Steven Tyler was 27 when he started dating 16-year-old Julia Holcomb. Then he 'adopted' her.

In 1973, a young girl named Julia Holcomb met a very famous rockstar called Steven Tyler

Little did they know that nearly 50 years later their relationship would result in a lawsuit.

Because when they met, she was only 16, and he was in his late 20s.

At that stage, Holcomb had been through a lot in her short life.

Her biological father had abandoned her mother when Holcomb was a toddler. Holcomb's new stepfather entered the picture and had issues of his own with alcohol and mental health. When Holcomb was 13, her youngest brother died in a car accident at just 10 years old, along with her grandfather. It led to her mother having an emotional breakdown.

There was instability and trauma that ran throughout Holcomb's family life, leading her to find comfort and stability in other places. And one of those was with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler.

Shortly after her 16th birthday, Tyler and Holcomb met at a concert in Portland, Oregon. And somehow, they were 'captivated' by one another.

"At that time, I thought he was the best thing in my life. My sad, vulnerable story, as well as my youth and personal attractiveness captured his interest," Holcomb wrote in 2011.

Soon after the meeting, Holcomb's mother – who was still struggling mentally at the time – decided to sign over guardianship of Holcomb to Tyler.

"He had mentioned that he wanted guardianship papers so I could travel across state lines when he was on tour. I had told him my mother would not sign me over to him. I asked him how he had got her to do it. He said, 'I told her I needed them for you to enrol in school.' I felt abandoned by my mother. Steven was really my only hope at that point."


But Tyler had no consideration for the rules and expectations behind the guardianship and allegedly continued to have sex with Holcomb and engage in a relationship.

According to Holcomb, it had a profound impact on her wellbeing. 

"I became lost in a rock and roll culture. In Steven's world it was sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but it seemed no less chaotic than the world I left behind. I didn't know it yet, but I would barely make it out alive."

In a twist neither Holcomb or Tyler were planning, Holcomb fell pregnant. 

After a scary house fire situation while five months pregnant, Holcomb was cleared by doctors that smoke inhalation had not impacted their unborn child. It was at this point that Holcomb alleged she was pressured by Tyler to have an abortion.

She wrote: "He spent over an hour pressing me to have the abortion. He said that I was too young to have a baby. I began to feel like life was caving in on me. I had no health insurance or money and did not believe Steven intended to help provide for our baby or me. I began to cry and agreed to have the abortion. Steven was relieved and happy."

Holcomb said her abortion personally left her "traumatised", as she had felt coerced into having the procedure performed. 


After the abortion, Holcomb said she and Tyler ended things in 1977 and went their separate ways. 

"Nothing was ever the same between us after that day. I became very quiet and withdrawn after the abortion. Steven was already involved with other women at that time. The fact that he was my guardian complicated things for him because he was legally responsible for me. I was young, had dropped out of high school, and did not understand my legal rights at the time.  I felt completely powerless."

She said that Tyler "called a few times" after she left, but from that point on never heard anything again. 

Tyler's chaotic family life didn't stop there.

The story behind one of his daughters – Liv Tyler – discovering who her biological father was, is just as complex.

The American actress and model, who is the only daughter of former Playboy Playmate Bebe Buell, grew up believing that musician Todd Rundgren was her father.

Although Bebe and Todd ended their relationship before Liz was born, Rundgren signed her birth certificate and acted as a father figure in her childhood. While Liv was largely raised by her mother and grandmother, she would visit Rundgren three times a year. He also paid for her private education.

At eight years old, however, Liv began to have suspicions about her paternity. 

In the 1980s, Liv attended a concert that Rundgren was performing at. It was here that she first met Steven Tyler – her biological father. At the time of Liv's birth, the Aerosmith frontman was battling drug addiction. As a result, Buell and Rundgren "made a pact" to keep Liv's paternity a secret.


"Todd and I made a pact that he would be Liv's father and if it ever became an issue, we'd tell her at 18," Buell shared.

Although Liv didn't know about her relationship to Tyler when she first met the musician, she felt a strong connection to him.

"I didn't know who Aerosmith was. And my mum said, 'Come here, I want to introduce you to someone,' and I was watching Todd play and I was like, 'Ugh, I don't wanna come!'" she recalled, speaking to Wonderland Magazine.

