Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler is denying allegations that he sexually assaulted a minor in the 1970s.
In his first response to the lawsuit, attorneys for Tyler denied all of the accusations from Julia Holcomb, who sued in December over allegations that she was the person referenced in the singer’s memoir as almost his “teen bride.”
The response, a filing called an “answer” that is the standard first step for a defendant in any lawsuit, listed a wide range of possible defenses Tyler might employ. They included that Holcomb had consented to Tyler’s alleged conduct, or that he was immunized from her claims since he had been granted legal custody over her.
Tyler’s new filing elicited a strongly-worded response from Holcomb’s lawyers, taking particular offense at the claims about consent and custody.
“Never have we encountered a legal defense as obnoxious and potentially dangerous as the one that Tyler and his lawyers launched this week,” attorney Jeff Anderson wrote in a press release responding to the filing. “We hope Tyler’s mean-spirited gaslighting will backfire on him.”
A representative for Tyler did not return a request for comment on the new filing or on Anderson’s statement.
Holcomb’s allegations against Tyler are not new. She made similar accusations in a 2011 article published by the anti-abortion website LifesiteNews, and she made the same claims in 2020 during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News.
But in December, she formalized those claims in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles court, claiming Tyler used his “power as a well-known musician and rock star” in order to “gain access to, groom, manipulate, exploit” and sexually assault her for three years starting in 1973, when she was just 16 years old.
The lawsuit repeatedly cited Tyler’s own memoir (Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?), in which he explicitly referenced a relationship with an underage girl. “She was 16, she knew how to nasty, and there wasn’t a hair on it,” Tyler wrote in the book passage that’s quoted in the lawsuit. “I was so in love I almost took a teen bride.”
The lawsuit alleges that Tyler convinced Holcomb’s parents to grant him guardianship over her — an accusation that also came with quotes from his memoir: “I went and slept at her parents’ house for a couple of nights and her parents fell in love with me, signed paper over for me to have custody, so I wouldn’t get arrested if I took her out of state.”
In technical terms, Holcomb accused Tyler of sexual battery, sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotion distress. The case was filed just days before the expiration of California’s Child Victims Act, which temporarily suspended the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits to allow for such years-old claims.
Read Tyler’s entire legal answer here: