FKA twigs details Shia LaBeouf’s alleged abuse: “It’s a miracle I came out alive”
FKA twigs appears on the cover of the March issue of Elle, and in the cover story she elaborates further about her experience with former partner Shia LaBeouf, who she sued for sexual battery, assault and abuse. Saying, "It's a miracle I came out alive," twigs describes the events of Valentines Day 2019, when she says she woke up to LaBeouf with his hands around her neck, "beginning to strangle her" in a hotel. The next day, on the way back to LaBeouf's LA home, twigs says he drove erratically, speeding and demanding she "profess her love for him." "I was thinking to myself, ‘I wonder what would happen to my body...if [we] smashed into a wall at 80 miles per hour?,'" twigs told Elle. "I was looking for the airbag and I couldn’t see the airbag sign, so I was thinking, ‘If he doesn’t have an airbag, will this car crush my sternum?’"
FKA twigs attributes escaping the relationship to "luck," telling Elle, "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."
"People wouldn’t think that it would happen to a woman like me," she continued to Elle. "The biggest misconception is, ‘Well, you’re smart. If it was that bad, why didn’t you leave?’" "It can happen to anyone,” she went on, explaining that COVID lockdown, with its potential for trapping people at home with their abusers, "made me realize I need to come forward and talk about my experience.”
More from Elle:
The manipulation was incremental, and it varied, starting with LaBeouf demanding that twigs kiss and touch him a certain number of times a day. “If you really loved me,” he would say, “you would do this.” If she fell short of the quota, he would verbally attack her for hours, often deep into the night, preventing twigs from sleeping. In fact, she believes disrupting her sleep was a kind of psychological warfare the actor deliberately waged on her. He would routinely wake her up around four o’clock in the morning with various accusations. “I know that you’re masturbating,” he would say. “You’re lying next to me. You’re disgusting—a vile woman. I’m breaking up with you.” Other evenings, he would jolt her out of sleep to accuse her of staring at the ceiling, plotting how she was going to leave him. He then demanded that the singer sleep naked, regardless of the temperature or her comfort level. “He would say I was holding my body away from him. Then he would compare me to his ex and say, ‘She would never do that.’ ” Before bed, LaBeouf would force twigs to watch gruesome true-crime documentaries about women being violently murdered, bludgeoned, dismembered, or raped. “I would say to him, ‘I really don’t want to watch stuff like this before I go to bed. I’m sensitive, it affects me,’ ” she recalls. “It was so dark, and I was just like, ‘I can’t be totally immersed in this all the time.’ I was very intimidated living with him. He had a gun by the side of the bed and was erratic. [I never knew what would] make him angry with me.”
"What I went through with my abuser is, hands down, the worst thing [I’ve experienced] in the whole of my life," twigs told Elle. "Recovering has been the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do."
LaBeouf's lawer filed a case management statement saying he is "willing to participate in mediation" shortly before Elle went to press with this issue. LaBeouf previously made a statement to the New York Times about twigs' lawsuit, which read, "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."
Read the cover story in full on Elle.
UPDATE: twigs also appeared on CBS This Morning on Thursday (2/18), where she talked with Gayle King about her experience with LaBeouf. You can watch the clip below.