Music icon Bob Dylan took a 13-year-old girl out on dates to the beach and nightclubs when he was 22, she claimed in her memoir.
Catherine James, now 71, wrote that she was just 11 when she was molested by Dylan’s nightclub owner friend, who then introduced her to the up-and-coming folk singer two years later when he played in Los Angeles.
The unearthed revelations are included in her 2007 book, which has resurfaced weeks after a 68-year-old woman filed a lawsuit accusing the folk legend of sexually abusing her when she was 12 in 1965.
James, who was abandoned by her mother while growing up in LA, claimed that Dylan would secretly pick her up from her orphanage school for dates on the beach, a visit to comedian Lenny Bruce’s home, and backstage at clubs.
Though his friend allegedly had an ‘ill fetish for schoolgirls’ and molested her, James says that Dylan never made a pass at her – though she described herself as ‘obsessed’ with the musician and relished her ‘rendezvous’ with him at the dawn of his career.
Catherine James (right) now 71, wrote in her 2007 memoir that Bob Dylan – who is nine years her senior – took her under ‘his wing’ when she was 13 years old and would allegedly pick her up from school to take her on dates
James’s memoir has resurfaced weeks after a lawsuit accused the iconic singer-songwriter of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl in 1965. He is pictured in London in June 1965
James went on to become a model, and dated rockers Jackson Browne and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. She also claims to have had an affair with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.
In her memoir she wrote that Dylan ‘took me under his wing’ and she even hitch-hiked across country to New York on his advice.
The alleged friendship between the rock star and the young girl may draw new scrutiny following the court allegations filed against Dylan last month.
The accuser, identified as J.C., alleged that ‘over a six-week period’ the singer ‘befriended and established an emotional connection’ with her and ultimately sexually abused her multiple times.
James revealed her unique alleged connection with the folk star in her 2007 memoir, Dandelion: Memoir of a Free Spirit
The lawsuit claimed that some of the alleged abuse took place at the star’s apartment in the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan, between April and May 1965.
Dylan, 80, denies the allegations. A spokesperson said: ‘The 56-year-old claim is untrue and will be vigorously defended.’
James revealed her connection with the folk star in her 2007 memoir, Dandelion: Memoir of a Free Spirit.
She did not respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment.
She wrote that after learning she had been abandoned by her mother, Dylan took an extraordinary interest in her welfare.
They were allegedly introduced by mutual friend Richard, who’d told Dylan about James’s abandonment.
James wrote that nightclub owner Richard, whose last name she omitted from the memoir, had tried to molest when she was just 11.
She described how he had an ‘ill fetish for schoolgirls’ but that they remained friends after she ‘disregarded his prior late night indiscretions’.
And she said Dylan moved in the same hip ’60s Hollywood social circle as Richard.
James, pictured with her son in an old photo, wrote that after learning she had been abandoned by her mother, Dylan took an extraordinary interest in her welfare
James went on to become a model, and dated rockers Jackson Browne (pictured left in 1970) and Jimmy Page. She also claims to have had an affair with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger (right, 1971)
‘Richard, being a club owner, knew all the up-and-coming talents. He also had an acquaintance with the relatively unknown twenty-two-year-old folk singer Bob Dylan,’ James wrote in the memoir.
‘Bob was in Los Angeles from Woodstock to play a concert in Santa Monica, and Richard asked if I’d like to go along.’
James was smitten instantly.
‘The mysterious, lanky Bob Dylan shuffled out onto the stage and mesmerized my fertile mind with The Times They Are A-Changin, Blowin’ in the Wind, and Girl from the North Country,’ the book reads.
‘Bob was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. His soft curls were longer than regulation, and his skin was smooth and pale, with just a hint of a beard.
‘After the show, we went backstage, and Bob introduced himself, holding out his long expressive hand to greet me. He had a gentle quality with a nervous edge. When I looked into his hazel green eyes I felt a new peculiar shiver, like a quiver of lightning hitting my heart.’
Dylan then urged James to join him for the afterparty at the home of Bob’s booking agent, Ben Shapiro, in the Hollywood Hills.
‘Bob asked if I would like to go with him.
‘I didn’t know it at the time, but Richard had filled him in on my weary background, so Bob took me under his wing.
James maintained that Dylan (pictured aged 22 in 1963) never made a pass at her – though she described herself as ‘obsessed’ with the musician
The lawyer of the woman who has accused Bob Dylan of sexually abusing her in 1965, said there is ‘no doubt’ her client was with the singer at the Chelsea Hotel between April and May that year. Pictured: Dylan and ex-girlfriend Joan Baez in London in April 27, 1965
The lawsuit filed against Dylan states some of the alleged abuse happened at the famed Chelsea Hotel, which was once home to musicians and artists including Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop and Joni Mitchell
‘Bob and I talked for hours in front of the glowing fireplace. He was impervious to the looming, amorous folk chicks and record executives who wanted their moment with him.
