Last December, a woman named Julia Holcomb accused Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler of sexually assaulting her in the ’70s, when she was a minor. Now, Tyler has issued a denial of all of the allegations, Rolling Stone reports. In a statement filed last week in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Tyler claims Holcomb (now Misley) consented to their sexual relationship, which occurred when she was 16 and he was 25.
In response, Tyler also claimed he had immunity as her legal guardian at the time the allegations occurred. In the original lawsuit, Holcomb claimed that she met Tyler at a Portland Aerosmith concert in 1973, that Tyler convinced her mother to grant him guardianship over her when she was still a teenager, and that they were together for about three years.
Following Tyler’s denial, Holcomb’s attorneys put out a statement, calling Tyler’s response “astonishing, galling, and arrogant.” They also said the singer is “gaslighting” Holcomb. “Tyler’s statement is more than a weak attempt to shift blame—it is a real and dangerous public safety threat to any vulnerable child who is currently in any kind of legal guardianship,” they write. “Assuming care for a child—whether that child is 16 months or 16 years—does not and has never implied any type of consent to sexually abuse that child. To say any different is morally and legally repugnant.”