“What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in the whole of my life,” FKA twigs, whose given name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett, 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.”
In the lawsuit, Barnett, 32, recounts LaBeouf, 34, waking her up in the middle of the night and choking her; threatening to crash a car they were in unless she stated her love for him; throwing her against a car while screaming in her face; knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease; and “relentless abuse,” including assault and sexual battery.
“I’d like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency,” Barnett told the Times. She added that she plans to donate a significant portion of any monetary damages she wins to domestic violence charities.
His abuse could also be more subtle, Barnett said: LaBeouf did not like her to speak to or look at other men, forbade her from wearing clothes to bed and encouraged her to question her relationships with others in her inner circle. He also kept a loaded firearm by his bed, she said, which scared her from getting up at night because she was worried he could mistake her for an intruder and shoot her.
LaBeouf, who dated Barnett throughout 2018 and 2019, admitted to being an abusive person in an emailed statement to the Times.
“I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel,” he said. “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.”
However, when presented with the claims in the lawsuit, he also said that “many of these allegations are not true.”
Another one of LaBeouf’s ex-girlfriends, stylist Karolyn Pho, detailed some of her alleged experiences with the actor in the lawsuit filed by Barnett. On one occasion, she claims, LaBeouf pinned her to the bed and head-butted her until she bled.
LaBeouf’s tumultuous personal life has been reported on for years.
Video in 2015 showed him fighting on the street with his then-girlfriend, actor and model Mia Goth. As he walked away from the fight, he was recorded saying, “If I’d have stayed there, I would have killed her.”
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522 for the National Dating Abuse Helpline.