Joe Scarnici/Getty Images Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler has been formally named as a defendant in a lawsuit initiated last month alleging that he sexually abused a minor in the 1970s.
A complaint filed by Julia Misley (previously known as Julia Holcomb) in Los Angeles County Superior Court under the California Child Victims Act accuses the Aerosmith frontman of sexual assault, coercion of an abortion, and involuntary infamy. Misley, now 65, alleges that Tyler, 74, used his fame and status to "groom, manipulate, exploit, [and] sexually assault" her over the course of three years, beginning when she was 16 and he was in his mid-20s.
Tyler was previously identified as Defendant Doe 1, and the court provided legal approval to name him on Wednesday. Misley is seeking an unspecified amount of compensation and a trial.
Representatives for Tyler didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
According to the complaint, which EW has reviewed, Misley met Tyler in 1973 after attending an Aerosmith concert in Oregon, where she was invited backstage and later to Tyler's hotel room. She accuses the musician of sexually abusing her that evening and of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room after Aerosmith's next concert in Seattle, where Tyler allegedly flew her out to attend. The following year, Tyler met with Misley's mother and "convinced her to sign over the guardianship of her daughter to him," assuring her of her well-being, the complaint says.
Tyler "did not meaningfully follow through on these promises and instead continued to travel with, assault and provide alcohol and drugs" to Misley, the complaint continues. Tyler is also accused of impregnating Misley and coercing her to get an abortion. Misley says she continued to suffer deep emotional harm as a result of Tyler's 2004 memoir, which recounts his relationship with a minor. (She was also named in a 1976 Rolling Stone profile of Aerosmith.)
The memoir "imposed involuntary infamy" on Misley while framing the abuse as a "romantic, loving relationship," the complaint says.
Misley said in a statement that she filed the lawsuit seeking accountability. "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," she said.
The complaint "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 continued. "I am grateful for this new opportunity to take action and be heard."
Misley's attorney Jeff Anderson added, "This industry, and these defendants have permitted, protected, and profited from severe violence for decades. It's time to face the music. It's time for reckoning… Now, adult survivors of sexual abuse can act under the [California Child Victims Act], giving voice and power to adult victims of assault."
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