FKA twigs Details Shia LaBeouf's "Tactics" of Alleged Abuse

She says her ex-partner would accuse her of plotting to leave him in the middle of the night and pressured her to sleep naked

BY Allie GregoryPublished Feb 17, 2021

FKA twigs has come forward with new details about her experience of alleged abuse at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Shia LaBoeuf

Speaking with Gayle King for CBS This Morning, the artist born Tahliah Debrett Barnett has shared further accounts of her harrowing relationship with LaBeouf, claiming that the actor would employ tactics "that a lot of abusers use" to make her feel like she "deserved to be treated in that way."

"He would often just start having an argument with me in the middle of the night, start accusing me of doing all sorts of things, planning to leave him in my head," Barnett said. "He'd wake me up, tell me I was disgusting, that I was vile."

She continued: "But this is the thing — but I would really doubt myself. You know, especially when I'd, like, wake up and he'd be like, 'You were lying there with your eyes open, planning to leave me.' And I'd be like, 'I literally was asleep.

"Then he would only want me to sleep naked because he said if I didn't then I was keeping myself from him. It's a tactic that a lot of abusers use. It's just this, like, constant availability, and everything centred around them."

Late last year, Barnett filed a lawsuit against her former partner, accusing LaBeouf of sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress. In the suit, she claims that LaBeouf "kept a loaded firearm by the bed," which she feared he might one day use against her, and had rules about how many times a day she had to kiss and touch him, among other claims.

The actor has denied "each and every allegation" lodged against him, but has gone on hiatus from acting and checked into an inpatient facility.

In addition to her conversation with King, Barnett shared further details with Elle, and explained that she initially wanted to settle her issues with LaBeouf privately. When he wouldn't agree to her terms (below), she decided to go public with her experience. 

Throughout the course of her relationship with LaBeouf, twigs was well aware of his legal woes and, like many victims, was "sensitive to his recovery." This is partly why she originally tried to settle matters privately with LaBeouf, approaching him with her list of demands after the relationship had dissolved: He would need to (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.

After LaBeouf's refusal to compromise, Barnett said she also felt the need to come forward amid the coronavirus lockdowns in solidarity with other women who could be stuck in their homes with their own abusers. 

"It made me realize I need to come forward and talk about my experience," she said.

In December, Honey Boy director Alma Har'el shared an open letter of support for LaBeouf's alleged victims, and last month, LaBeouf's more recent Pieces of a Woman co-star Vanessa Kirby also commented on the allegations.

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