Aerosmith rock star Steven Tyler’s relationship history is as tragic as it is complicated — particularly the “Dream On” singer’s shocking three-and-a-half-year involvement with a teen named Julia Holcomb in the 1970s.
According to a Lifesite piece written by the rocker’s much younger ex-girlfriend back in 2011, she and Tyler reportedly first met backstage at an Aerosmith concert in Portland, Ore. in 1973. At the time, the frontman was in his late 20s, while she was just 16 years old.
As Holcomb claimed, Tyler was so taken with her that he asked her mother to sign over legal guardianship to him, which would allow the minor to join the “Walk This Way” band on the road. “I became lost in a rock and roll culture. In Steven’s world it was sex, drugs, and rock and roll,” she wrote, adding, “I didn’t know it yet, but I would barely make it out alive.”
Three years later, Holcomb became pregnant with Tyler’s child, and while the former couple initially planned to marry, the rock star had a change of heart. Fueled by his reported doubts about impending fatherhood, he allegedly pressured Holcomb into getting an abortion. “His guardianship of me complicated things further,” she wrote, explaining that she eventually agreed to having the procedure. “I was subordinate to him as in a parent relationship and felt I had little control over my life.”
“Steven sat beside me in the hospital until it was over,” she continued, but noted, “When the nurse would leave the room he was snorting cocaine on the table beside my bed. He even offered some to me once, but I just turned away, sick inside.” According to Holcomb, both felt deep regret over the decision, and she returned home in early 1977. Now an anti-abortion advocate, she added, “I was a broken spirit. I could not sleep at night without nightmares of the abortion and the fire. The world seemed like a dark place.”