At a time when everything seems to be going Steven Tyler’s way, a new wrinkle in an old story is creating headlines.
News about Tyler’s relationship and subsequent abortion with a young Julia Holcomb in the mid-1970s has been around for at least as long as the 2003 release of the book Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith. In the book a pseudonym was used and Holcomb was referred to as Diana Hall, but now she has come forward to tell her side of the story to LifeSiteNews.com in an article entitled “The Light of the World – the Steven Tyler and Julia Holcomb story.”
In the story, she says she met Tyler backstage at a concert in 1973, shortly after her 16th birthday. If that is true, Tyler would have been 25.
Holcomb describes her life before Tyler as one filled with trauma, saying her biological father abandoned her mother while she and her siblings were toddlers. But her mother still found a way to keep the rest of the family heading in the right direction.
“Even after the first divorce she had been a good mother, taking us to church, reading us the Bible in the morning before school, singing to us at night, and praying with us for our wandering father,” Holcomb says in the article. “She was gentle and supportive and I always knew I could go to her for help.”
She re-married a man Holcomb says was an alcoholic and that’s when Holcomb says things began to get difficult. Her brother, who was 10 at the time, and grandfather were killed in a car accident when she was 13. When her stepfather was committed to a mental hospital and her mother had an emotional breakdown, she and her sister went to live with their aunt and uncle.
Her mother divorced Holcomb’s first stepfather and the kids returned home, but she says her mother seemed wounded and disillusioned. They stopped going to church and her mother began living with another man – a man who would eventually become her second stepfather – leaving Holcomb and her sister on their own most of the time.
When her sister was 16, she left home and Holcomb said she felt like she was in the way of her mother and the man she was living with. She got in with the wrong crowd and that’s the context in which she met Tyler backstage at the concert in 1973.
Tyler petitioned her parents for guardianship and, to her surprise, they signed the papers.
“I felt abandoned by my mother as well as my father and stepfather,” she said. “Steven was really my only hope at that point.”
After getting pregnant, Holcomb said Aerosmith went on tour and she was left alone without any money or food. She still isn’t sure how it happened, but the apartment caught on fire and she and the baby barely survived. She ended up in the hospital with smoke inhalation. While there, she says Tyler tried to convince her to get an abortion when she was five-months pregnant, saying she was too young and that the baby would have brain damage because she was in a fire and took drugs. The doctor, however, had confirmed that the baby was alright.
Notably, according to Holcomb, Tyler was the one who first expressed his desire to have children with her when they were living together. He threw her birth control pills off the balcony of a hotel they were staying at, she recalls.
After she refused to have an abortion, Tyler told her to go back home to her mother. Fearing total abandonment, she relented and agreed to the abortion.
Tyler’s recollection is considerably different. In the band’s autobiography, he said “they convinced us Diana (Julia) was too young and it would never work out and would ruin our lives.” He went on to describe the horrific event.
“You go to the doctors and they put the needle in her belly and they squeeze the stuff in and you watch. And it comes out dead. I was pretty devastated. In my mind, I’m going Jesus, what have I done?”
Holcomb says Tyler, who was high on cocaine during the abortion, told her later that the baby had been born alive and allowed to die.
She returned home as a broken spirit, but things were different between her mother and second stepfather, who had a new little boy. She could see that her stepfather was trying to be a good husband and father. They began attending church as a family and when she attended a church camp, she came away with “a renewed sense of hope that God existed.”
“I found forgiveness in Jesus,” she said. “I forgave myself, I forgave my mother and stepfather, and I prayed for the grace to forgive Steven.”
She got married to a man named Joseph, they had six children and this year they will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.
She stayed silent about her days with Tyler, but she says “he has repeatedly humiliated me in print with distortions of our time together” so she wanted to set the record straight.
In spite of it all, she says she doesn’t hate Tyler. In fact, she says, “I pray for his sincere conversion of heart and hope he can find God’s grace.”
And she has an additional prayer.
“I pray that all those who have had abortions, or have participated in any way in an abortion procedure, may find in my story, not judgment or condemnation, but a renewed hope in God’s steadfast love, forgiveness and peace.”