Lawyers for rock star Steven Tyler asked a court Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing a teenage girl and later pressuring her into aborting their unborn baby.
Deadline reports the former Aerosmith frontman told the court that the alleged victim, Julia Holcomb Misley, consented to the relationship and did not sustain any injuries resulting from it.
Misley filed the lawsuit in December in California after the state legislature lifted the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse allegations. She accused Tyler, now 75, of sexually abusing her for about three years starting in 1973 when she was only 16 and he was an adult.
However, Tyler’s lawyers contended Tuesday that Misley has not “sustained any injury or loss by reason of any act or omission on the part of (Tyler)” and she is not entitled to any damages, according to the report.
“Plaintiff’s claims are barred in whole or in part because (Tyler’s) actions were legitimate, good-faith, justified, nondiscriminatory and/or non-retaliatory,” the attorneys wrote.
They also argued that Misley consented to the relationship and Tyler had qualified immunity because he was her legal guardian at one point, the report states.
In the lawsuit, Misley said Tyler began sexually abusing her when she was 16 years old and he was 25. She said he coerced her into aborting their unborn baby and, years later, caused her to suffer “involuntary infamy” when he wrote about her in his memoir.
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According to the case, Tyler met Misley at an Aerosmith concert in Portland, Oregon in 1973; he was 25, and she had just turned 16. After the concert, he allegedly took her back to his hotel room and performed “various acts of criminal sexual conduct upon her” even though he knew her age, she said.
Later, Tyler convinced her mother to sign over legal guardianship with the promise of providing her with medical care and schooling, the lawsuit continues. However, he “did not meaningfully follow through on these promises and instead continued to travel with, assault and provide alcohol and drugs to Plaintiff,” the lawsuit states.
Speaking about the relationship in 2011, Misley said she did not have a good home life growing up, and, with Tyler, she quickly “became lost in a rock and roll culture” full of sex and drugs, Birmingham Live reports. She said she lived and traveled with him until after she became pregnant and he pressured her into aborting their unborn baby at five months of pregnancy.
According to EuroNews, Misley did not talk about those years publicly until after Tyler wrote about her in his and Aerosmith’s memoirs. In one book, he admitted to almost taking “a teen bride” but her parents “signed a paper over for me to have custody, so I wouldn’t get arrested if I took her out of state. I took her on tour with me.”
One refers to the girl as “Diana,” but his personal memoir mentions the name Julia Halcomb, likely a misspelling of her maiden name, in the acknowledgments, Rolling Stone reports.
In the lawsuit, Misley said Tyler portrayed their relationship as “romantic” and “loving,” and, in mentioning intimate details about her life, “imposed involuntary infamy” on her.
Several years ago, Misley shared her story with the pro-life movement to help people understand the pain and regret of aborting an unborn baby.
“It was a horrible nightmare I will never forget. I was traumatized by the experience,” she shared in 2011. “My baby had one defender in life; me, and I caved in to pressure because of fear of rejection and the unknown future. I wish I could go back and be given that chance again, to say no to the abortion one last time. I wish with all my heart I could have watched that baby live his life and grow to be a man.”
Years later, Misley said she found forgiveness and healing in Christ and became a Catholic.
In a statement about the lawsuit earlier this year, her attorney Jeff Anderson said they hope the case will hold the entertainment industry accountable for allowing such abuses.
“This industry, and these defendants have permitted, protected and profited from severe violence for decades. It’s time to face the music,” Anderson said. “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.”