Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler wins dismissal of sexual assault lawsuit

By Thomson Reuters Feb 21, 2024 | 4:13 PM

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit accusing Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler of sexually assaulting a former teenage model twice in one day in Manhattan nearly 50 years ago.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan said Jeanne Bellino waited too long to sue the 75-year-old Tyler, who has “vehemently” denied her allegations, under a New York City law protecting victims of gender-motivated violence.

The judge said Bellino did not qualify for a two-year window to pursue claims that would otherwise extend beyond statutes of limitations, because she did not allege that Tyler’s conduct posed a “serious risk of physical injury.”

And in a ruling that could affect other cases, Kaplan said two state laws, the Child Victims Act and Adult Survivors Act, preempted Bellino’s claim, “substantially for the reasons” given by Tyler’s lawyers.

The lawyers said those laws, whose windows to sue have expired, “occupy the field regarding the revival of claims derived from state penal sexual assault law,” and Bellino showed a “lack of diligence” by not suing under the Child Victims Act.

A lawyer for Bellino did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

David Long-Daniels, a lawyer for Tyler, said: “We agree with the judge’s reasoning, and are grateful for this result on behalf of our client.”

Bellino said she was 17 in the summer of 1975 when a friend arranged for her to meet Aerosmith after a Manhattan fashion show.

She alleged that as she walked down the street with Tyler and his entourage, Tyler, then 27, forced her into a phone booth where he groped her, engaged in simulated sex and put his tongue down her throat, as others stood by laughing.

Bellino said that because she was sharing costs with the friend to ride home to Queens, she went with the entourage to the Warwick Hotel, where Tyler allegedly pinned her against a well and again assaulted her.

Tyler has also defended against a lawsuit in Los Angeles, where another woman, Julia Misley, claimed he sexually assaulted her in 1973 when she was 16 and he was 25. Bellino’s law firm has represented Misley in that case.

Tyler’s given name is Steven Tallarico. Bellino’s case is Bellino v Tallarico, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 24-00712.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)