Janie’s House, a home for abused and neglected girls, opened outside of Atlanta this week. Tyler helped with the building’s interior design and participated in a “scarf cutting” Wednesday, according to CNN.
Remarkably, CNN’s article makes no mention of Tyler’s own history of misconduct with a minor. In 1975, Tyler, then 27, began dating a 16-year-old girl named Julia Holcomb, whose mother signed over her guardianship to him. She soon became pregnant, but then their relationship went south. Their apartment caught on fire, and she ended up in a hospital, during which time Tyler forced her to have an abortion. “When I returned home to my mother, I was a broken spirit,” Holcomb recounted in a 2011 essay. “I could not sleep at night without nightmares of the abortion and the fire. The world seemed like a dark place.”
For his part, Tyler contends that the couple jointly decided to abort the fetus. “It was a big crisis. It’s a major thing when you’re growing something with a woman, but they convinced us that it would never work out and would ruin our lives,” he wrote in his autobiography. He added that the experience sent him on a downward spiral of dug and alcohol abuse. Upon entering rehab in the mid-1980’s, he “found out most of women in there were battered and beaten and abused verbally and sexually in huge numbers. It was like seven out of 10, eight out of 10,” he told CNN. It inspired him to write “Janie’s Got a Gun”, Aerosmith’s 1989 single about a girl who was sexually abused by her father.
In 2015, Tyler established Janie’s Fund to help at-risk girls and the Atlanta women’s shelter is the charity’s latest initiative.