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FKA twigs reflects on her relief at speaking out against Shia LaBeouf

FKA twigs has detailed her relief at speaking out against her ex Shia LaBeouf, saying she felt she ‘was holding on to somebody else’s dysfunction.’ 

The singer, 33, accused the screen star, 34, of physically assaulting her, sexual battery and infliction of emotional distress in a legal action she filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last December, and he has denied abuse claims.

And in a new interview with The Face magazine, FKA, whose real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett, spoke to actress and I May Destroy You creator Michaela Coel about her relationship with the former child star on Wednesday.

‘I was holding on to somebody else’s dysfunction’: FKA twigs reflected on her relief at being able to speak out against Shia LaBeouf publicly in a new interview on Wednesday

The former couple met on the set of the movie Honey Boy in 2018 and dated for nine months, splitting in May 2019 over ‘conflicting work schedules’. 

Looking back, FKA said: ‘I felt like I was holding on to somebody else’s dysfunction. And now I feel like I’ve given it back to him. 

‘It’s his to hold and rightly so. He can hold it because it’s not mine.’

Going on to discuss how she feels about going public with her abuse allegations, she added: ‘You know, it’s important in this day and age that everybody’s able to be accountable for their actions. 

Relief: Of speaking FKA said, 'I was holding on to somebody else’s dysfunction. And now I feel like I’ve given it back to him'It’s his to hold and rightly so. He can hold it because it’s not mine'

Relief: Of speaking FKA said, ‘I was holding on to somebody else’s dysfunction. And now I feel like I’ve given it back to him’It’s his to hold and rightly so. He can hold it because it’s not mine’

Abuse allegations: The singer, 33, has accused the screen star, 34, of physically assaulting her, sexual battery and infliction of emotional distress in a legal action she filed in December

Abuse allegations: The singer, 33, has accused the screen star, 34, of physically assaulting her, sexual battery and infliction of emotional distress in a legal action she filed in December

‘And I don’t mean in an “outrage culture” kind of way, because I’m not really here for that either. 

‘I mean in a real, genuine, deep place that, thank GOODNESS, we are finally in, where women don’t have to be quiet about that sort of thing anymore.’

FKA told Michaela that speaking about their relationship has been ‘a big relief’, as she went on: ‘I felt like it was a real step, not just for me, [but also] for any women who, God forbid, are experiencing or have experienced that.’

Last week, FKA appeared in a powerful CBS This Morning interview, in which she shut down Gayle King when she asked why the singer didn’t leave Shia amid their allegedly abusive relationship. 

Helping others: FKA told Michaela Coel that speaking about their relationship has been 'a big relief', as 'it was a real step' for women who are suffering in abusive relationships

Helping others: FKA told Michaela Coel that speaking about their relationship has been ‘a big relief’, as ‘it was a real step’ for women who are suffering in abusive relationships

King, 66, asked FKA twigs ‘Nobody who’s been in this position likes this question, and I often wonder if it’s even appropriate to ask … why didn’t you leave?’ 

‘I think we have to stop asking that question,’ FKA told King in response to the question, citing the complicated dynamics of being in an abusive relationship.

She told the host, ‘I know that you’re asking it out of love, but like, I’m just going to make a stance and say I’m not going to answer that question anymore because the question should really be to the abuser, “Why are you holding someone hostage with abuse?”

‘People say, “Oh, it can’t have been that bad, because she would’ve left.” And it’s like no, because it was that bad, I couldn’t leave.’

Honest: FKA added that 'it’s important in this day and age that everybody’s able to be accountable for their actions' in 'a real, genuine, deep' way

Honest: FKA added that ‘it’s important in this day and age that everybody’s able to be accountable for their actions’ in ‘a real, genuine, deep’ way

Elsewhere in the interview, FKA said that her ex-boyfriend’s apology over her abuse claims is a form of ‘gaslighting’ and the conflicting nature of it reminds her of his behavior during their relationship.  

FKA told Gayle: ‘I think it reminds me of some of the gaslighting I experienced when I was with him. The taking some of the blame, but not all of it and then denying it

She also said: ‘Abusers use gaslighting, which is where somebody minimises your experience and alters your narrative and [doesn’t listen] to you and denying your experience. 

‘Eventually it did become physical,’ she added. ‘There were certain instances where he would push me and say “you fell”. And I would get really confused and think maybe I did.’

