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FKA Twigs sues ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf over “relentlessly” abusive relationship

By | Published on Monday 14 December 2020

FKA Twigs

FKA Twigs has sued ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf for sexual battery, assault and emotional distress, accusing the actor of berating and beating her in an abusive relationship which was, the musician claims, a “living nightmare”.

The couple dated for about a year in 2018 and 2019 after working together on the film ‘Honey Boy’. FKA Twigs, real name Tahliah Barnett, says that she agreed to move in with LaBeouf after he employed a “charm offensive”, which is, she says she now realises, “a tactic … he used on other women”.

“LaBeouf was engaging in grooming – gradually gaining Tahliah’s trust and confidence with the intent of abusing her”, the lawsuit states. “Over a course of months, LaBeouf engaged in a continuous stream of verbal and mental abuse toward Tahliah, belittling her and berating her after the slightest perceived ‘insult’ by LaBeouf. LaBeouf isolated Tahliah from her friends and family, making it so her daily existence and routine revolved around LaBeouf and only LaBeouf”.

The verbal abuse led to physical abuse, with the lawsuit describing one particularly violent incident that occurred on Valentines Day 2019. He also knowingly passed on a sexually transmitted disease, it is claimed. “Tahliah has since learned that LaBeouf has infected other unsuspecting women with his disease”, the legal filing goes on. “Simply put, LaBeouf’s reckless disregard for the health and safety of his partners makes him a danger to women everywhere”.

Having ultimately escaped from the relationship, Barnett says that she – and another of LaBeouf’s alleged victims, Karolyn Pho – urged the actor to seek mental health and substance abuse treatment, and to make a donation to a domestic violence shelter. The two women “simply wanted LaBeouf to take affirmative steps toward healing himself and, in turn, to stop his cycle of domestic violence toward his future partners and keep them from suffering the same physical, sexual, and mental abuse”.

However, she says: “In response to this peaceful overture, LaBeouf played games and downplayed the seriousness of the situation. LaBeouf’s attorney cruelly dismissed the sexually transmitted disease LaBeouf had infected Tahliah with as ‘not that bad’. LaBeouf also threatened Tahliah, claiming that he was in possession of personal text messages and other information that he could use to embarrass her”.

“In his effort to intimidate Tahliah”, the lawsuit continues, “LaBeouf engaged Tahliah’s former assistant Noelle O’Reilly into improperly providing him with private and confidential information about Tahliah. With these threats, LaBeouf clearly hoped to terrorise Tahliah into submission and keep her from taking any further action. LaBeouf’s scare tactics will not work. He has no power over Tahliah anymore”.

Barnett then adds that she has decided to go legal “to seek some measure of justice not simply for herself, but for the many other women who have been similarly abused by LaBeouf. Tahliah intends to donate a significant portion of any monies received in this action to charities dedicated to assisting victims of domestic violence”.

“Never again will another woman be forced to undergo the brutal treatment and degradation that Tahliah and others experienced at his hands”, the legal filing concludes. “This case is being brought on behalf of all those women that LaBeouf has mistreated in the past, and for all those women who will be spared his abuse in the future”.

LaBeouf responded to the allegations made against him in a statement to the New York Times, which reads: “I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behaviour made them feel. I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalisations. 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”.