FKA Twigs Sues Shia LaBeouf Over ‘Relentless Abuse’ During Their Relationship

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Emily Tannenbaum
·3 min read
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UPDATE: February 19, 2021—Twigs has responded to LaBeouf's apology statement, calling it “gaslighting.” In an interview about the relationship, FKA Twigs told Gayle King, “It reminds me of some of the gaslighting I experienced when I was with him. This taking some of the blame, but not all of it, and then denying it.”

Gaslighting is a form of mental manipulation that makes the victim question their own judgment and experiences.

ORIGINAL STORY: December 11, 2020—FKA Twigs and Karolyn Pho have filed a lawsuit against their former boyfriend Shia LaBeouf, citing “relentless abuse” and sexual battery, according to The New York Times.

FKA Twigs, born Tahliah Debrett Barnett, per the Times, describes in the suit multiple attacks throughout her brief relationship in 2018 with LaBeouf, including allegations that her Honey Boy costar choked her. Pho, a stylist and designer who dated LaBeouf from early 2010 until late 2012, according to the Times, details in the suit a particular incident in which the actor allegedly head-butted her.

“I’d like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency,” FKA Twigs said, per the Times.

As for the alleged sexual battery claim, FKA Twigs asserts in the suit that LaBeouf knowingly passed on a sexually transmitted disease. Beyond what they say about the physical toll of the relationships, both FKA Twigs and Pho recall controlling behavior from the actor. For instance, per NYT, the suit alleges that LaBeouf “did not like it if they spoke to or looked at male waiters.”

FKA Twigs stated that LaBeouf had “rules” regarding how often she had to kiss or touch him in a day.

While claiming “many of these allegations are not true” in one email to the Times, LaBeouf said he owes FKA Twigs and Pho “the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done.”

“I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel,” he said in another email. “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.”

Though any potential damages are not specified in the NYT report, FKA Twigs says, should she prevail, she plans to donate a significant portion to domestic-violence charities. “What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in the whole of my life,” she said. “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.”

FKA Twigs also took to Twitter, writing, “It may be surprising to you to learn that i was in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. it was hard for me to process too, during and after i never thought something like this would happen to me…which is why i have decided it’s important for me to talk about it and try to help people understand that when you are under the coercive control of an abuser or in an intimate partner violent relationship leaving doesn’t feel like a safe or achievable option.”

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Originally Appeared on Glamour