One of Bob Dylan’s former back-up singers Carol Dennis released a statement on Tuesday confirming that she and Dylan were married from 1986 to 1992. The six-year marriage resulted in a daughter Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, now fifteen years old. The statement by Dennis was prompted by the just-released unauthorized biography on Dylan Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan (Grove Press) by British writer Howard Sounes.
Dennis took particular offense to what she felt was Sounes’ suggestion that Dylan has refused to acknowledge his daughter. The statement reads, “To portray Bob as ‘hiding his daughter’ is just malicious and ridiculous. That is something he would never do. Bob has been a wonderful, active father to Desiree.”
Dennis also called Sounes’ claim that Dylan had to tour extensively during the Nineties because of a large divorce settlement with Dennis “fictitious, irresponsible and hurtful.”
Dennis explained that the couple had mutually agreed to keep their marriage a secret to protect their daughter. Under California law Dennis and Dylan were allowed to seal their marriage certificate to avoid media attention. Dennis also left Dylan’s name off their daughter’s birth certificate to ensure privacy.
Dylan has not yet commented on the book or on Dennis’ statement. The singer, who recently won an Academy Award for the song “Things Have Changed” from the soundtrack to the motion picture The Wonder Boys, turns sixty next month. Dennis has worked as a gospel and rock vocalist and has sung back-ups for Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen.