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Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler accused of sexually assaulting a minor in new lawsuit

Steven Tyler  in Los Angeles in 2019
Steven Tyler in Los Angeles in 2019 Copyright Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Copyright Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
By Katy Dartford
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Alleged former girlfriend Julia Holcomb claims Tyler assaulted her when she was 16 years old.


Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor in the mid-1970s by an alleged former girlfriend.

In a lawsuit obtained by Rolling Stone, Julia Holcomb claims that Tyler abused her when she was just 16 years old. 

Holcomb accuses him of sexual assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit alleges that Tyler convinced Holcomb’s mother to give him guardianship over her when she was 16, allowing her to live with him and engage in a sexual relationship. It says they were together from 1973 until about three years later.

The lawsuit doesn’t name Tyler, identifying him as 'Defendant Doe,' but directly quotes from the singer’s memoir, 'Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?' 

In it, he writes how he “almost took a teen bride” and that her parents “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.”

Amy Harris/2018 Invision
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Saturday, May 5, 2018Amy Harris/2018 Invision

Holcomb claimed in the suit that she was “powerless to resist” Tyler’s “power, fame, and substantial financial ability.”

She also alleges that Tyler “coerced and persuaded” her into believing that they were having a “romantic love affair.”

Holcomb says she met Tyler, who would’ve been 25 at the time, at an Aerosmith gig in Portland, Oregon, in 1973. 

According to the suit, the singer took Holcomb back to his hotel room, where they discussed Holcomb’s age before he performed “various acts of criminal sexual conduct upon her."

Despite the guardianship requiring him to provide her with adequate medical care, the suit claims that Tyler “did not meaningfully follow through on these promises and instead continued to travel with, assault and provide alcohol and drugs to Plaintiff.”

Holcomb also claimed that the relationship resulted in a pregnancy in 1975 when she was 17; however, she got an abortion at Tyler’s insistence following an apartment fire.

According to Rolling Stone, following the abortion, Holcomb allegedly left Tyler and went back to Portland to change her life, burying her previous experiences with Tyler until he wrote about them in his book.

“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.”

The lawsuit isn’t the first time Holcomb has shared these details about her alleged experience with Tyler.


In a 2011 essay for an anti-abortion website, Holcomb said: “I became lost in a rock and roll culture".

"In Steven’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 would barely make it out alive."

The lawsuit was filed under the California’s Child Victims Act, which created a three-year window for filing civil suit over child sexual abuse claims. The window expires on December 31.

According to California law, the victim must have been under the age of 18 when the abuse took place. 


A person convicted of sex crimes against a child is also required to register as a sex offender. Some abusers face up to life in prison, depending on the level of the abuse.

There has so far been no comment from Tyler's representatives on the allegations.

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