Content warning: this article includes accounts of domestic abuse and may be distressing for some readers. Resources for support are listed at the end of this article
FKA twigs has filed a lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf, accusing the actor of ‘relentless’ abuse over the course of their relationship, including sexual battery, assault, knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease and the infliction of emotional distress.
The artist, real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett, said one of her motivations for coming forward and filing the lawsuit is to shed light on how even a critically acclaimed artist with money, a home, strong network of friends and supporters can be caught up in an abuse cycle.
“I’d like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency,” she said.
She added: “The whole time I was with him, I could have bought myself a business-flight plane ticket back to my four-story townhouse in Hackney [but did not]. He brought me so low, below myself, that the idea of leaving him and having to work myself back up just seemed impossible.”
Shia LaBeouf spoke to the New York Times about the accusations and those levelled against him by another former girlfriend who accused him of abusive behaviour.
He said: “I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behaviour made them feel. 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.”
Karolyn Pho, a stylist who also dated Shia LaBeouf, described to the New York Times an occasion were LaBeouf drunkenly pinned her to a bed and head-butted her hard enough to make her bleed.
In a separate email to the New York Times after being presented with a detailed account of the accusations against him, LeBeouf said “many of these allegations are not true” but added he owed the women “the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done.”
LeBeouf says he is a now a sober member a 12-step program and having therapy sessions. “I am not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism, but I am committed to doing what I need to do to recover, and I will forever be sorry to the people that I may have harmed along the way,” he said.
In her lawsuit, FKA Twigs says she plans to donate a significant portion of any monetary damages she is awarded to domestic violence charities.
“What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in the whole of my life. I don’t think people would ever think that it would happen to me. But I think that’s the thing. It can happen to anybody,” she said.
The UK's 24-hour free-to-call National Domestic Abuse Helpline can be contacted by dialling 0808 2000 247
The US' 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline can be contacted by dialling 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)
[Via: NY Times]
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on fTwitter