In December of 2020, a civil lawsuit that FKA Twigs filed against her ex-boyfriend, Shia LaBeouf, was made public. The lawsuit accused LaBeouf of verbal, physical, emotional, and sexual violence. And while the outline of the abuse that Twigs experienced was already harrowing, the more detailed account of the singer’s relationship with the actor is even more gut-wrenching
Labeouf and Twigs met back in 2018 on the set of Honey Boy. The film, which is a semi-autobiographical telling of LaBeouf’s past was supposed to reignite his career in Hollywood. Whilst filming, the pair formed a connection and began dating soon thereafter. And while they may have looked like Hollywood’s new “it couple” from the outside, their relationship was anything but a healthy one.
FKA Twigs details her relationship with ex-boyfriend, Shia LaBeouf
In an interview with Elle, Twigs detailed her relationship with LaBeouf. The “mirrored heart” singer shared the relationship was so violent and toxic, that “It’s a miracle I came out alive.” According to the singer, LaBeouf took a calculated approach to abuse and employed various methods to torment her such as gaslighting, sleep deprivation, physical violence, sexual violence, isolation, control, etc.
“If you put a frog in a boiling pot of water, that frog is going to jump out straightaway,” FKA Twigs shared, detailing how LaBeouf would use multiple insidious methods over time to keep her in an abusive relationship. “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].”
Intentional isolation and how the ‘cellophane’ singer got out
FKA Twigs continued on to add that LaBeouf was an expert at keeping her isolated and cut off with friends and family members who could’ve realized something was wrong and provided her with support. “One time, he heard me laughing on FaceTime with my friend, she recalled. “He came in and had a massive argument with me because he said he doesn’t make me laugh like that. So then I had to hide laughing with my friends. It’s isolation, so I don’t talk to my friends.”
The singer eventually got out of the relationship on her own but she chalks it up to “pure luck,” detailing that it took more than one attempt to finally leave the Disney Channel alum. FKA Twigs also revealed that it was important to share her story because she wanted to debunk the misconception that abuse could only happen to certain kinds of people.
Why FKA Twigs decided to tell the story of her abuse
“People wouldn’t think that it would happen to a woman like me,” FKA Twigs said of the abuse she experienced in her relationship. “The biggest misconception is, ‘Well, you’re smart. If it was that bad, why didn’t you leave?’ It can happen to anyone.” The “Video Girl” artist also shared that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was also a factor that made her decide to tell her story. Because so many people were in lockdown, she began thinking about the scores of people who were trapped with their abusers 24/7. “It made me realize I need to come forward and talk about my experience.”
Fortunately, FKA Twigs has begun to heal from her relationship with LaBeouf. Hopefully, her story will help debunk some of the misconceptions that people have about who can be a target of abuse. Furthemore, we hope more people can learn to spot the signs of abusive to help themselves or others.