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Steven Tyler recently filed legal papers responding to an ongoing lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault against a minor in the 1970s. The music legend is one of 50 John Does included in the case filed by Julia Misley (formerly Holcomb), who began dating Tyler when she was 16 and he was 26. As further information emerges about Misley’s story, more fans are beginning to see the Aerosmith frontman in a new light. 

Julia Misley filed the lawsuit against Steven Tyler in 2022

Steven Tyler lawsuit, Steven Tyler sexual assault
Steven Tyler on Apr. 3, 2022, in Los Angeles | Phillip Faraone/WireImage

Following the temporary lifting of the statute of limitations in sexual assault cases, Misley filed a lawsuit involving 50 John Does. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, the lawsuit states that Tyler “did not meaningfully follow through on [guardianship] promises and instead continued to travel with, assault, and provide alcohol and drugs to Plaintiff.” 

Misley’s mother signed over guardianship to the musician to prevent him from being arrested for crossing state lines with the teenager. In a piece Misley wrote for Life Site News, she claimed the decision blindsided her. 

“I asked him how he had got her to do it,” Misley wrote. “He said, ‘I told her I needed them for you to enroll in school.’ I felt abandoned by my mother as well as my father and stepfather.” 

The teen lived with Tyler and frequently toured with him during their three-year relationship. She described that time in her life as chaotic, spending her time partying and doing drugs. According to Misley, she barely made it out alive. 

A fire that nearly killed Misley motivated her to leave the rocker

During their courtship, Tyler allegedly expressed his desire to have a child. Soon, Misley became pregnant, and the classic rock star proposed. While he was on tour, their apartment caught fire with Misley inside. Despite nearly dying, she and their unborn baby escaped without permanent injuries. 

However, Tyler convinced her otherwise and pushed her to get an abortion. 

“He told me that I needed to have an abortion because of the smoke damage to my lungs and the oxygen deprivation I had suffered,” Misley recalled. “I said, ‘No,’ I wanted the baby. I was five months pregnant … He spent over an hour pressing me to go ahead and have the abortion. He said that I was too young to have a baby and it would have brain damage because I had been in the fire and taken drugs.”

Despite her insistence on keeping the baby, Tyler manipulated her into having an abortion by taking away the security he provided her, she claimed.

“Finally, he gave up and said, ‘OK, you can go home to your mother’s and have the baby there,'” Misley wrote. “I began to feel like life was caving in on me. I had no health insurance or money and did not believe Steven intended to help provide for our baby or me. He had not been providing medical care for me up to that time. I believed he was abandoning me as my father and my mother had.”

She ultimately agreed to have an abortion and, despite feeling disconnected from him, stayed with Tyler for another year before moving back home. According to her lawsuit, the relationship ended after she “made a conscious decision to leave and escape the music and drug-addled world, seeking to be free from the sexualized culture created by Tyler and the industry.”

By then, he had already moved on and was dating another woman.

Tyler’s response calls Misley’s complaints ‘inadmissible’

Tyler’s recently filed paperwork argues that the complaints against him are entirely or at least partially inadmissible because Misley had consented. It also claims the Aerosmith frontman was protected from claims as her legal guardian.

According to CBS, Tyler’s attorneys argued his actions “were legitimate, justified, and in good faith.” The written response to the allegations stated the plaintiff had not “sustained any injury or loss by reason of any act or omission on the part of [Tyler]” and was, therefore, not entitled to damages.

Misley’s attorney, Jeff Anderson, responded in a statement reported by People that accused Tyler of “gaslighting.”

“He’s heaping more pain on Misley and gaslighting her by falsely claiming that she ‘consented’ and that the pain he inflicted was ‘justified and in good faith,'” the statement read. “Never have we encountered a legal defense as obnoxious and potentially dangerous as the one that Tyler and his lawyers launched this week: Their claim that legal guardianship is consent and permission for sexual abuse.”

Steven Tyler boasts about his ‘teen bride’ in his memoir


Steven Tyler Broke an Instrument in ‘Sweet Emotion’ and You Can Hear it in the Song

Steven Tyler’s 2011 memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, shows a man with no remorse over how he treated Misley. The Aerosmith singer boasts about how he “almost took a teen bride” and that “her parents fell in love with me, signed a paper over for me to have custody, so I wouldn’t get arrested if I took her out of state.” 

Though he doesn’t identify Misley by name in the book, she’s recognizable by his disturbing descriptions glorifying a relationship with an underage girl.  

“With my bad self being 26 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 case against Tyler will continue through Torrance Superior Court in California.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.