Steven Tyler has denied all allegations from a recent lawsuit accusing him of sexually assaulting a minor.
The accusations were first raised in December, in which Julia Misley – who was known as Julia Holcomb at the time – accused the Aerosmith singer of sexual assault and battery dating back to the 1970s, when she was a minor.
In the suit, she claimed that they were both involved in a sexual relationship for about three years and that the frontman convinced her mother to grant him guardianship over her when she was 16.
The lawsuit also referenced Tyler’s memoirs, in which he recalled that he “almost took a teen bride” and described how her parents “signed a paper over for me to have custody, so I wouldn’t get arrested if I took her out of state.”
It further alleged that Tyler “coerced and persuaded” Misley into believing the relationship was a “romantic love affair”, and detailed claims that he demanded she get an abortion in 1975, when she was pregnant with his child.
Now, following the accusations, the Aerosmith frontman – represented by attorney Shawn Holley – has issued 24 affirmative defences and denied all allegations.
As reported by Rolling Stone, the defences state that all claims are “barred” as the claimant gave “consent”, and added that Tyler should be granted immunity as he was “caretaker and/or guardian” at the time.
It also stated that Misley “has not suffered any injury or damage as a result of any action by Defendant,” and that the conduct – presumably referring to his memoirs – is protected under the first amendment.
Tyler also stated that the statute of limitations has expired on the allegations. However, the suit was filed during California’s Child Victims Act: a 2019 legislation that allowed victims of childhood sexual assault to come forward regardless of the statute of limitations.
Following Tyler’s response to the accusations, attorney Jeff Anderson issued a statement that accused the musician of “gaslighting” Misely:
“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,” he said. “Never have we encountered a legal defence 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.”
Tyler has yet to issue a comment in response to Anderson’s statement.