Why Fka Twigs Decided To Sue Shia LaBeouf After Abuse Relationship

Elif Ozden

FKA Twigs, whose real name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett, has been in the headlines for her decision to sue Shia LaBeouf, alleging physical, mental, and emotional abuse during their romantic relationship. This story has seen developments since the lawsuit was first filed in 2020. Here are the key details to help you understand the situation.

Their Relationship Background


Barnett and LaBeouf’s paths first crossed in 2018 when she was cast in his film, ‘Honey Boy.’ Their professional collaboration transitioned into a personal one once filming wrapped up. However, over time, it became clear that their relationship was fraught with issues.

Barnett is currently suing LaBeouf for allegedly subjecting her to physical, emotional, and mental abuse during their romantic relationship. Her lawsuit against LaBeouf outlines several allegations. As reported by the New York Times in 2021, these include:

  • LaBeouf’s reckless driving in February 2019, where he allegedly threatened to crash the car unless Barnett professed her love for him.
  • An incident during a trip to the desert outside Los Angeles, where LaBeouf is claimed to have choked Barnett in her sleep.
  • At a petrol station, LaBeouf purportedly assaulted Barnett, throwing her against a car and screaming at her.
  • Rules that LaBeouf set, which included how often Barnett should show physical affection and isolating her from her peers in London.
  • Allegations that LaBeouf kept a gun by his bed, leading Barnett to fear using the bathroom at night.
  • It’s also alleged that the actor knowingly infected her with an STD, hiding his symptoms.

Twigs’s lawsuit also details LaBeouf grabbing her to the point of bruising, keeping a loaded gun on his bedside table, and trying to choke her multiple times.

Karolyn Pho, a stylist and another former girlfriend of LaBeouf, has also spoken out, detailing experiences that echo Barnett’s. Pho alleged that LaBeouf once pinned her to a bed and head-butted her while under the influence of alcohol. Both Barnett and Pho claimed that LaBeouf did not like them to speak to or look at male waiters.

Speaking to the New York Times, FKA Twigs also characterized her experience with LaBeouf as ‘the worst thing she’s ever been through in the whole of her life.’

What Was LaBeouf’s Response?


LaBeouf has publicly responded to these allegations, clarifying that while he believes many of them are not true, he respects the women’s right to voice their experiences. He then admitted:

“I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior 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.”

In a podcast episode titled ‘Real Ones‘ from 2022, LaBeouf admitted to making mistakes and voiced his remorse:

“I hurt that woman. And in the process of doing that, I hurt many other people and many other people before that woman. I was a pleasure-seeking, selfish, self-centered, dishonest, inconsiderate, fearful human being. When I think about what my life has become and what it is now, like what my purpose is now… I need to be useful. When I look at this #MeToo environment, there’s not a whole lot of dudes that are taking accountability. I fucked up bad. Like crash and burn type shit.

I hurt a lot of people, and I’m fully aware of that. And I’m going to owe it for the rest of my life. She is a saint, she saved my fucking life. Had she not intervened in my life and not created the avenue for me to experience ego death, I’d either have a really mediocre existence, or I’d be dead in full.”

In 2015, LaBeouf was filmed arguing with his then-girlfriend, Mia Goth, hinting at potentially abusive behavior.


While Barnett initially filed her lawsuit in 2020, the trial has experienced multiple delays. It was initially slated for 2023 but has now been rescheduled for October 14, 2024. The rescheduling has been linked to the demanding commitments of both parties.

Barnett said that she wanted to raise awareness of ‘the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency’ with her lawsuit. She also mentioned concerns about not being believed due to her being unconventional and a person of color. She intended to donate any monetary damages from the lawsuit to domestic violence charities.

LaBeouf has since committed to recovering from alcoholism and the effects of PTSD.

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