'It was a nightmare': Last week, FKA told Gayle King that Shia could have 'killed them both' as he threatened to crash the car following a 'disturbing' trip to a spa in Palm Springs in 2019

‘It was a nightmare’: Last week, FKA told Gayle King that Shia could have ‘killed them both’ as he threatened to crash the car following a ‘disturbing’ trip to a spa in Palm Springs in 2019 

She also broke down in tears as she claimed Shia could have killed them both when he threatened to crash the car around Valentine’s Day 2019 during a ‘disturbing’ trip to a spa in Palm Springs.  

FKA claimed that he was ‘speeding down the motorway and saying that if I said I didn’t love him and if I was going to leave him, he would smash the car to the side of a wall.

‘I thought “Wow, he needs so much control over me that he would kill us both.”

‘And eventually, he pulled over to a gas station and I tried to unload my bags from the car and there were three men opposite the car and I remember thinking “This is it, I’m done, I can’t do this anymore.”‘ 

The latest: The singer also shut down King when she asked why she didn't leave LaBeouf amid their allegedly abusive relationship

The latest: The singer also shut down King when she asked why she didn’t leave LaBeouf amid their allegedly abusive relationship

She claimed he ‘picked her up, threw her against the car, and started strangling her’. FKA told King: ‘That’s when I realised I need help to get out of this relationship.’ 

Gayle asked: ‘What did the men at the gas station do?’ 

She replied: ‘They did nothing. They just watched us and I felt so alone. That’s why I wanted to come forward. Victims and survivors shouldn’t have to feel alone.’ 

Looking back: The artist noted, 'People say, "Oh, it can’t have been that bad, because she would’ve left." And it’s like no, because it was that bad, I couldn’t leave'

Looking back: The artist noted, ‘People say, “Oh, it can’t have been that bad, because she would’ve left.” And it’s like no, because it was that bad, I couldn’t leave’

FKA continued: ‘After that weekend and going back to where I was staying, I looked at myself in the mirror and one side of me was, like, completely black. And I was so shocked, you know?’

‘So I’ve gone back to where I was staying, and the whole one side of my body is black and blue. I remember thinking, you know, I’m a dancer and I really love my body, and I take such good care of it.

‘And I was looking at my body and I just thought, “Where did it all go wrong? How am I here?” I never saw this for my life.’

FKA said that at this point, she called a helpline for domestic abuse victims.

Struggle: FKA also told Elle this month that she feared for her life while in the relationship with LaBeouf, saying 'I've woken up to him strangling me multiple times'

Struggle: FKA also told Elle this month that she feared for her life while in the relationship with LaBeouf, saying ‘I’ve woken up to him strangling me multiple times’

She also told Elle this month that she feared for her life while in the relationship with LaBeouf, saying: ‘I thought to myself, “If he shoots me, and then if there is some sort of investigation, they will put the pieces together. I need to leave little clues.”‘ 

Discussing their relationship, FKA recalled LaBeouf’s violence against animals, which he appeared to feel no guilt over.

She said that he would ‘shamelessly brag’ about shooting stray dogs, claiming it helped him ‘get into character’ for his role in the 2020 film The Tax Collector.

Twigs confronted him about it, but LaBeouf managed to turn her into the villain — a classic abuser tactic.

‘I said to him, “That’s really bad. Why are you doing that?”‘ she recalled.

‘And he was like, “Because I take my art seriously. You’re not supporting me in my art. This is what I do. It’s different from singing. I don’t just get up on a stage and do a few moves. I’m in the character.” 

‘He made me feel bad, like I didn’t understand what it was like to be an actor or to do this…Method [acting technique],’ she said. 

She also said that LaBeouf was already professing his love a week or two into their relationship, and when they hit a rough patch, he sent her up to 20 bouquets of flowers a day — something she describes as ‘really aggressive love.’ 

Manipulation tactics like that, she said, are how even strong women can find themselves in abusive relationships.

‘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?” she said, but added: ‘It can happen to anyone.’

