A woman known for decades as the former teen girlfriend of Steven Tyler, the Aerosmith frontman who in the mid-1970s petitioned to be her guardian so the then-16-year-old could join the 25-year-old singer on tour, has filed a civil lawsuit in California accusing him of sexual assault, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The civil lawsuit, obtained Friday by TheWrap, was filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday, one of the final days of California’s Child Victims Act, passed in 2019 to waive the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual assault. The window to file expires Saturday, the last day of 2022.
The lawsuit claims the two met after an Aerosmith show in Portland, Oregon in 1973, and discussed her age after he took her back to his hotel room where he “performed various acts of criminal sexual conduct,” then sent her home in a taxi in the morning.
Holcomb says Tyler later convinced her mother to grant him guardianship in 1974, allowing the teen to live and travel with him across state lines while they engaged in an ongoing sexual relationship. She says she was “powerless to resist … Tyler’s power, fame and substantial financial ability,” and that he “coerced and persuaded [Holcomb] into believing this was a ‘romantic love affair.'”
In 1975, when she was 17, Holcomb says she became pregnant by Tyler, who pressured her to have an abortion because she had inhaled smoke in an apartment fire and used drugs. She says in her lawsuit that she wanted to keep the child but Tyler threatened to stop supporting her if she didn’t go through with the procedure.
Representatives for Tyler did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages, including general, special, punitive and statutory damages, and a jury trial.
Holcomb, who is now 65, released a lengthy statement along with the filing, saying she wants it 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.”
Holcomb says she became a Catholic after the experience, and echoes the complaint by saying she had put the matter behind her until Tyler “retraumatized me and my family” by writing about her in his memoir.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.