FKA twigs is suing her former boyfriend Shia LaBeouf over a number of disturbing allegations including sexual battery, emotional and physical abuse, the New York Times reports.
LaBeouf and FKA twigs, born Tahliah Debrett Barnett, were together for about a year between 2018 and 2019. During that time, the musician says the actor treated her in physically threatening and emotionally manipulative ways, which saw her get caught in a "cycle" of abuse that sounds absolutely terrifying. Her claims are backed by several other former girlfriends of LaBeouf, who say they received similar treatment.
One incident described in the suit includes LaBeouf threatening to crash a car unless Barnett professed her love for him. In another, LaBeouf allegedly woke her in the middle of the night to choke her. Barnett also says that LaBeouf knowingly gave her an STI.
"I'd like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency," she told the Times. She describes a pattern of textbook abusive behavior on LaBeouf's part, including isolating her away from her friends and community, and alternating between over-the-top declarations of affection and horrific verbal and physical violence.
Barnett's experiences with LaBeouf also had career implications. She and her management describe how the rollout of her long-delayed (but eventually released to mass acclaim) album Magdalene was affected by LaBeouf's actions and her resulting distress.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the suit describes how difficult it was for Barnett to extricate herself from the allegedly abusive relationship. As she tried to pack her bags and leave the couple's shared residence, LaBeouf "turned up unannounced and terrorized her," according to a statement given by the housekeeper. He allegedly locked her in a room so she was unable to leave.
When contacted by the Times, LaBeouf expressed remorse but also said many of the allegations were untrue.
"I'm not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel," he wrote in an email. "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."
According to the report, Barnett plans to donate a significant portion of any monetary damages she receives from the lawsuit to domestic violence charities.