FKA twigs Reveals the "Massive Wake-Up Call" That Led Her to Leave ''Controlling'' Shia LaBeouf

In a new interview, FKA twigs elaborated on the claims she made in a lawsuit against her ex, Shia LaBeouf. "I just want to change the conversation and the stigma around domestic abuse," she said.

By Alyssa Morin Jan 26, 2021 1:06 AMTags
Watch: FKA Twigs Accuses Ex Shia LaBeouf of "Relentless Abuse" in Lawsuit

FKA twigs is sharing more details about her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Shia LaBeouf

A month after filing a lawsuit against the 34-year-old actor, the singer-songwriter is expanding on her claims, in which she accused Shia of "relentless abuse" during their nine-month relationship.

Speaking on the Grounded with Louis Theroux podcast on Jan. 25, FKA twigs, whose real name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett, opened up about why she decided to publicly speak out about her experience, saying, "It is something in society that's a really big problem and it's really common, but for some reason, we don't talk about it."

The "cellophane" singer described the beginning of her and Shia's romance as an "intense honeymoon period, which is a signifier of how brilliant things can be."

"It sets the benchmark for if you behave well," she continued, "and if you fulfill all of the requirements and meet the rules, and all these things of the abuser, it great."

Hollywood's Many Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct

The duo first met on the set of the actor's semi-autobiographical film Honey Boy, which they both starred in. When they started dating in 2018, FKA twigs said Shia showed "big displays of affections," a claim she also noted in her lawsuit.

She explained that it felt like the Transformers alum was "grooming" her and, therefore, "pushing of your emotional and spiritual boundaries."

However, once the "happy times" were over, she alleged that Shia became "jealous" and "controlling."


For instance, she said she noticed "little things you could do wrong that could take away from the happiness." She also claims that the most mundane things could spark a reaction from Shia.

"For me, it was being nice to a waiter or being polite to somebody that could be seen as me flirting or wanting to engage in some sort of relationship with somebody else, when I'm literally just ordering pasta," she explained. "I was told that I knew what he was like and if I loved him, I wouldn't look men in the eye. That was my reality for a good four months...that I wasn't allowed to look men in the eye."

The "Two Weeks" singer also alleged the former Disney Channel star would count how many times a day she kissed him, a claim she made in her lawsuit as well. She said Shia had a "quota" over the matter and would change it after it was met. However, FKA twigs didn't specify if the amount decreased or increased. "It was like touches or looks or kisses," she elaborated, adding, she never knew "what the right number was."

"His previous partner apparently met this number very well," she shared, without specifying who she was referring to, "so I was inadequate compared to a previous partner of his."

FKA twigs explained that if she didn't meet Shia's requirements, "He would start an argument with me, berate me for hours, make me feel like the worst person ever."

David Fisher/Shutterstock

In those moments, she described how much of a "terrible girlfriend" the actor made her feel and mentioned that he would allegedly call her exes to ask if she was a good lover.

"Any sort of pleasant day-to-day interaction could result in a three-day event of me being berated and kept awake," she recalled. "I think, for me, I started to really isolate myself. So, I stopped talking to my friends. I didn't talk to my family. I just was living a very regimented and contained life that I felt got me in the least trouble."

"I felt so controlled and I felt so confused and I felt so low, beneath myself that the fear of leaving and knowing I had all this work to do to get back to just feeling OK, it was completely overwhelming," she continued.

Furthermore, the Grammy nominee discussed the moment she got a "massive wake-up call," which helped her start healing and moving on from her relationship.

As they were driving back from a trip, FKA twigs claimed the Fury star was "threatening to crash the car unless I said I loved him."

She said he "ended up basically strangling me in public at a gas station and nobody did anything. That was a really low moment for me because I felt like I would never be believed."

Shortly after the alleged incident, the musician said she called a free helpline for women who have been abused. After feeling validated over the phone, that's when a light bulb went off, with FKA twigs saying it was a "massive wake-up call."

Watch: Inside Shia LaBeouf's Controversial History

After receiving help, the singer hopes that her story can do the same for others.

"All I can do is just think about myself when I'm 50 years old [and] I've got kids," she expressed, "I think about what I want to have stood for. This is something that was completely unexpected. I never thought something like this would happen to me...When I'm older, if I have a daughter, I want to be able to say, 'This thing happened to me. And I dealt with it.'"

As she noted, "This situation is not really about Shia anymore, and it's not really about me."

"I am doing this for something much bigger. I just want to change the conversation and the stigma around domestic abuse," she shared. "I am definitely healed to a point where I can put my experience into something positive to try and help other people. That's all I want."

"It's a big thing to heal publicly and have to do it in front of everyone," she went on, "but I can do it. I'm a big girl and I can do it."

Amanda Edwards/WireImage

At this time, Shia hasn't commented on FKA twigs' recent interview. However, his lawyer told E! News on Christmas Day that he is "actively seeking the kind of meaningful, intensive, long-term inpatient treatment that he desperately needs."

Following the lawsuit and the singer's New York Times profile, Shia issued a statement, saying he was a sober member of a 12-step program and committed to recovery.

"Although many of these allegations are not true. I am not in the position to defend any of my actions," he said at the time. "I owe these women the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done. As someone in recovery, I have to face almost daily reminders of things I did say and do when I was drinking."

"It has always been easy for me to accept responsibility when my behavior reflects poorly on myself," he continued, "but it's much harder to accept the knowledge that I may have caused great pain to others. I can't rewrite history. I can only accept it and work to be better in the future...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."

For more information on the accusations made against the actor, click here and here.

For more information on domestic abuse or to get help for yourself or someone you love, visit the website for The National Domestic Violence Hotline ( or call 1-800-799-7233.