Julia Holcomb: "I could not imagine a world where a tiny baby could be born alive and tossed aside as worthless without ever seeing his mother’s face."
Did Julia Holcombe, the ex-girlfriend of Steve Tyler leave a comment on this blog post? After I read the story about Steve Tyler being haunted by Julia's ['Diana Hall' as he calls her in his book] abortion, I went to St Anthony's statue in The London Oratory, and asked the saint to 'find' Julia, and give her the strength to render her testimony.
Julia has ended her three-decade long silence, and explained her side of the story. It differs significantly, in many details from that of Steven Tyler, such as the fact that her pregnancy was planned and that Julia had never been pregnant before. This is an extract from her story.
Meeting Steven Tyler
A few months before I met Steven, while I was still 15, I became friends with a girl who had access to backstage parties at concerts…. She quickly taught me to dress in revealing clothes to get noticed and use sex as a hook to try to catch a rock star. I still remember dressing to go to the Aerosmith concert, intending to get backstage with her… I went to the concert hoping to meet Steven and after the concert we met for the first time. 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.
My mother signed over guardianship of me to Steven after I had moved to Boston. I remember my surprise when Steven told me she had signed the papers and trying to take this in mentally. A sense of vulnerability came over me, knowing that I was his ward, but we were not married. He had not expressed his intentions of a long-term relationship with me. 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 enroll in school.” I felt abandoned by my mother as well as my father and stepfather. Steven was really my only hope at that point.
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.
When we first lived together I took the birth control pill. It is not true that my pregnancy with Steven was unplanned, as has been written. After some months together, Steven spoke to me of his desire to have a child. He had grown up in the New Hampshire countryside and at times he behaved like a down-to-earth farm boy. He wanted a family and he asked me if I was willing to have a child with him. I was touched by his sincerity and said yes. I wanted children, and began to believe he must truly love me since he had made himself my guardian and was asking to have children with me. He threw my birth control pills off the balcony of the hotel where we were staying, into the street far below.
Within a year I became pregnant. I had never been pregnant before, contrary to what Steven has written. At first Steven and I were both happy about the baby. I remember telling him, “I’m pregnant” and from his reaction I believed he was truly excited. He asked me to marry him a few months later and I said, “yes.” He took me to New Hampshire to tell his parents about the baby and the marriage. He asked his grandmother if he could give me her wedding ring. His parents were conflicted about the idea of Steven and I marrying. His mother was supportive of everything Steven wanted and I remember truly loving her. She was such a kind-hearted lady, with a wonderful sense of humour. His father had grave reservations because of my youth and immaturity.
His grandmother declined to give us the ring. She loved Steven but expressed concerns that if we divorced, the ring would leave the family. Things went quickly downhill from there for the two of us. When we left that night, Steven and I had a heated argument: I felt he should buy me a ring at a jeweller and we should get married anyway. He did not.
Looking back, I do not fault him for a change of heart after his parents expressed concerns. Marriage is a serious step that should not be jumped into, even when a baby is on the way. Still, I was in a bad position. I thought I loved him, I wanted to marry him, and he had asked me to marry him; now the wedding was off and I was very angry with him for not standing by me. It seemed like a cowardly change of heart after he had asked me to have a baby with him and purposefully set out to get me pregnant. For the first time I realized that I should not have been foolish enough to conceive a child outside of marriage with a man who might not be interested in a life-long relationship. His guardianship of me complicated things further. I was subordinate to him as in a parent relationship and felt I had little control over my life. I had trusted him and now was the moment of truth….
The Abortion (Julia was in hospital at the time, recovering from a fire)
The doctor left the room and Steven came in. He told me that I needed to have an abortion because of the smoke damage to my lungs and the oxygen deprivation I had suffered. I said “No,” I wanted the baby. I was five-months pregnant. I could not believe he was even asking me to have an abortion at this stage. He spent over an hour pressing me to go ahead and have the abortion. He said that I was too young to have a baby and it would have brain damage because I had been in the fire and taken drugs. I became very quiet and repeated the answer “No” more than once. I said I should not be asked to make that decision while still in the hospital. He said I had to have the abortion now. He said I was too far along to wait because it would be illegal for me to get an abortion in another week.
He sat beside my hospital bed, but we did not look at each other. I said no again. Finally he gave up and said, “OK, you can go home to your mother’s and have the baby there.” I was worn out and began to feel hopeless. My mother and stepfather would not be happy to have me return home pregnant. I believed they would also want me to have an abortion. 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. He had not been providing medical care for me up to that time. I believed he was abandoning me as my father and my mother had. I began to cry and agreed to have the abortion. Steven was relieved and happy. He reassured me that he cared for me and that after the abortion everything would be fine.
I was moved to another part of the hospital and a different doctor performed the abortion. It was a horrible nightmare I will never forget. I was traumatized by the experience. My baby had one defender in life; me, and I caved in to pressure because of fear of rejection and the unknown future. I wish I could go back and be given that chance again, to say no to the abortion one last time. I wish with all my heart I could have watched that baby live his life and grow to be a man.
The doctor did not explain what the procedure would be like. Steven watched when the doctor punctured my uterus with a large needle. Then I was taken to a room to wait for the contractions. Steven sat beside me in the hospital until it was over. 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. Steven, high on cocaine, was emotionally detached, witnessing the procedure but cut off from the normal reaction and feelings of horror you would expect. At the time I was shocked and hurt by his behaviour.
But I know now that on an unconscious level, he must have been traumatized witnessing the death of his first-born son in such a horrific and direct way. Steven watched the baby come out and he told me later, when we were in New Hampshire, that it had been born alive and allowed to die. (I was not allowed to see the baby when it was delivered.) Steven told me later that it had been a boy and that he now felt terrible guilt and a sense of dread over what he had done. I did not know that such a thing could be legal. I could not imagine a world where a tiny baby could be born alive and tossed aside as worthless without ever seeing his mother’s face.
Nothing was ever the same between us after that day, though I did not return home for over a year. I became very quiet and withdrawn after the abortion. I was grieving the loss of my baby and I could never look at Steven again without remembering what he had done to our son and me. I had just lived through a horrific fire that nearly claimed my life, but the abortion made me feel like part of me died with my baby. I felt cheated and betrayed, and angry with myself for agreeing to something that I knew was wrong. I felt deep anger and almost hatred for the doctor who performed the abortion.
Everyone around me seemed to be moving on with life, but I was carrying a wound that would not go away. 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.
I left Steven in February 1977 and returned to live with my mother and stepfather. Steven called a few times after I returned home and then I never heard from him again... Read the full story here.