Aerosmith's Steven Tyler Sued for Alleged Sexual Assault of a Minor

Julia Holcomb has accused the singer of sexual assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, dating back to 1973

Photo: Gage Skidmore

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Dec 30, 2022

A woman who claims to have had an illicit sexual relationship with Aerosmith bandleader Steven Tyler in the '70s has filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and battery, as well as the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

According to the court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, he is not named in the suit and referred to only as "Doe 1" among 50 defendants, but plaintiff Julia Holcomb has spoken publicly about her relationship with Tyler in the past. The filing, which follows California legislation that has temporarily waived statutes of limitations for allegations of childhood sexual abuse, also quotes directly from the musician's memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

The following article contains potentially triggering material relating to sexual assault and violence. If you believe you have experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct and are looking for support, consult the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime to find resources in your area.

Holcomb alleges that Tyler convinced her mother to grant him legal guardianship over the plaintiff when she was 16, thus allowing her to live with him and engage in a sexual relationship.

In the book, the singer likewise says he "almost took a teen bride" and claims "her parents fell in love with me, signed a paper over for me to have custody, so I wouldn't get arrested if I took her out of state. I took her on tour with me." The plaintiff argues that being mentioned in the memoir's acknowledgements (which include "Julia Halcomb," a potential misspelling of her name) further removed her anonymity.

Holcomb claims that she and Tyler met in 1973 after Aerosmith played a concert in Portland, OR, and were together until about three years after. Tyler, who was 25 at the time, allegedly took her back to his hotel room and "performed various acts of criminal sexual conduct upon" her ahead of sending the teenager home in a taxi the next morning.

The plaintiff further alleges that she was pregnant with the musician's son in 1975, but got an abortion at his insistence after an apartment fire. Tyler reportedly argued that lack of oxygen and smoke inhalation would have harmed the fetus, although the lawsuit claims that a medical professional told Holcomb that her unborn child had not been harmed.

"She was sixteen, she knew how to nasty, and there wasn't a hair on it," Tyler wrote in his memoir [via Rolling Stone], sharing that he had become the girl's guardian so he wouldn't get arrested for taking her out of state. "With my bad self being twenty-six and she barely old enough to drive and sexy as hell, I just fell madly in love with her. She was a cute skinny little tomboy dressed up as Little Bo Peep. She was my heart's desire, my partner in crimes of passion."

Holcomb allegedly left Tyler after the abortion, returning to Portland and becoming a devout Catholic, burying her experiences with the rockstar until he published his book in 2011. She then went on to detail many of these allegations in public forums, such as far-right anti-abortion website Lifesitenews, appearing on Tucker Carlson's show to share her story as an example against pro-choice advocacy, and in a 2021 documentary on sexual abuse in rock culture, Look Away.

The lawsuit comes in the final days of California's Child Victims Act — the 2019 legislation that granted survivors of childhood sexual abuse a three-year lookback period to come forward with their allegations.

"I want this action to expose an industry that protects celebrity offenders, to cleanse and hold accountable an industry that both exploited and allowed me to be exploited for years, along with so many other naïve and vulnerable kids and adults," Holcomb said in a statement on her filing, referring to the legislation allowing her to come forward with the "exploitation" and trauma she claims Tyler (whom she explicitly names this time) put her through.

The statement continued, "Because I know that I am not the only one who suffered abuse in the music industry, I feel it is time for me to take this stand and bring this action, to speak up and stand in solidarity with the other survivors."

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