Steven Tyler named as defendant in sexual assault lawsuit

Steen Tyler headshot
(Image credit: Tiffany Rose )

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has been officially named as a defendant in a lawsuit related to the alleged sexual assault of a minor. Julia Misley, formerly known as Julia Holcomb, is the plaintiff in the lawsuit, which includes charges of sexual assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In the lawsuit, Misley alleges that Tyler coerced and persuaded her into believing that their three-year relationship, which began in 1973, was a “romantic love affair.” Misley stated in a press release that she hoped the lawsuit would expose the corrupt nature of the entertainment industry, and hold those who have exploited and allowed exploitation to occur accountable.

Misley’s attorney, Jeff Anderson, added that the music industry has “permitted, protected, and profited from severe violence for decades. It’s time to face the music. It’s time for reckoning." 

In his 2011 memoir Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, Tyler writes about his relationship with a 16-year-old "girlfriend to be", claiming that her parents signed over custody to him so he could travel out of state with her. References to the relationship are also made in the Aerosmith biography Walk This Way, with Tyler calling it a “tricky situation all around.”

Misley's lawsuit alleges that she became pregnant in 1975 as a result of having sex with Tyler, and that he later coerced her into having an abortion.

Under the provisions of the 2019 California Child Victims Act, adult survivors of sexual abuse are given the power to take action and speak out about their experiences. A deadline for lawsuits to be filed was set for December 31 2022, and Misley's lawsuit was filed on December 29, but did not name Tyler explicitly. The singer has now been formally identified in the complaint filed by Misley at the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Tyler has not yet responded to the allegations. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.