FKA Twigs Opens Up About Shia LaBeouf Abuse: The Most Heartbreaking, Horrifying Revelations
FKA Twigs (real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett) is speaking candidly about the abuse she experienced in her previous relationship with ex Shia LaBeouf.
On Wednesday (Feb. 17), Elle published an in-depth interview that detailed her abusive relationship with the actor. In the feature, the singer spoke about specific horrifying incidents of abuse, the actor's alleged manipulative acts and how she believes she was able to ultimately survive the violent relationship.
In December 2020, FKA Twigs filed a lawsuit against LaBeouf for sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress.
Shortly after her lawsuit, LaBeouf was fired from the upcoming film Don't Worry Darling. His lawyer claimed that his client is seeking long-term inpatient treatment.
Below, see the most heartbreaking and startling revelations from FKA Twigs' Elle interview.
TRIGGER WARNING: Explicit descriptions of domestic violence
He Kept a Gun Next to Their Bed at Night
Beginning in November 2018, the actor kept a gun next to their shared bed. FKA Twigs revealed she was constantly scared to even get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, as she feared her boyfriend might mistake her for an intruder and shoot her dead.
"He had a gun by the side of the bed and was erratic. [I never knew what would] make him angry with me," she shared. She eventually sent a photo of the weapon to her manager because she thought, "If he shoots me, and then if there is some sort of investigation, they will put the pieces together. I need to leave little clues."
He Deprived Her of Sleep and Accused Her of Masturbating
Shia would often berate and argue with FKA Twigs long into the night, refusing to let her sleep. He would then wake her up and accuse her of plotting to leave him or masturbating instead of having sex with him.
"I know that you’re masturbating,” he would say, according to the singer. “You’re lying next to me. You’re disgusting—a vile woman. I’m breaking up with you." The actor would also force her to sleep naked against her will, telling her she was "holding [her] body away from him."
He Forced Her to Watch Gruesome Crime Shows Before Bed
Prior to bedtime, LaBeouf would force her to watch gruesome crime documentaries against her will. The true crime shows would consist of women being murdered, raped and dismembered.
“I would say to him, ‘I really don’t want to watch stuff like this before I go to bed. I’m sensitive, it affects me,’” she recalled. “It was so dark, and I was just like, ‘I can’t be totally immersed in this all the time.’ I was very intimidated living with him."
He Accused Her of Sleeping With Hotel Staff and Made Her Feel Disempowered in Her Ancestral Homeland
At one point during their relationship, she and LaBeouf visited Jamaica, where her paternal grandparents live. They stayed at a luxury resort, where she befriended the hotel staff. This enraged LaBeouf, who claimed he saw her “flip her hair” flirtatiously at a waiter and accused her of sleeping with him. He then demanded she avoid making eye contact when interacting with male staff.
“I’m Jamaican. These are my people. I’ve been here many times before. I’m just trying to be nice," FKA Twigs shared. “Now I realize that this is how an abuser tests your boundaries. Can he get me to look at the ground [on] my own island where I’m from? Yeah, he could. If he can get me to do that, how far can it go?”
He Forcibly Pinned Her Down When She Tried to Leave Him
In early 2019, the singer saw a therapist who helped her devise an escape plan to get away from the actor. On the day she planned to leave, LaBeouf burst in on her packing and pinned her down on a bed. She believes that he yelled at her for roughly fifteen minutes.
After an exhausting fight, she resolved to stay: "I started seeing a therapist. At that point, I had pretty severe PTSD. I was a mess.”
He Allegedly Gave Her an STD That He Attempted to Hide From Her
In 2019, FKA Twigs began to suddenly experience symptoms of a potential sexually transmitted disease. She later discovered that LaBeouf had an STD, something he never told her about. The prior year, he allegedly attempted to hide his symptoms with makeup. A test confirmed that she had the same STD he had.
She Believes It's Only Pure Luck She’s Alive Today
FKA Twigs realizes that abusive relationships don't always end well. When asked how she believes that she was able to survive, she revealed that it was likely pure luck.
"I honestly wish I could say that I found some strength and I saw this light," she admitted. "I wish I could say, ‘[It is] a testament to my strong character,’ or ‘It’s the way my mother raised me.’ It’s none of that. It’s pure luck that I’m not in that situation anymore."
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or abuse, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).