Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler Sued for 1970s Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler Sued for 1970s Sexual Abuse of a Minor

A woman claims that the singer sexually assaulted and sexually battered her when she was a 16-year-old in 1973

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith photographed by Theo Wargo

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, May 2016 (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for M2M Construction)

Steven Tyler is being sued by a woman who alleges that the Aerosmith frontman sexually assaulted and sexually battered her when she was a minor in the 1970s, Rolling Stone reports. The lawsuit, as Rolling Stone notes, could be filed due to California’s Child Victims Act, which temporarily lifted the statute of limitations for alleged survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file complaints.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff, Julia Holcomb, alleges that she met Tyler in 1973 when she was 16 years old and he was 25. The two apparently had a relationship that lasted three years, and Holcomb now alleges that she “was powerless to resist” the singer’s “power, fame, and substantial financial ability,” and that he “coerced and persuaded Plaintiff into believing this was a ‘romantic love affair.’”

In addition to sexual assault and sexual battery, Holcomb is suing Tyler for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Steven Tyler is not specifically named in the lawsuit, but contemporaneous details align with the singer being the complaint’s defendant. For example, Julia Holcomb is named in Rolling Stone’s 1976 profile of Aerosmith, with journalist Ed McCormack writing, “Well—Julia Holcomb is always nearby, trailing in her wistfully towering way off his arm like a scarf—but Steven Tyler is wedded to his career and image 24 hours a day.” In addition, Tyler apparently wrote about a relationship with an underage girl in his 2011 memoir.

Holcomb also named Tyler in a statement she released regarding the lawsuit. “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,” she wrote. “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. I hope that from this action, we can make the music industry safer, expose the predators in it, and expose those forces in the industry that have both enabled and created a culture of permissiveness and self-protection of themselves and the celebrity offenders among them.”

Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Steven Tyler for comment and more information.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)

Crisis Text Line
SMS: Text “HELLO” or “HOLA” to 741-741


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