‘We talked about forgiveness, which was something I’d never even thought about, or believed I could accomplish. He told me about strength of spirit, which I knew I possessed, and the freedom of having nothing to lose. He was so right. I’d never had anything to lose. At the end of the night Bob wrote his phone number and address in Woodstock on a little piece of paper and told me I could call him collect. ‘
Smitten by the man and his music, James tried to persuade school friends to become a fan as ‘I was in love with the sweet gruff sound of Corrina Corrina, Pretty Peggy O and Baby Let Me Follow You Down. My head was full of Bob Dylan’s words, and of running away to New York City.’
After playing shows around the States, Dylan made sure James was one of his first people he visited on his visits to LA.
He even picked her up from her Vista Del Mar orphanage school.
‘The next time Bob came to town he picked me up outside the gate of the orphanage. He was waiting in a white Mustang convertible,’ she wrote.
‘Bob didn’t drive, but he had his friend Victor Maymudes behind the wheel, and we took the backseat. Of course, I didn’t have permission to leave the grounds, but barbed razor wire wouldn’t have stopped me.
‘Victor drove us to the beach, dropping us off at the Santa Monica pier. We played games on the boardwalk, and Bob popped enough balloons at the dart gallery to win me a furry stuffed Tweety Bird.
James recalled going out with Dylan another time to visit ‘revolutionary comic Lenny Bruce’ (pictured in 1962)
‘There was a funky little beach café next to the merry-go-round. We fed a couple quarters into the jukebox and took a seat in the corner.
‘Bob played ‘She Loves You’ and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ by the new group, the Beatles. He said he liked their chord changes, and played them a few times in a row.
‘Sipping my root beer to the Fab Four, and talking with Bob Dylan. I couldn’t have been in better company.
‘We discussed my precarious situation. I described how I ended up in the institution and my malevolence toward my mother. Bob said I wouldn’t be able to see it now, but one day she’d be friendless and alone.
‘I tried hard to imagine his words, but I couldn’t picture my almighty, invincible mother deflated and without an audience. He said this was my life, my gift, that I had choices and didn’t need to follow anyone’s rules.
‘It’s only life,’ he said. For a thirteen-year-old it was a bit cryptic, but I understood the essence. I was free.’
Dylan also paraded her around to his celebrity friends.
‘Another time I slipped out and went with Bob to visit the revolutionary comic Lenny Bruce.
‘Bob and I only spent a few hours at his home, but I remember Lenny as looking damp and behaving somewhat frantically. I remember Bob playing Lenny a few of his new songs, and Lenny spending most of the time spying on unsuspecting pedestrians in front of the drugstore.’
James says that the intimacy of the friendship led to her becoming smitten with Dylan, nine years her senior. However she maintained that, while happy to hang out with an underage girl, he never made sexual advances.
‘When Bob went back to Woodstock I wrote him lengthy girlish letters and called him collect for more words of enlightenment and wisdom,’ she wrote.
‘There were never any romantic overtones, at least on his part. I believe he favored me because of my extraordinary history and situation.
‘In 1963 it was still uncommon to hear about child abuse and abandonment. Kids weren’t taking drugs or running away. It was a more gentle time. I also think he liked my innocent enthusiasm and the fact that I got it. I understood what he was saying. ‘
James revealed her ‘rendezvous’ with Dylan along with truancy meant California state authorities wanted to put her into full time care.
Inspired by her hero’s advice, ‘It’s your life,’ James ran away, spending months penniless trekking to New York.
On arrival she failed to reach Dylan, who was on tour. But within a couple of years she began a serious romance with Moody Blues singer Denny Laine.
James kept her Dylan adventures relatively brief in her book. But she said her relations with Richard were much more sinister.
‘Later as a grown woman, I recognized that the relationship was hot off the steamy page of Lolita,’ she wrote.
In one disturbing passage, she recalled how he made advances when alone with her on board his 47 ft sailboat in Marina Del Rey.
After falling asleep in the two-seater, she recalled: ‘I awoke to find a disturbing rough hand inching his way up my cotton summer dress and getting way too close to my panties. I pushed his hand away. Richard blurted: ‘Don’t you understand I’m in love with you!’
Richard offered to sail to Tahiti describing it as ‘common for eleven year old girls to marry and that no one would ever find us.’
She wrote that she found the nightclub owner’s lust confusing.
‘I hadn’t had enough life experience to understand the emotion behind the words,’ James wrote. ‘I was just a kid and he was scaring me.’
James did not say whether Dylan was aware of his friend’s attempted molestation or proclivity for underage girls.
Two years later they reconnected when she learned Richard had ‘maintained an interest’ in her life by befriending her grandmother Mimi.