*Trigger Warning: Abuse*
FKA twigs is suing Shia LaBeouf.
The Two Weeks singer is accusing her famous ex of a shocking amount of physical and emotional abuse, including sexual battery and assault, over the course of their less than one year relationship.
One alleged key incident occurred after Valentine’s Day in 2019 when the couple were returning home to LA from a trip to the desert. FKA, whose real name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett, says Shia removed his seatbelt and threatened to crash the car if she didn’t declare her love for him. She begged to be let out of the car, and he eventually pulled over at a gas station. She says she immediately hauled her bags out of the trunk, not intending to get back into the car with him; in response, she claims the Transformers star threw her against the car, screaming at her all the while, finally forcing her back into the car to finish the terrifying trip.
Video: Remember When Shia Said He ‘Would Have Killed’ Girlfriend Mia Goth In 2015
FKA also alleges Shia knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease and kept her in a state of fear their entire relationship. She says she was not allowed to wear clothing to bed. She had rules about how often she had to kiss and touch him. He allegedly wouldn’t let her sleep if he wanted to fight about something, like an artist she liked and he didn’t.
She says Shia kept a loaded gun by their bedside and that he was so ready to use it she was too petrified to get up and use the restroom in the middle of the night because she thought he would mistake her for an intruder and shoot her to death.
Shia would regularly grab and squeeze FKA violently, she claims, hard enough to bruise. She chose not to go to the police with these accusations because she wanted to protect him and his career. At first anyway. Later she just thought she wouldn’t be believed.
As their relationship went on, she says Shia worked to isolate her from those around her, telling her she couldn’t trust her creative team — and it worked. As she told The New York Times:
“I’d like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency.”
And she isn’t alone.
Another ex of Shia’s, stylist Karolyn Pho, added her experiences of abuse to the lawsuit. She says Shia once “drunkenly pinned her to a bed and head-butted her.”
Both women describe the same controlling behavior. For instance, they claim they were not allowed to look at male waiters in restaurants, or else they might awaken Shia’s wrath. FKA says over the course of their relationship she learned to keep her eyes down whenever men would speak to her.
What does Shia have to say about these damning accusations? In an email response to the Times, he writes only:
“I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel. 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.”
Wow. “Abusive to myself.” He really just put himself first there. Also… he’s completely just confirming all of this??
Well, not exactly. In a separate email, after taking time to review the lawsuit and interviews, he wrote back that “many of these allegations are not true” but that he felt he owed his exes “the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done.”
Anyone else feel like the second response was through the filter of a PR team??
He continued with the victim card though, noting that he was “a sober member of a 12-step program” and in therapy. He admitted:
“I am not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism, but I am committed to doing what I need to do to recover, and I will forever be sorry to the people that I may have harmed along the way.”
This could be mistaken for an apology, but we can’t help but note all the excuses there — it seems to us bringing up his PTSD and alcoholism is actually removing the accountability here. He’s implying he can’t help it.
But we’ll give the final word here to FKA. She told the Times she isn’t interested in money from Shia, just to let other women know what he’s capable of — and that this type of abuse is universal:
“What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in the whole of my life. 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.”
Powerful. We’ll keep you up to date on how the lawsuit goes — and whether Shia comes out with a completely different statement to distract everyone next. Like maybe a bag on his head that says “I am not an abuser”?
[Image via WENN/Avalon.]
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