Steven Tyler's lawyers want a claim of "intentional infliction of emotional distress" struck from sexual assault of a minor lawsuit filed against him

Steven Tyler
(Image credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

Lawyers for Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler are asking that the judge presiding over the sexual assault of a minor lawsuit filed against him strike out the plaintiff's claim of 'intentional infliction of emotional distress' as the singer's recollections of the contested sexual relationship in his memoirs are protected by free speech laws.

Julia Misley (formerly Julia Holcomb) filed a lawsuit against Tyler in Los Angeles in December last year, accusing the 75-year-old singer of sexual assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, stemming from an illicit relationship between the pair in the 1970s.

Although he did not name the plaintiff in either his memoir Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? or the official Aerosmith biography Walk This Way, Tyler shares details of a thee-year relationship with an underage girl in both books: in his memoir he states that the girl’s parents “signed a paper over for me to have custody, so I wouldn’t get arrested if I took her out of state.”

The plaintiff came forward after the State of California temporarily lifted the statute of limitations, stating that her life was “shattered” following the publication of Tyler’s autobiography, which she claims described the “abusive” courtship as "a romantic, loving relationship" without her knowledge. The case is filed with Torrance Superior Court.

In previously refuting the charges made against him in the lawsuit, Tyler maintains that Misley consented to the sexual relationship, and argues that her claims should be barred “because of immunity to Defendant as caretaker/guardian.”

The new claim by his lawyers asks that Misley's intentional infliction of emotional distress claim be struck off as she should not be allowed to use his memoirs against him as “The conduct complained of arises out of statements made in Tyler’s published memoirs. Such conduct implicates Tyler’s right to free speech.” The singer's legal team argue that sections of the claim citing Tyler's memoirs make it a “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation” (SLAPP) and are barred by the First Amendment.

“Tyler’s memoirs regarding his experiences as a world-famous rockstar are indisputably newsworthy as demonstrated by the widespread attention they have garnered,” the motion reads. “Accordingly, the depth of the intrusion is minimal and clearly outweighed by Tyler’s right to recount events from his own life in his memoirs.”

The case continues.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.