In a new interview with Elle, FKA twigs spoke openly and honestly about her abusive relationship with Shia LaBeouf. Many of the details included in the interview were first alleged by singer in her civil lawsuit against LaBeouf. However, in the interview she goes into far greater detail about the abusive behavior she endured.
“I think it’s luck,” FKA twigs told Elle when asked how she survived LaBeouf’s abuse. “I honestly wish I could say that I found some strength and I saw this light. 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.”
After meeting on the set of the 2017 film Honey Boy, FKA twigs and LaBeouf began dating and eventually moved in together. twigs recounted how LaBeouf was a master of “love bombing,” wooing her with an overaggressive “charm offensive.” “It was a bit too much. It felt uncomfortable,” twigs said. “I look back now, and it feels like really aggressive love.”
LaBeouf eventually convinced twigs to move in to his home in Los Angeles. “After I moved into his house, that’s when the abuse really escalated,” she explained. “I realized then I wasn’t just dealing with a tortured person who was going through a divorce. Or that outside factors in his life [were] making him act out on me.”
The alleged abuse manifested in different ways: LaBeouf issued quotas on the number of times a day twigs was required to kiss him; he made her watch gruesome true crime documentary before bed; he required her to sleep naked; and he kept a gun by the side of their bed.
In her suit, FKA twigs shared how she was afraid to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom for fear that LaBeouf might accidentally shoot her. Speaking to Elle, she also revealed that LaBeouf would shamelessly brag about shooting stray dogs as a way to prepare for his role in the 2020 film The Tax Collector.
“I said to him, ‘That’s really bad. Why are you doing that?’” twigs recalled. “And he was like, ‘Because I take my art seriously. You’re not supporting me in my art. This is what I do. It’s different from singing. I don’t just get up on a stage and do a few moves. I’m in the character.’ He made me feel bad, like I didn’t understand what it was like to be an actor or to do this…Method [acting technique].”
FKA twigs also told Elle about a trip the then-couple took to Jamaica, where her paternal grandparents live. She said LaBeouf was angered after seeing her “flip her hair” at a waiter. “You don’t understand,” she told LaBeouf. “I’m Jamaican. These are my people. I’ve been here many times before. I’m just trying to be nice.” But LaBeouf was unconvinced, and required twigs to avoid eye contact with male servers.
On Valentine’s Day 2019, FKA twigs claims LaBeouf physically assaulted her. She says the actor drove recklessly and threatened to crash the vehicle they were in unless FKA twigs professed her love for him. After she begged to be let out of the car, she says LaBeouf pulled over at a gas station. However, after she took her bags from the trunk, LaBeouf allegedly followed and assaulted her by throwing her against the car, screaming in her face, and choking her.
A month later, FKA twigs discovered that LaBeouf had knowingly given her a sexually transmitted disease — without informing her ahead of time. Upon confronting him, FKA twigs learned that he had previously hid his symptoms with makeup.
FKA twigs was finally able to escape LaBeouf’s grips in May 2019, using the launch of her Magdalene world tour as an excuse. “If you put a frog in a boiling pot of water, that frog is going to jump out straightaway. Whereas if you put a frog in cool water and heat it up slowly, that frog is going to boil to death. That was my experience being with [LaBeouf].”
Prior to filing her civil suit against LaBeouf, FKA twigs attempted to settle matters privately. She had three conditions: that he (1) Seek meaningful and consistent professional help to address his issues around abuse; (2) Donate money to an abused women’s shelter; and (3) Admit he had given twigs an STD and promise transparency around his sexual health status to future sexual partners.” But negotiations ultimately stalled, and twigs decided to go public with the lawsuit.
Now, FKA twigs says “I have my life back. I can work as late as I want. I can see my friends.” She revealed that she’s currently working on a new album with producer El Guincho. She describes it as a “going out” album, “made for the return to dance floors, post-vaccine,” and it includes collaborations with Dua Lipa, Rema, and Pa Salieu.
For his part, LaBeouf initially admitted to being “abusive to myself and everyone around me for years.” In a statement to the New York Times earlier this year, he added, “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.” LaBeouf subsequently took a hiatus from acting and entered an in-patient treatment facility to address addiction and psychological issues.
However, in a declaration responding to FKA twigs’ lawsuit, lawyers for LaBeouf claimed his alleged conduct was “reasonably necessary for his self-defense and/or safety.” The striking argument, which was filed in a Los Angeles court on February 5th, also denies that FKA twigs “sustained any injury or loss by reason of any act or omission” because of LaBeouf. Instead, his lawyers claim that the singer’s “own conduct” and/or that of an “intervening third party” was a “superseding cause of the alleged injuries” inflicted on her.