His side: The actor has 'denied each and every' assault allegation by the artist - and wants her to pay his legal costs after she blamed him for 'relentless abuse' (pictured in 2019)

His side: The actor has ‘denied each and every’ assault allegation by the artist – and wants her to pay his legal costs after she blamed him for ‘relentless abuse’ (pictured in 2019)

‘If you put a frog in a boiling pot of water, that frog is going to jump out straightaway,’ she went on. ‘Whereas if you put a frog in cool water and heat it up slowly, that frog is going to boil to death. That was my experience being with [LaBeouf].’ 

As their relationship progressed, LaBeouf’s abuse escalated, especially after they moved in together in October 2018.

She recalled how he would keep her from sleeping, waking her up in the middle of the night to accuse her of various made-up offenses, like masturbating next to him or secretly plotting to leave him, all while she has been fast asleep.

‘I’ve woken up to him strangling me multiple times. I’ve not been able to breathe at his hands,’ she said. 

Shia LaBeouf responds to allegations: 

‘I owe these women the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those thing 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, 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 write this as a sober member of a twelve-step program and in therapy for my many failings. 

‘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 made me feel like I wasn’t allowed joy, basically. That’s what it boils down to: I wasn’t allowed joy unless it directly revolved around him,’ she added.   

Shia’s attorney has said in a court filing that the Honey Boy actor ‘denies generally and specifically each and every allegation’ in FKA’s complaint. 

Shia has apologised to ‘those he had hurt’ but has ‘denied each and every’ assault allegation by the singer and wants her to pay his legal costs. 

According to legal documents obtained by People, Shia denies that [Barnett] has sustained any injury or loss by reason of any act or omission on the part of [LaBeouf], and denies that [Barnett] is entitled to any relief or damages whatsoever’. 

His lawyers added that ‘none of the acts alleged were based on sex and/or the conduct was not sexual’ as they try to get the sexual battery allegations dismissed. 

The actor also told The New York Times ‘many’ of the allegations were not true, and that he has ‘no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. 

He apologised but only in part, saying: ‘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.’

The filmmaker also said that he owed the women ‘the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done,’ according to NYT. 

Shia added that he was currently in therapy and in a 12-step program, although he is ‘not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism.’  

Reflecting on their ‘nightmare’ relationship, FKA claimed her former partner would force her to ‘sleep naked’ and called her ‘disgusting and vile’ in her chat with King. 

The singer – who dated the troubled actor from September 2018 until June 2019 – said: ‘He would often start an argument with me in the middle of the night. He would start accusing me of doing all sorts of things, planning to leave him in my head. 

‘That I was disgusting and vile. Nothing was ever true but I would really doubt myself, especially when I would wake up, and he would be like “You were lying there with your eyes open, planning to leave me.” And I would be like “I was literally asleep.”‘

‘He would only want me to sleep naked because he said if I didn’t, I was keeping myself from him.’    

MailOnline contacted Shia’s representatives for further comment at the time. 

Since FKA’s allegations, LaBeouf has split from girlfriend Margaret Qualley, 26, with sources saying the actress was aware of the ‘backlash’ she received for dating him. 

After news of the suit emerged, a number of his former partners stepped forward to accuse him of various forms of abuse. 

Singer Sia said he ‘conned’ her into an adulterous relationship with him, calling him a ‘pathological liar’. He had previously starred in her music video for the song Elastic Heart in 2015. 

Songwriter Katy Rose has also alleged that he ‘groped’ her ‘violently’ at a party in the Hollywood Hills once and stylist Karolyn Pho joined Twigs’ lawsuit.

Traumatic: The former couple met in the summer of 2018 on the set of Honey Boy and dated for less than a year

Traumatic: The former couple met in the summer of 2018 on the set of Honey Boy and dated for less than a year

Pho, a stylist, alleged in the suit that Shia ‘drunkenly pinned her to a bed and head-butted her, enough that she bled.’

Questions also arose around his sudden departure from Olivia Wilde’s forthcoming movie, Don’t Worry Darling.

Shia had been picked for a role but left the project before it began shooting and was replaced by Harry Styles. 

UK readers: Call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/

US readers: Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline on 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or visit www.thehotline.org

It's over: Since FKA's allegations, LaBeouf has split from girlfriend Margaret Qualley, with sources saying the actress was aware of the 'backlash' she received for dating him (pictured last year)

It’s over: Since FKA’s allegations, LaBeouf has split from girlfriend Margaret Qualley, with sources saying the actress was aware of the ‘backlash’ she received for dating him (pictured last year)


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