In a previous post, we discussed seven instances where predators or their enablers blamed survivors (or their parents) for child sexual abuse.
But we didn’t talk about the cause. Why are predators and others so quick to deflect blame from themselves and minimize the pain of the people they hurt?
It’s clear: sheer narcissism.
Narcissism is not unique to child sex predators—narcissists inhabit every area of our communities and workplaces. But the child sex predator gives us a unique case study into what makes a narcissist tick.
When the predator is also a rich and famous rockstar—without information gatekeepers and the money to pay people to obey orders—that narcissism goes full throttle. Case in point: Aerosmith front man—and accused child sex predator—Steven Tyler.
Tyler’s actions are a case study in predatory narcissism, especially in how he and his lawyers have addressed Julia Misley’s child sexual abuse lawsuit—including allegations that Tyler himself affirmed in his memoir.
Let’s dive a little deeper into some of the traits of a narcissist and how Steven Tyler continues to fit the bill:
Inflated Sense of Self-Importance
This is the trademark of the narcissist. In fact, when Tyler was sued for child sexual abuse and intentional infliction of emotional distress for outing our client Julia Misley and detailing everything he did to her, Tyler ordered his lawyers to fight. Tyler’s argument:
Tyler said his memoirs serve as “a vessel to share his own experiences from his “newsworthy life.” He also claimed in court documents that his memoirs were “public and protected speech” and a “matter of public interest.”
Interpersonally Exploitative for Their Own Gain
In order to gain access to our client, Tyler manipulated Julia Misley’s mother into granting him guardianship over the 16-year-old. The only way that Tyler could have tricked our client’s mother is through coercion and sheer exploitation for personal gain. He did not want to be Julia’s guardian. He wanted her to be isolated, giving him more power. To this day, his hubris and manipulation continue to hurt and negatively impact others.
Entitlement: “Rules Don’t Apply to Me””
In court documents, Tyler claims that the guardianship meant that the teenager gave consent for the abuse.
Lack of Empathy or Understanding of Other People’s Feelings
In response to the lawsuit, Tyler (through his lawyers) produced an affidavit claiming that he “I never intended anything
that was said in either of those books to cause Julia Misley any emotional distress.” In a statement in response to this, Jeff Anderson said, “Steven Tyler also signed an affidavit saying that he didn’t intend to harm her, and he auctioned his memoir for millions of dollars. That assertion is absurd. That is like putting a stake in her heart and saying he didn’t intend for her to bleed out.”
Here’s what he wrote about her in his memoir:
“She was sixteen, she knew how to nasty, and there wasn’t a hair on it,” Tyler wrote in his memoir before saying he became the girl’s guardian to avoid getting arrested if he took her out of state before detailing their sexual endeavors a few pages later. “With my bad self being twenty-six and she barely old enough to drive and sexy as hell, I just fell madly in love with her. She was a cute skinny little tomboy dressed up as Little Bo Peep. She was my heart’s desire, my partner in crimes of passion.”
Tyler was 26 years old and her legal guardian at the time. He did not seek her permission or input about the memoirs.
As the case unfolds, Tyler has some choices to make: acknowledge and be accountable for what he did to Julie Misley and come clean…or continue on his current self-destructive narcissistic path. We will keep you posted.