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Shia LaBeouf’s Attorney Responds to FKA Twigs Lawsuit, Denying Assault Allegations

Elizabeth Wagmeister
·3 min read
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An attorney for Shia LaBeouf has filed an answer to the lawsuit brought his former girlfriend, FKA Twigs, in which he denies her allegations of assault.

The answer was filed on Feb. 5 by LaBeouf’s attorney, Shawn Holley. The actor is currently receiving care in an inpatient treatment facility.

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The filing is routine in civil litigation, where parties are obliged to answer within 30 days of being served. The filing states that LaBeouf, the defendant, denies “each and every allegation contained” in the complaint. It also states that her sexual battery claims are “barred in whole or in part because none of the acts alleged were based on sex and/or the conduct was not sexual.”

FKA Twigs filed a sexual battery suit in mid December, accusing LaBeouf — her ex-boyfriend and “Honey Boy” co-star — of physical abuse, assault and infliction of emotional distress during their relationship.

At the time, LaBeouf acknowledged wrongdoing, issuing a statement himself where he admitted to his alcoholism, aggression and abuse to those around him for years.

“I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel,” LaBeouf said in December. “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 is currently undergoing inpatient treatment and has been living at a facility for more than one month. His release is dependent on his recovery, and those close to the “Transformers” star have said the actor recognizes he needs help and is committed to getting care, as he’s stepped away from the industry and is hitting the pause button on his career. Earlier this week, Variety learned LaBeouf has been on hiatus with CAA for at least a month, which has been described as a mutual parting of ways, but a decision he made himself, rather than him being dropped by the Hollywood talent agency.

When contacted by Variety for comment in regards to the perfunctory denial of the complaint, an attorney FKA Twigs — born Tahliah Barnett — says LaBeouf is “gaslighting” his client.

“Upon being confronted with Ms. Barnett’s lawsuit, Mr. LaBeouf admitted his reprehensible conduct and then checked himself into some type of inpatient treatment,” the singer and actor’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, tells Variety Thursday. “To the extent his five-week treatment has been focused on denials and gaslighting, he may want to revisit the type of help he is receiving. Mr. LaBeouf’s legal tact and recovery plan, while not surprising, are poorly misguided self-help strategies.”

In response, LaBeouf’s attorney said, “As Mr. Freedman is well aware, a lawyer issuing general denials to all the allegations in a lawsuit is standard procedure in civil practice and signals nothing about Shia’s past statements or his acceptance of responsibility for things he has done wrong. Nothing has changed.”

FKA Twigs lives in the United Kingdom, and is unable to travel to the U.S. due to COVID restrictions. As a result, a trial is not expected to take place until 2022 at the earliest.

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