A woman has filed a lawsuit against Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler, alleging sexual assault, coercion of an abortion and involuntary infamy in the 1970s when she was a minor and he was in his mid-20s.
Attorneys for Julia Misley, formerly known as Julia Holcomb, filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in Los Angeles County. The suit was filed under the California Child Victims Act, which allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file civil cases. The three-year “lookback” window ends Saturday.
In a statement, Misley said the change in the law encouraged her to take legal action.
“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,” Misley said in a statement.
According to the lawsuit, Misley first met Tyler, referred to as Defendant Doe 1 in the lawsuit, in 1973 after Tyler performed a concert in Portland, Oregon. At the time, Misley was 16 and Tyler was 25.
The lawsuit alleges that Tyler, now 74, took Misley to his hotel room and “performed various acts of criminal sexual conduct” upon her that night.
The lawsuit alleges, Tyler purchased a plane ticket for Misley to join him in Seattle for the band’s next show. The lawsuit alleges Misley was also abused after that show.
According to the lawsuit, in 1974, Tyler convinced Misley’s mother to “sign over the guardianship of her daughter to him.” Tyler made promises to the mother that he would enroll her in school, help support her and help provide her with better medical care than her mother could provide, according to the lawsuit.
“Defendant Doe 1 did not meaningfully follow through on these promises and instead continued to travel with, assault and provide alcohol and drugs to plaintiff,” the lawsuit alleges.
The suit also alleges that Tyler impregnated Misley and coerced her to have an abortion.
“DEFENDANT DOE 1 (Tyler) pressured and coerced Plaintiff to have an abortion by threatening that he would send her back to her family and cease to support and love her,” according to the lawsuit. “Plaintiff relented and the abortion was performed,” the suit added.
“The complaint that has been prepared by my legal team recites in legal terms the trajectory of my life from early struggles to exploitation by Steven Tyler, the music industry, my escape from that world, my recovery and transformation, my restoration of spirit through faith, the building of a family and the rebuilding of my life,” Misley said in a statement.
The lawsuit further alleges that Tyler has “intentionally publicized the acts he perpetrated” on Misley through multiple books that were published describing the assaults.
In a 2011 memoir, “Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?” Tyler writes about being so in love he “almost took a teen bride” whom the book does not identify.
“I went and slept at her parents’ house for a couple of nights and her parents fell in love with me, signed papers 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,” he wrote.
Tyler’s accuser said the publications retraumatized her and her family.
“I am grateful for this new opportunity to take action and be heard,” Misley said in a statement.