FKA twigs recently joined Gayle King for a new interview in which she goes into further detail about her tumultuous relationship with, and now lawsuit against, actor Shia LaBeouf. In the lawsuit, the singer claims that he abused her mentally and physically over the course of their nine-month relationship, including strangling twigs and keeping her in a “constant state of fear.”
In a clip from the Feb. 18 conversation, twigs described the type of behavior she says LaBeouf regularly exhibited, verbally abusing her and calling the singer hurtful names.
“He often would just start having an argument with me in the middle of the night and start accusing me of doing all sorts of things [like] planning to leave him in my head,” twigs told King. “He’d wake me up to tell me I was disgusting, that I was vile.”
Over time, the continual harassment began to affect twigs emotionally and she would have misgivings about what LaBeouf said was reality.
“Nothing was ever true,” she explained. “But I would really doubt myself, you know, especially when I’d 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 was literally asleep.’ And 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,” she said. “It’s this constant availability and everything centered around them. And I think, you know, that’s why I wanted to come out and talk about this. Because the signs really are there from the beginning.”
Twigs said there was not an exact moment when she realized the relationship had gone downhill, noting that it was a combination of instances that connected to become a traumatic experience.
“There wasn’t one set moment,” she said. “It’s very subtle. That’s the thing about domestic abuse, domestic violence. It’s a really gradual step-by-step process to get somebody to a place where they lose themselves so much they accept or feel like they deserve to be treated in that way. It’s not one thing. It’s loads of tiny little things that get sewn together into a nightmare.”
Twigs also conducted an interview for the March issue of Elle that went into lengthy detail about different aspects of her life with LaBeouf, how she struggled to leave, and, finally, gained her independence.
She said that the abuse initially escalated after she moved in with him in 2018. “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. I was involved with an inherently abusive person.”
The musician also found it incongruous that LaBeouf, who had tried to present himself as a kind of Black “ally” was secretly treating her so callously.
“I’m half Black, and yet he’s being hailed as an ally of the Black community during Black Lives Matter [protests]?” Meanwhile, “I’ve woken up to him strangling me multiple times. I’ve not been able to breathe at his hands.” When she was cast in LaBeouf’s autobiographical drama “Honey Boy,” he told her that “they needed a young Black woman to balance out the white male homogeneity of the film.”
For his part, LaBeouf denied any wrongdoing in an official response to twigs’ claims on Feb. 5.
The court filing stated that LaBeouf refutes “each and every” allegation made by twigs and claims she “has not suffered any injury or damage as a result of [his] actions.” He also claims her sexual battery accusations should be dismissed because “none of the acts alleged were based on sex and/or the conduct was not sexual,” according to E! News.
Twigs told Elle that hopes that by coming forward she can help raise awareness about intimate partner violence (IPV). She said, “When I look at what happened with [LaBeouf], I think now the most frustrating thing is … a lot of the tactics the abuser will use are things that if I would’ve known I could have spotted in the first month of my relationship.”
While she admits that moving on from her trauma can be hard, she said she wants to inspire others who may be in similar circumstances to be able take control of their lives.
“It’s hard to do this publicly … but I want people to know my story. If I can’t help people through my experience, it makes my experience 10 times worse. There has to be a point to this — a reason why this happened to me. It’s not just about my [personal] recovery.”
“I know [this journey] is not going to be perfect. But I hope if I can make little steps, and people can see me taking my life back, it will inspire them. I’ve given [LaBeouf] back his dysfunction now … and everyone knows what he’s done.”