TOM LEONARD: Are ageing rock stars about to face their MeToo moment?

Bob Dylan has penned a good few songs about the ladies he is cherished and misplaced however it’s troublesome to see how he’ll incorporate the newest improvement in his personal life into his repertoire.

The singer-songwriter is being sued by a lady who claims he sexually abused her in 1965 when she was 12.

The accuser, who’s now 68 and lives within the state of Connecticut, is barely recognized by the initials JC in courtroom papers filed in New York.

She says the star enacted ‘predatory, sexual and illegal acts’, which, the go well with alleges, have been ‘carried out deliberately by him to her with out her consent’, inflicting her ‘extreme psychological harm and emotional trauma’.

It’s alleged that over a six-week interval in April and May 1965, Dylan — who would have been 23 on the time — abused her, supplied her with medication and alcohol and threatened bodily violence, ‘leaving her emotionally scarred and psychologically broken to today’.

Singer who caught his eye: Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan pictured above with Dana Gillespie, who claims they had a fling when she was 16

Singer who caught his eye: Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan pictured above with Dana Gillespie, who claims they’d a fling when she was 16

She says Dylan had his ‘evil’ method along with her by establishing an ’emotional connection’ and grooming her utilizing his standing as an enormously well-known musician.

She is claiming unspecified damages and in search of a jury trial to contemplate her allegations of assault, battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional misery.

Some of the alleged abuse happened in Dylan’s condominium within the bohemian Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan the place on the time he was writing songs for his 1966 album Blonde On Blonde. Dylan, now a Nobel Prize-winning poet, has denied the allegations, his spokesman saying: ‘The 56-year-old declare is unfaithful and shall be vigorously defended.’b

Sceptics could pretty marvel why it took her so lengthy to come ahead however there’s a authorized clarification for this. New York’s Child Victims Act was launched in 2019 and quickly suspended the statute of limitations for little one sexual abuse claims.

The deadline for bringing such claims ran out final Saturday and the lawsuit in opposition to Dylan was filed the day gone by in New York Supreme Court. More than 9,000 civil fits have been filed within the two years the regulation has been in place.

There is little particular element within the 13-page authorized define of JC’s declare which may permit others to decide the veracity or in any other case of her stunning allegations.

The lingering bodily and emotional harm she has suffered haven’t solely incurred persevering with medical bills however led to ‘everlasting’ accidents which have ‘incapacitated’ her, it’s claimed. JC additionally alleges the abuse was malicious, so entitling her not solely to compensatory but additionally punitive damages.

It’s honest to say that, to borrow a traditional Dylan tune, The Times They Are a-Changin’ when it comes to celebrities and allegations of sexual misconduct.

Wild child: Sable Starr

‘Baby groupie’: Lori Mattix in 1974

‘Baby groupie’: Lori Mattix, proper, claims she misplaced her virginity to David Bowie in a threesome involving one in all her girlfriends, fellow school-age groupie Sable Starr, left, when she was 14

The anti-harassment MeToo Movement that shot to energy on the again of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has ushered in a brand new temper of zero tolerance in direction of accusations of predatory male behaviour.

The rock stars of the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies have been infamous for sleeping with younger feminine followers and, inevitably, MeToo has put that sexual free-for-all underneath a far much less indulgent highlight.

The reclusive Dylan, now 80, has already been caught within the glare a 12 months in the past, after British actress and singer Dana Gillespie listed him as simply one in all many rock stars in these a long time who seduced her when she was a young person — in his case, when she had simply turned 16.

Interestingly, she says she first met him in April 1965 — the identical time he allegedly met the 12-year-old.

Gillespie additionally claimed that by 15 she had been to mattress with David Bowie, and by 16 with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, in addition to bedding The Who’s Keith Moon, Mick Jagger, Michael Caine and Sean Connery.

While the veracity of such claims because the one filed in New York could these days be very troublesome to set up, it is not onerous to think about different ageing rockers could also be questioning what decades-old sexual trysts (actual or imagined) might be revisited within the courts.

After all, New York is hardly the one authorized jurisdiction underneath stress within the period of Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein to permit purported claimants who would possibly beforehand have given up hoping for justice — significantly if their abuser was well-known — to lastly have their day.

Gillespie, for her half, insisted she had no regrets and by no means noticed herself as a sufferer, however Dylan can’t have loved her revelations.

A deeply personal star who has had many lovers, his makes an attempt to fence off his personal life from public view have already been disrupted by a few of these girls — if not darkening his legacy, definitely taking a few of the glister off it

And spring 1965 — the time frame lined by JC’s allegations — was a very eventful time in his rollercoaster love life. It noticed him dramatically ending his most notoriously fraught love affair — with people singer Joan Baez — and fathering a toddler along with his future spouse, former Playboy Bunny Sara Lownds. 

Dylan, pictured in 2015, is being sued by a woman who claims he sexually abused her in 1965 when she was 12

Dylan, pictured in 2015, is being sued by a lady who claims he sexually abused her in 1965 when she was 12 

He and Baez started an affair in 1963 when she had already been topped the ‘Queen of Folk’. They grew to become probably the most talked-about younger {couples} of the Nineteen Sixties however, by the center of the last decade, Dylan was enjoying 200 concert events a 12 months and his fame had eclipsed hers.

It all ended brutally for Baez throughout his 1965 British tour in late April and early May. Baez, who had by no means carried out within the UK, anticipated Dylan would carry her out on stage and sing collectively along with her, introducing her to British audiences as she’d carried out for him in America.

Dylan, by then a heavy drinker, refused and Baez referred to as it a ‘huge slap within the face’.

She obtained an excellent greater shock when, after Dylan was admitted to a London hospital with a abdomen grievance, she went to go to him and ran in to Lownds on the door of his room. Baez had had no concept that Dylan was additionally seeing Lownds, renting a flat within the scruffy however vibrant Chelsea Hotel for the aim.

