FKA twigs sues ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf, accuses him of 'relentless abuse'
Musician FKA twigs is suing Shia LaBeouf, her former boyfriend, accusing the actor of "relentless abuse" during their relationship including sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress.
In the lawsuit, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, FKA twigs (born Tahliah Debrett Barnett) alleges that LaBeouf, among other incidents, physically assaulted her numerous times, knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease, and once threatened to crash a car with her in it unless she told him she loved him. She accuses the Transformers actor of inflicting physical, emotional, and mental abuse throughout their relationship, which began in 2018 and lasted just under a year.
Another former girlfriend of LaBeouf's, stylist Karolyn Pho, also accused him of abuse in the lawsuit, claiming he once drunkenly pinned her to a bed and head-butted her enough that she began bleeding.
Representatives for LaBeouf did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment. However, in an email to The New York Times, which first reported the news, LaBeouf wrote that "many of these allegations are not true," while adding that he owed his accusers “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 a separate email to the Times. “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.”
FKA twigs' attorney Bryan Freedman said in a statement to EW, “Shia LaBoeuf has abused Ms. Barnett, Ms. Pho, and others. We tried to resolve this matter privately on the condition that Mr. LaBeouf agree to receive meaningful and consistent psychological treatment. Since he was unwilling to agree to get appropriate help, Ms. Barnett filed this suit to prevent others from unknowingly suffering similar abuse by him.”
“What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in the whole of my life,” FKA twigs told the Times in an interview. “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.”
The musician met LaBeouf while making the 2018 film Honey Boy, a fictionalized account of the actor's troubled childhood and personal issues which he wrote. FKA twigs acted in the film alongside LaBeouf, who played a character based on his father, and the two began dating after the film wrapped.
LaBeouf, who has been diagnosed with PTSD and alcoholism, has had repeated legal issues in the past. In September, he was charged with misdemeanor battery and petty theft in Los Angeles, and he has been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct multiple times. A 2015 video also showed him arguing with his then-girlfriend Mia Goth, telling her, “This is the kind of thing that makes a person abusive.” After leaving the site of the argument, LaBeouf can be seen in the video saying, "If I’d have stayed there, I would’ve killed her."