Bob Dylan groomed a 12-year-old girl, plied her with drink and drugs then sexually abused her in the 1960s, a lawsuit has alleged.
The revered singer-songwriter, 80, is accused of befriending the youngster, named in court documents only as JC, over a six-week period between April and May of 1965.
Dylan sexually abused the girl at his apartment at New York’s famed Hotel Chelsea, according to the lawsuit, using drugs, alcohol and threats of physical violence, “leaving her emotionally scarred and psychologically damaged to this day”.
A representative for Dylan denied the claims, which were filed at Manhattan Supreme Court.
The lawsuit was filed on Friday, inside the “look back window” of a New York law allowing victims of sexual assault to lodge claims regardless of how long ago the alleged incident took place.
Dylan is guilty of carrying out “predatory, sexual and unlawful acts” against his alleged victim, according to court documents, “all of which were done intentionally by him to her without her consent”.
The alleged victim has suffered “severe mental distress, anguish, humiliation and embarrassment, as well as economic losses”, it is claimed.
The accuser, now 68, lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, the lawsuit states.
Dylan is accused of assault, battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress.
The woman is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.
A representative for Dylan told the New York Post: “This 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.”
Minnesota-born Dylan, whose real name is Robert Allen Zimmerman, has been one of the most significant figures in popular music for 60 years.
He became a celebrated voice of protest against the Vietnam War and in favour of the Civil Rights movement, with his best-known songs including Blowin’ In The Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin’.
Among his honours are Grammys, an Oscar, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Nobel Prize in Literature.