"She pointed to this guy standing at the bar and I was like, 'Is that Mick Jagger's son?' And he bought me a Shirley Temple, which is grenadine and soda bubbly water with little fake plastic cherries. I fell madly in love with him. I had no idea who he was."

Watch Liv Tyler on how she discovered who her 'real' dad was. Post continues below.

Speaking to The Guardian, Liv described their first meeting as "almost spiritual".

"When you meet kin, there is an energy and sparkle between your bodies. It must be chemical somehow – DNA and genes," she said.


"I felt a connection in a very strong way when I met him as a little girl and I didn't know why at first, but I figured it out rather quickly. My mum has a diary entry or something where I wrote, 'I think Steven is my father,'" she recalled.

She also noticed that she resembled both Tyler and his daughter Mia, who is a year younger than her.

"I kind of figured it out because he looked exactly like me and I have a sister named Mia who is a year younger than me and I saw her standing at the side of the stage at a concert and it was literally like looking at my twin," she shared on The Jonathan Ross Show.

After confronting her mother, Liv learned the truth about her biological father at 11 years old. Although she held some resentment towards Buell for hiding the truth at first, she no longer holds any ill will.

"My mother was very young when she had me and there was a little bit of confusion about where I came from, but I was very loved and very well taken care of by all my family, which was wonderful," she said.

Although she began getting to know the Aerosmith frontman after he left rehab, it wasn't until 1991 that the truth about Liv's paternity became public when she changed her surname from Rundgren to Tyler.

Then, in 1993, Liv made her acting debut opposite actress Alicia Silverstone in Aerosmith's music video for 'Crazy'.

In the years since, Liv has remained close to both Rundgren and Tyler.


"Todd was my father. He completely supported me and put me through amazing private schools," she told Wonderland Magazine. "I'm so grateful to him, I have so much love for him."

Likewise, the actress has maintained a strong relationship with her biological father as well as her half-siblings, including model Mia Tyler. Tyler also fathered a daughter, Chelsea, and a son, Taj, with his former wife Teresa Barrick. 

 Chelsea Tyler, Mia Tyler, Steven Tyler, Liv Tyler and Taj Tallarico with dad Steven Tyler. Image: Getty.


Earlier this year, Steven Tyler re-entered rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. 

Reflecting on the importance of sobriety, he said to GQ: "The confusion goes away. Your friends come back. You can keep a little money in the bank. You can plan things and make them work. You get physically healthy. Once you start getting high, and you stay high, you're in a different reality. And if you live in that reality long enough, that altered reality becomes your reality. And then when you're sober, you find out that was a false reality." 

As for any regrets for what happened between him and Julia Holcomb, Tyler hasn't said much publicly on the matter.

It has been widely reported however that in an effort to make "amends" for his behaviour, he donated $500,000 from his foundation Janie's Fund to build a safe haven called Janie's House. It's a facility in Memphis for girls who have been neglected or abused.

When opening the centre in 2019, Tyler said: "This does my heart and my soul good. This is real."

He attributed the inspiration for the centre to spending time at a treatment facility himself. "While I was there, all the girls I met had been abused either physically, mentally, or verbally, or at least 90 per cent of them all."

Tyler faced little repercussion or much media noise over the relationship with Holcomb.

As for what Holcomb has said on it all, she recently noted that Tyler "has talked of me as a sex object without any human dignity".


"I have made a point over these long years never to speak of him, yet he has repeatedly humiliated me in print with distortions of our time together. I do not understand why he has done this. It has been very painful," she wrote.

"I came to him with nothing and I left him with nothing, except regrets. In spite of everything, I do not hate Steven Tyler."

On December 29, 2022, Holcomb filed a lawsuit against Tyler, accusing him of sexual assault of a minor, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

The suit filed in Los Angeles and obtained by Rolling Stone does not name Tyler, but both Holcomb and Tyler have been open about their relationship in the past. 

Holcomb’s suit comes just two days before the deadline in California's statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse legislation waiver that lasted for three years.

 A representative for Tyler has not yet responded to Rolling Stone's request for comment.

If this post brought up any issues for you, you can contact Drug Aware, Australia's 24hr alcohol and drug support line. You can reach them on (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024.

This story was originally published on October 26, 2022, and updated with additional information on December, 30 2022.

Feature Image: Getty.