Shia LaBeouf Claims Self-Defense in FKA twigs Abuse Lawsuit

The actor says his alleged conduct was "reasonably necessary for his self-defense and/or safety."

fka twigs shia labeouf lawsuit abuse
FKA twigs, photo by David Brendan Hall / Shia LaBeouf, photo via AP
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In December, FKA twigs filled a lawsuit against former partner Shia LaBeouf, accusing him of “relentless abuse,” including sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress. According to Page Six, lawyers for LaBeouf recently responded to the suit by making the bizarre claim that LaBeouf’s 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.

It’s a strikingly different tone than the one LaBeouf took in the immediate aftermath of FKA twigs going public with her story. At the time, the actor admitted to being “abusive to myself and everyone around me for years.” In a statement to the New York Times, 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.

In her lawsuit, FKA twigs detailed several traumatic incidents in which LaBeouf displayed aggressive and abusive behavior against her. She specifically described an incident on Valentine’s Day 2019 in which LaBeouf allegedly 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 said 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 and screaming in her face.

FKA twigs also claimed LaBeouf would squeeze or grab her to the point of bruising; became angry when she spoke to or look at other men; had rules for her about how many times a day she had to kiss and touch him; and refused to allow her to wear clothing to bed. The Grammy-nominated musician also said LaBeouf kept a loaded firearm by the bed and she was scared to use the bathroom at night “lest he mistake her for an intruder and shoot her.”

Bryan Freedman, a lawyer for FKA twigs, described LaBeouf’s recent legal maneuvers as “poorly misguided” and akin to “gaslighting.”

“Upon being confronted with Ms. Barnett’s lawsuit, Mr. LaBeouf admitted his reprehensible conduct and then checked himself into some type of inpatient treatment,” Freedman said in a statement. “To the extent his 5 week treatment has been focused on denials and gaslighting, he may want to revisit the type of help he is receiving. Mr. LaBeouf’s legal tact and recovery plan, while not surprising, are poorly misguided self help strategies.”

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