FKA Twigs and Shia LaBeouf: How steamy PDA ended in allegations of STDs, abuse and lawsuit

LeBeouf allegedly abused FKA Twigs physically, emotionally and mentally many times in a relationship that lasted less than a year. Her lawsuit accuses him of 'relentless abuse' and sexual battery


                            FKA Twigs and Shia LaBeouf: How steamy PDA ended in allegations of STDs, abuse and lawsuit
FKA Twigs and Shia LaBeouf (Getty Images)

Musician Tahliah Debrett Barnett, known professionally as FKA Twigs, has reportedly sued actor Shia LaBeouf in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, December 11. According to the lawsuit, the 34-year-old actor allegedly abused FKA twigs physically, emotionally and mentally many times in a relationship that lasted less than a year.

Her lawsuit accuses him of “relentless abuse”, including sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress. Speaking to the New York Times, FKA said, “I’d like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency."

According to her suit, just after Valentine’s Day in 2019, the musician was in a car along with LaBeouf (who was driving) to Los Angeles. She claimed that while he was driving recklessly, he removed his seatbelt and threatened to crash the car unless she professed her love for him. After she begged to be let out of the car, she said he pulled over at a gas station and she took her bags from the trunk.

However, LaBeouf allegedly followed and assaulted her, throwing her against the car while screaming in her face. He then forced her back in the car. According to the court documents, they were returning from the desert, and during their trip, LaBeouf had even choked her in the middle of the night.

Once the actor allegedly drunkenly pinned her to a bed and head-butted her to the point that she bled. LaBeouf would allegedly squeeze or grab her to the point of bruising. According to the lawsuit, FKA has claimed that LaBeouf knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease. 

LaBeouf responded to the New York Times about the allegations. He said, “I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel. I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. I have been abusive to myself and everyone around me for years. I have a history of hurting the people closest to me. I’m ashamed of that history and am sorry to those I hurt. There is nothing else I can really say.”

LaBeouf, in a separate email to the New York Times, wrote that “many of these allegations are not true.” But, he continued, he owed the women “the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done.”

He added that he was “a sober member of a 12-step program” and in therapy. “I am not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism," he wrote, “but I am committed to doing what I need to do to recover, and I will forever be sorry to the people that I may have harmed along the way.”

FKA said that she did not go to the police, first out of a concern about harming his career and later because she thought her account would not be taken seriously. “I just thought to myself, no one is ever going to believe me,” she said. “I’m unconventional. And I’m a person of color who is a female.”

FKA met LaBeouf in 2018 when she was cast in ‘Honey Boy’. They started dating after the movie’s production was wrapped. In her lawsuit, she said that the early days of their relationship were marked by his “over-the-top displays of affection”. Back then, when the news of them going out had initially broken, FKA had told the Daily Mail, “We’re very happy, we’re having a nice time.”

In November 2018, LaBeouf and FKA Twigs were seen holding hands and walking with their arms around each other. According to reports, LaBeouf embraced and kissed the singer as she leaned against a fence. The stars reportedly wore matching looks.

In late January 2019 — only weeks before the aforementioned car incident — however, their appearance at the Sundance Film Festival was scrutinized for being somewhat odd. According to a Page Six report, although they posed for cast photos together, the couple was weird together. “They barely interacted,” an eyewitness told Page Six. “It was strange. They would pose for cast photos but even then they stood far apart. It just seemed odd.”

In the lawsuit, FKA said that LaBeouf did not like it if she spoke to or looked at male waiters. She said that she had learned to keep her eyes down when men spoke to her. She also stated in the suit that LaBeouf had rules about how many times a day she had to kiss and touch him.

She also said that LaBeouf convinced her to stay with him in Los Angeles rather than move back to London where she lived. She claimed that he kept a loaded firearm by the bed that made her scared to use the bathroom at night in case he mistook her for an intruder and shot her. She said that he also didn’t let her wear clothing to bed. 

The musician said that she plans to donate a significant portion of any monetary damages to domestic-violence charities. “It was actually very expensive, and a massive undertaking of time and resources, to get out,” she said. “What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in the whole of my life. I don’t think people would ever think that it would happen to me. But I think that’s the thing. It can happen to anybody.”

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