The London journey was ‘probably the most demoralising expertise in my life’, Baez later stated.

It took Dylan 44 years to apologise to Baez publicly, telling a 2009 documentary: ‘I used to be simply attempting to take care of the insanity that had develop into my profession. Unfortunately, she obtained swept alongside and I felt very dangerous about it.’

The apology did little to shift a widespread public notion of Dylan — whose songs resembling Just Like A Woman have been dismissed as misogynistic — as a cold-hearted and self-absorbed genius who had little time for allure and sensitivity with girls.

Dylan, who has fathered at the very least six youngsters, married Sara Lownds in a secret ceremony in November 1965, little greater than a month earlier than their first little one, Jesse, was born. 

Dylan pocyurecords Bringing It All Back Home in New York in January of that year

Dylan recording Bringing It All Back Home in New York in January of 1965 – the 12 months the alleged abuse happened

When his shocked highway supervisor, Victor Maymudes, requested him why he hadn’t married Baez as an alternative, he reportedly replied: ‘Because Sara shall be there once I need her to be residence, she’ll be there once I need her to be there, she’ll do it once I need to do it.’

Lownds, who gave him 4 youngsters, was additionally disbursed with as Dylan disappeared off on tour and cheated on her.

In February 1977, Lownds went downstairs one morning at their residence and located Dylan and a lady who had clearly stayed the evening having breakfast along with her youngsters. They quickly divorced.

Dylan married his second spouse, backing singer Carolyn Dennis, in 1986, six months after the beginning of their daughter.

They divorced six years later however, in a tribute to Dylan’s starvation for privateness, they managed to hold the kid and certainly the wedding secret till 2001.

There have been claims through the years about different secret marriages and unacknowledged youngsters — together with as many as 4 by numerous backing singers.

In 1994, Ruth Tyrangiel, an actress, sued him for $5 million, claiming they’d successfully lived collectively as husband and spouse for 17 years. Dylan finally paid a a lot lowered sum in an out-of-court settlement.

None of Dylan’s reported lovers have been underage, though Dana Gillespie got here shut, saying she was simply 16 when she — and her 44in chest — caught his eye at a reception on the Savoy in London in April 1965.

He rang her at residence the following day and she or he hurried over to his lodge, sneaking again to her dad and mom’ Central London residence early every morning over the following few nights.

She says she was 15 when she first slept with the late David Bowie — she insists she seduced him — after he accompanied her again to her household residence after a London efficiency.

‘I smuggled him previous my dad and mom’ bed room and up to the highest ground,’ she recalled in a 2020 memoir. ‘We landed up in my single mattress, and messed round a bit sexually. In the morning, I had to go to faculty, so I wanted to get him down previous my dad and mom’ bed room and out of the home.’

She needn’t have apprehensive as her father thought the long-haired Bowie was a lady.

As Gillespie freely admits, there was little ‘romance’ in her rock ‘n’ roll love life — the intercourse with numerous music stars was often strictly transactional as she fed off their fame.

‘It sounds weird now, with everybody so uptight and politically appropriate, however there have been no guidelines again within the Nineteen Sixties,’ she stated. ‘Back then, the best way you met folks was that you simply slept with them. Back then, it wasn’t such a giant deal to sleep with somebody, and I used to be fortunate to have frolicked with Bowie, Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger amongst others.’

Some of the alleged abuse took place in Dylan’s apartment in the bohemian Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan where at the time he was writing songs for his 1966 album Blonde On Blonde

Some of the alleged abuse happened in Dylan’s condominium within the bohemian Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan the place on the time he was writing songs for his 1966 album Blonde On Blonde

Other super-groupies would not disagree. Lori Mattix was a toddler mannequin and member of a Los Angeles posse of underage ladies within the Seventies dubbed the ‘child groupies’ who wore outrageously revealing outfits and hung round rock musicians with sure intent.

She claims she misplaced her virginity to Bowie in a threesome involving one in all her girlfriends, fellow school-age groupie Sable Starr, when she was 14 and Bowie was 21. She did not have regrets both, persevering with to see the star for an additional decade.

‘I obtained to hang around with a few of the most wonderful, most stunning, most charismatic males on the planet,’ Mattix stated. ‘I went to concert events in limos with police escorts. Am I going to remorse this? No.’

Mattix says she met Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page when she was 15. She recalled Peter Grant, the band’s debauched and ‘scary as hell’ supervisor, ‘kidnapped’ her —ordering her right into a automobile and taking her to Jimmy Page’s lodge room.

Mattix says she ‘fell in love immediately’ with Page they usually had a three-year relationship. She referred to as it ‘probably the most stunning pure love I believed I might ever really feel’.

Her buddy, Sable Starr, a petite curly haired blonde dubbed the ‘Queen of the Groupies’, says she misplaced her virginity when she was 12 with the guitarist of a widely known U.S. rock band. ‘I at all times appreciated moving into hassle,’ the late Starr stated of a youth by which she was reputed to have had sexual encounters with each main male rock star of her day.

Pamela Des Barres, one other American super-groupie, obtained 5 books out of her claims that she slept with Mick Jagger, Page, Jim Morrison, Keith Moon and myriad others. She regarded herself as one thing of a musical muse and, just like the others, additionally argued that the relationships have been at all times consensual.

Nowadays, nevertheless, there’s much less sympathy for that stance with critics saying that given the large energy disparity between star and groupie, not to point out the excessive degree of expectation the latter invests within the relationship, it is by no means a free alternative.

Whatever the result of JC vs Bob Dylan, there are many individuals who consider that many within the music trade, like Hollywood, face their personal MeToo day of reckoning.