FKA Twigs Said It’s a “Miracle” She’s Alive After Her Relationship With Shia LaBeouf

“It’s pure luck I’m not in that situation anymore.” 

In December 2020, The New York Times reported that musician FKA twigs had filed a lawsuit against former boyfriend and actor Shia LaBeouf. The lawsuit accused LaBeouf of “relentless abuse” ranging from sexual battery to psychological and emotional affliction. It also cited that he was fully aware of having a sexually transmitted disease but continued to engage in sexual relations with her otherwise.

Now, two months later, and exactly two years from the horrific car accident that almost took her life, twigs (whose real name is Tahliah Barnett) is opening up about her relationship with LaBeouf and the traumatic abuse she suffered. In her February 17th cover story for Elle magazine, she recalls, “It’s a miracle I came out alive.” 

The 33-year-old singer believes it’s simply luck that she’s still standing here today and able to share her story.  And hopefully doing so, will help or encourage others to share theirs as well.

“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,'” she continued. “It’s none of that. It’s pure luck that I’m not in that situation anymore.”

While the type of verbal abuse LaBeouf inflicted on twigs is evident in the court filing, it’s the emotional and mental abuse that twigs suffered in silence.

She calls it “love bombing.” The Honey Boy actor would relinquish huge amounts, AKA bombs, of love upon twigs, in hopes (or more like demands) of winning her affection back. The example she gave Elle goes: “He would send me between 10 and 20 bunches of flowers a day for 10 days. Every time I would sit down to work or watch something, the doorbell would ring, and it would be another three bunches of flowers. On the tag, each time, it would say, ‘More love,’ ‘More love,’ ‘More love.'” She went on to label this as “aggressive love.”

However, it was her moving into his Los Angeles home that catapulted LaBeouf’s actions into manipulative forms of terror and isolation.

Among the ways he manipulated her—forcing her to watch documentaries of women being violated, calling her “vile” and “disgusting,” accusing her of “withholding her body,” ordering her to sleep naked, and more—the thing that scared her the most was the gun he kept in the master bedroom, their bedroom.

“I thought to myself, ‘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,'” she said. 

Anytime twigs did try to seek out help or refuge from friends, either her embarrassment of having to retell the stories of her abuser or LaBeouf himself would get in her way. “He made me feel like I wasn’t allowed joy, basically. That’s what it boils down to: I wasn’t allowed joy unless it directly revolved around him.”

Other notable celebrities such as Sia and Olivia Wilde have also come forward standing in solidarity with twigs and  touching on their own interactions with LaBeouf.

Twigs says she is happy to have her life back and is continuing to work through her healing.

“What I went through with my abuser is, hands down, the worst thing [I’ve experienced] in the whole of my life. Recovering has been the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do,” twigs told Elle.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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