'Honey Boy' Director Stands With FKA Twigs Amid Shia LaBeouf Allegations
FKA twigs filed a lawsuit against LaBeouf after a turbulent relationship, followed by further accusations from Sia and another of his exes.
Warning: The following article includes a discussion of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
Update, December 18th, 2020: Honey Boy director Alma Har'el released a statement to Variety on December 17th showing support for FKA twigs (whose real name is Tahliah Barnett) amid her lawsuit against former boyfriend Shia LaBeouf. Har'el, who worked with both LaBeouf and Barnett on the film, said, in part, "I have a deep respect for FKA Twigs’ courage and resilience. Reading what she endured left me heartbroken and I stand with her in solidarity."
She added that she not only stands with Barnett but with LaBeouf's other victims, as well as all victims of domestic violence. Har'el also acknowledged her past support of LaBeouf and said that there's no excuse for violent behavior. "Like many of Shia’s collaborators and fans who battled substance abuse, suffered childhood trauma, and face mental illness, I am painfully aware of my past investment in his recovery. I want to send a clear message today that none of the above should excuse, minimize, or rationalize domestic violence," she said.
Original Post, December 14th, 2020: On December 10th, FKA twigs, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf claiming she experienced physical and emotional assault and sexual battery while in a relationship with him, which reportedly began in 2018. Now, singer Sia, who worked with LaBeouf on various music projects, is claiming he "conned [her] into an adulterous relationship" while working together.
"I’d like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency," Barnett told The New York Times on the 11th. Her suit claims "LaBeouf has sought to excuse his reprehensible actions as the eccentricities of a free-thinking "artist." Even though his history of violent behavior was well documented, many in the media have treated LaBeouf as a harmless figure of fun, which has helped enable him to perpetuate his cycle of abuse of women over the years."
LaBeouf's former girlfriend Karolyn Pho has also come forward with allegations of abuse in support of Barnett's suit. And on December 12th, Sia took to Twitter to stand with Barnett and others who fell victim to LaBeouf, writing, "I too have been hurt emotionally by Shia, a pathological liar...I believe he's very sick and have compassion for him AND his victims."
Barnett retweeted Sia's message, writing "I'm sorry...this reinforces why i had to publicly share my experience. we need to support each other." Sia then commended Barnett for coming forward with her story.
On top of the "relentless abuse" Barnett alleges she went through during their year-long relationship, she also states in her lawsuit that LaBeouf knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease.
"I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel,” LaBeouf said in response, in an email to The Times. “I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. I have been abusive to myself and everyone around me for years. 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."
He later stated that "many of these allegations are not true," however adding that he owed both Barnett and Pho, "the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done." LaBeouf wrote that he is currently "a sober member of a 12-step program" though his PTSD and alcoholism have not been "cured."
Barnett's lawsuit requests LaBeouf stand trial for his alleged actions and pay for damages.