December 2, 2023

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Bob Dylan’s Legal Team Seeking Penalties Against Lawyers Behind Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Bob Dylan’s legal team is seeking “monetary sanctions” against the lawyers who filed a lawsuit that alleged Dylan sexually abused a 12-year-old girl in 1965, Billboard reports and Pitchfork can confirm. Dylan’s lead attorney Orin Snyder wrote in a letter to a federal judge that the attorneys, Daniel W. Isaacs and Peter J. Gleason, “should not have brought this action—accusing [Bob Dylan] of a heinous crime—if they did not intend to responsibly litigate it.”

The lawsuit was filed last year by a woman identified as J.C. She alleged that Dylan abused her in his room at the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan when he was 23 or 24 years old. After the suit was filed, a spokesperson for Dylan called J.C.’s claims “untrue.” The lawsuit was dropped earlier this summer.

Shortly before the lawsuit was dropped, Dylan’s attorneys accused J.C. of destroying evidence after she failed to turn over emails and text messages by a court-ordered deadline. J.C.’s legal team members had also notified the judge that they had been discharged by the plaintiff as her attorneys. (In his letter, Orin Snyder pushed back against the assertion “that Plaintiff had voluntarily ‘discharged’ her counsel.”)

In addition, after the lawsuit’s initial filing, a debate surfaced about whether or not Dylan was in New York during the timeframe of the alleged abuse. J.C. later filed an updated version of the lawsuit, claiming the abuse took place during “several months in the spring of 1965.”

In his letter to the judge, Snyder wrote, “This is a paradigm case for sanctions to address counsel’s brazen discovery misconduct.” He also wrote that “counsel flouted their discovery obligations for months and ignored warnings from the Court about their failure to produce documents.”

Snyder added, “Mr. Isaacs and Mr. Gleason failed to produce documents they should have possessed and reviewed before ever bringing this lawsuit in the first place. As we said in open court last week, many of the documents we have seen, including scores of emails between Plaintiff and key third parties whom counsel apparently never even bothered to interview, undermine and contradict Plaintiff’s allegations.”

Daniel W. Isaacs, according to Billboard, wrote in a response letter that the lawsuit was “brought in good faith and with the intent of responsibility litigating the matter.” He reportedly added, “At no point did either Mr. Gleason or I willfully withhold discovery or engage in discovery misconduct.”

Pitchfork has reached out Daniel W. Isaacs and Peter J. Gleason for comment and more information.

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