A woman who claims she had an illicit affair with Steven Tyler in the seventies when she was a minor, has filed a lawsuit against the Aerosmith singer, accusing him of sexual assault, sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit was filed following California legislation that temporarily lifts the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse allegations.
In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles and obtained by Rolling rock, plaintiff Julia Holcomb alleges that Tyler convinced Holcomb’s mother to grant him custody of her when she was 16, which allowed her to live with him and engage in a sexual relationship. She claims they were together from 1973 until about three years later. The suit itself does not name Tyler, naming the defendants as defendants Doe 1 and Does 2 through 50. But Holcomb — who Rolling rock mentioned in a 1976 profile of the band regarding Tyler’s romantic life — has gone public about her experience with Tyler in the past, and the lawsuit directly states from Tyler’s own memoirs. In his book, unnamed, Tyler similarly says he “almost took a teenage bride” and that “her parents fell in love with me, signed a paper for me to have custody, so they wouldn’t arrest me if I took her out of state. I took her with me on tour.”
“I want this action to expose an industry that protects celebrity offenders, to clean up and hold accountable an industry that exploited and allowed me to be exploited for years, along with so many other naive and vulnerable children and adults,” Holcomb told statement about her suit. In the statement, she also referred to the law that allows her to file the lawsuit and the “exploitation” and trauma she claims she suffered from Tyler. “Because I know I’m not the only one who has been abused in the music industry, I feel like it’s time to take this stand and take this action, speak out and stand in solidarity with other survivors.”
In the lawsuit, Holcomb alleges that she “was unable to resist” Tyler’s “power, reputation and substantial financial ability” and that Tyler “forced and induced Plaintiff to believe that this was a ‘romantic love relationship.’ Holcomb claims she met Tyler (who would have been 25 at the time of their meeting) shortly after her 16th birthday when Aerosmith played a concert in Portland, Oregon, in 1973. Tyler, according to the suit, took Holcomb back home to the hotel room, where they discussed Holcomb’s age. After he allegedly asked why she was out all night alone, Tyler and Holcomb talked about her problems at home. He then “performed various acts of criminal sexual conduct against her” before sending her home in a taxi the next morning, the suit states.
Tyler also allegedly bought Holcomb her own plane ticket to Aerosmith’s next show in Seattle, as she was a minor and could not legally travel with him across state lines, the lawsuit says. After the Seattle show, Tyler allegedly performed more sexual acts on her, and Holcomb flew back to Portland the next morning.
By 1974, the lawsuit alleges, Tyler convinced Holcomb’s mother to allow him to become her guardian, which would have allowed him to more easily travel with her without criminal charges — a timeline that fits with Tyler’s own comments from his 2011 memoir. Tyler reportedly told Holcomb’s mother that he would provide better support than she was getting at home, promising to enroll her in school and provide her with medical care. Tyler “did not materially follow through on these promises and instead continued to travel, assault, and provide Plaintiff with alcohol and drugs,” the lawsuit alleges.
Holcomb further claims that she was pregnant with Tyler’s son in 1975 when she was 17, but had an abortion after Tyler insisted on terminating the pregnancy after an apartment fire. In making the argument, she cited smoke inhalation and lack of oxygen to the baby. Although the suit claims a doctor told her the unborn baby was not injured by the fire.
According to the lawsuit, Holcomb was reluctant to have the abortion, but Tyler had threatened to stop supporting her if she didn’t go ahead with the procedure. After the abortion, she reportedly left Tyler and returned to Portland to turn her life around. She became a devout Catholic, met her husband, and buried her past experiences with Tyler until she wrote about them in his book.
Holcomb says in the lawsuit that her life was further disrupted by the publication of Tyler’s memoir, which, without Holcomb’s consent, referred to his time with an underage girl and subjected her to “unintentional defamation” while characterizing the alleged abuse as “romantic, loving relationship,” the suit says. Tyler has also spoken about a relationship with an underage girl in both his memoir and Aerosmith’s autobiography. Aerosmith’s autobiography, published in 1997, mentions the relationship, the apartment fire and the abortion, but Tyler refers to the girl as Diana and said she was 14 when they met. In his memoirs, however, he says he was 16 and writes about the fire but not the abortion. In the suit, Holcomb says she refers to the memoir’s acknowledgments, which further removes her anonymity. (Book credits include Julia Halcombwhich could be a misspelling of her name.)
“She was sixteen, she knew how to be ugly and she didn’t have a hair on her,” Tyler wrote in his memoir before saying he became the girl’s guardian to avoid arrest if he took her out of state before detailing their sexual trysts. a few pages later. “With my bad self being twenty-six and barely old enough to drive and hot as hell, I just fell madly in love with her. It was a cute skinny tomboy dressed as Little Bo Peep. She was my heart’s desire, my partner in crimes of passion.”
The lawsuit isn’t the first time Holcomb has shared these details about her alleged experience with Tyler. Before the complaint, she outlined many of the same allegations in 2011 for the far-right anti-abortion website Lifesitenews and appeared on programs like Tucker Carlson’s show to share her experience as anti-choice fodder. Holcomb also spoke about the experience in the 2021 documentary look away which focused on sexual abuse in rock music culture.
“I got lost in a rock and roll culture. In Stephen’s world it was sex, drugs and rock and roll, but it seemed no less chaotic than the world I left behind. I didn’t know it yet, but I was barely going to make it out alive,” Holcomb wrote in 2011. “I couldn’t believe he was even asking me to have an abortion at this stage. He spent over an hour pressuring me to go ahead and have the abortion. He said I was too young to have a baby and would have brain damage from being on fire and taking drugs. “
Holcomb’s lawsuit comes in the final days of the California Victims Act, a 2019 bill that lifted the statute of limitations and granted a three-year review period for child sexual abuse survivors to file their claims. The deadline for submitting a lawsuit is December 31, 2022.
A representative for Tyler did not immediately respond Rolling rockhis request for comment.
New York has similar legislation to the Adult Survivors Act, giving New Yorkers one year to file lawsuits for sexual harassment they allegedly suffered as adults, regardless of when the alleged incident occurred. Since taking effect last month, two women have accused the late record label Ahmet Ertegun of sexual assault in the 1980s and 1990s. California also passed legislation to lift the statute of limitations on adult sexual abuse cases for a year starting Jan. 1 2023.