Judge Tosses Sexual Assault Suit Against Steven Tyler

Ruling says New York City law on old accusations doesn't apply to this case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2023 9:32 AM CDT
Updated Feb 23, 2024 1:25 PM CST
Former Teen Model Says Steven Tyler Sexually Assaulted Her
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith performs during night one of their "Peace Out: The Farewell Tour" on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.   (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
UPDATE Feb 23, 2024 1:25 PM CST

Steven Tyler's accuser waited too long to bring a sexual assault lawsuit against the Aerosmith lead singer, a federal judge has ruled in dismissing the case. US District Judge Lewis Kaplan decided Wednesday that Jeanne Bellino's filing does not meet the conditions of the New York City law that allows abuse claims to be brought years later, People reports. Kaplan said the extended window only applies in cases in which the accused person's actions constitute a "serious risk of physical injury." Bellino is contesting the ruling.

Nov 3, 2023 9:32 AM CDT

A former teen model filed a lawsuit against Steven Tyler on Thursday, alleging that the Aerosmith frontman sexually assaulted her in the summer of 1975, when she was 17 and he was a decade older. In the lawsuit filed in New York, Jeanne Bellino says Tyler assaulted her twice in the same day, leaving her with "physical, psychological, and emotional injuries," Rolling Stone reports. She says a friend arranged for her to meet Aerosmith after she worked a fashion show in New York City—and while they were walking down Sixth Avenue with the singer and his entourage, he trapped her in a phone booth and assaulted her after becoming "visibly irritated" by a remark she made about a song lyric.

The lawsuit states that witnesses outside the phone booth laughed as Tyler was "mauling and groping" Bellino, "moving and removing clothing," kissing her without consent, and "pretending to have sex with her," NBC News reports. The lawsuit says she freed herself after. a struggle and ran out of the phone booth "in shock and fear." According to the lawsuit, this was Bellino's first sexual experience. The lawsuit says Bellino, "confused and shocked," continued to the Warwick Hotel because she was relying on her friend for a ride home, and Tyler assaulted her again in the hotel bar. She says the singer wanted her to go to his room but she "bolted toward the door" and a doorman "flung her" into a taxi.

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"Jeanne is now 66 years old and suffered in silence and humiliated shame for so many years, and had the courage to now tell her story," her attorney, Jeff Anderson, tells People. He describes Tyler as a "serial predator" and alleges that the music industry has covered up his behavior for decades, giving him "profit and prestige" despite knowing "that he was a peril to teenagers." Bellino is seeking unspecified damages and has requested a trial by jury. Last year, another woman filed a lawsuit saying Tyler sexually abused her for years when was a teenager in the '70s. Julia Misley said the abuse started when she was 16 and Tyler became her legal guardian so she could travel across state lines with him. (More Steven Tyler stories.)

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