of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 1965.

Court documents filed on Friday claim that  Dylan, whose real name is Robert Allen Zimmerman, "over a six-week period of time between April and May of 1965 befriended and established an emotional connection with the plaintiff, J.C., to lower her inhibitions with the object of sexually abusing her, which he did..."

In a statement to USA Today and NBC News, a spokesperson for Dylan said that "the 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended."

The documents allege that the now 80-year-old singer provided drugs, alcohol and threatened the girl with "physical violence" and left her "emotionally scarred and physically damaged to this day."

The lawsuit was filed under New York's Child Victims Act, which allowed victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue churches, hospitals, schools, camps, scout groups and other institutions and people they hold responsible for enabling allegations. The Act opened a window for filing a lawsuit for claims that would otherwise have been beyond the statue of limitations. That window closed on Saturday after more than 9,000 lawsuits were filed. The lawsuit was filed a day before. 

RELATED: Window for New York State's Child Victims Act filing about to close

The plaintiff, identified in the lawsuit as J.C., claims there were multiple times she was abused in Dylan's apartment and at the Hotel Chelsea. She expressed that she continues to suffer from "severe emotional and physiological distress" including humiliation, depression and anxiety. 

The lawsuit does not list specific damages, but said the "amount in excess of the jurisdictional limits of all lower courts..."

Credit: AP
Musician Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles on Jan. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

In December, Universal Music Publishing Group acquired Dylan's entire catalog of songs for an undisclosed amount of money.

The catalog includes such modern standards as “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” and “Like a Rolling Stone,” a body of work that may only be matched by the Beatles, whose songs were re-acquired by Paul McCartney in 2017 after changing hands several times, for its breadth and influence.

RELATED: Bob Dylan sells his entire catalog of songs to Universal Music

Dylan topped the Rolling Stone list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time in 2015 and the song “Like A Rolling Stone” was named by the magazine as the best ever written.

Throughout his musical career, Dylan has sold more than 125 million records globally.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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