FKA twigs is currently preparing for her domestic violence lawsuit against former boyfriend and actor Shia LaBeouf.
According to court documents filed in December 2020, FKA twigs is suing Shia for sexual battery, battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and gross negligence.
Earlier this year, the court set a date for the jury trial, which will begin on April 17, 2023.
In anticipation of the trial, below is a timeline of FKA twigs and Shia LaBeouf’s relationship as well as a recounting of the abuse she suffered at his hands.
Shia LaBeouf and FKA twigs meet on the set of the film Honey Boy and begin dating almost immediately. The relationship gets serious very quickly as Shia “dramatically professes his love” within a week or two of dating.
After only a few months of dating, Shia convinces FKA twigs to move into his L.A. home. This is when the abuse began.
According to court documents, Shia regularly berates twigs for hours and verbally assaults her. On several occasions, Shia also traps twigs in their bedroom for hours at a time while he suffers delusions that gang members are going to break into their home.
Shia’s manic behavior continues to escalate as he begins sleeping with a rifle at their bedside and forces twigs to watch documentaries about murdered women. At this point, twigs begins to devise a plan to escape.
While staying at a hotel, twigs wakes up one evening to find Shia “violently squeezing her body and arms”. He begins strangling her and threatening her.
The next morning, Shia drives manically and when twigs attempts to escape at a gas station, he violently attacks her and tries to strangle her.
Shortly after, twigs begins reaching out to friends for help. She also seeks out the help of a therapist.
FKA twigs packs her bags and attempts to escape from Shia’s abuse. However, Shia shows up at twigs’ rental home before she can leave and violently grabs her, carries her into another room, locks the door, and proceeds to berate her.
It was around this time that twigs learns that Shia has knowingly infected her with an STD. When she begins exhibiting symptoms, Shia admits that he had been diagnosed with the STD the year before and has actively tried to hide his flare-ups from her. A doctor later confirms that twigs has been infected.
The pair finally splits after twigs begins ignoring his calls and text messages. Shia subsequently breaks up with twigs via text.
FKA twigs files her lawsuit against Shia LaBeouf, suing him for sexual battery, battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and gross negligence.
Her filed documents detail the verbal, physical, and emotional abuse she suffered for months at the hands of Shia.
Shia LaBeouf files a response to twigs’ lawsuit in which he denies all allegations of abuse. His court documents state that he “denies that Plaintiff [FKA Twigs, real name Tahliah Barnett] has sustained any injury or loss by reason of any act or omission on the part of Defendant, and denies that Plaintiff is entitled to any relief or damages whatsoever.”
He also denies the sexual battery and physical abuse.
Later that same month, FKA twigs speaks out for the first time about the abuse.
In an interview with Elle, she says,
“People wouldn’t think that it would happen to a woman like me. The biggest misconception is, ‘Well, you’re smart. If it was that bad, why didn’t you leave?’ ”
But as she explains, “it can happen to anyone.”
When asked how twigs survived the abuse, she says it was merely luck. She says,
“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.’ It’s none of that. It’s pure luck that I’m not in that situation anymore.”
FKA twigs speaks out about her decision to go public with her experiences with domestic violence.
In an interview with GQ UK, she says she came forward in the hopes of finally healing. She adds,
“I just didn’t want anyone else to get hurt, and that trumped any way that I felt about what people may think about me now, positively or negatively.”
She also says,
“If I ever have children, I want them to know that I stood up for myself, and that’s important. And sometimes, standing up for yourself is messy. Sometimes it can cause more trauma, and sometimes it can be dividing. People don’t expect you to stand up for yourself, but I did and I’m proud of it, and what happened to me wasn’t right.”
What’s to Come
If we’ve learned anything from the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial, it’s that the public will likely nitpick, scrutinize, and criticize everything FKA twigs does, says, and wears, just like what they did with Amber. We can only hope that for twigs’ sake, the trial won’t be televised and she can tell her story of abuse without the peanut gallery chiming in.
All survivors deserve to be heard, listened to, and treated with kindness and respect. And, at the very least, they deserve to keep their dignity.