On December 11th, British musician FKA twigs (real name Tahlia Debrett Barnett) went public with her lawsuit against ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf, the former Transformers star whose turbulent public persona has made headlines throughout the years.
According to The Guardian, FKA twigs is suing LaBeouf for allegedly subjecting her to a wide range of abuses, from physical to emotional and mental abuse, during the time that the pair dated—between 2018 and 2019.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that LaBeouf inflicted a wide range of sexual, emotional, and physical distress on Barnett, including knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease, according to the New York Times report that first broke the story.
Barnett first met LaBeouf back in 2018, while filming Honey Boy, a mostly autobiographical film that was written by LaBeouf himself. The pair started dating soon after the movie was finished.
In the lawsuit, Barnett describes the early days of their relationship as a time marked by ‘his over-the-top displays of affection,’ which she believes helped him earn her trust.
However, their relationship escalated quickly. Barnett alleges that LaBeouf isolated her by convincing her to stay with him in Los Angeles, where she became increasingly frightened by his erratic behavior. According to the New York Times, the lawsuit alleges that LaBeouf kept a loaded firearm by their bed, and Barnett worried that he might shoot her one night by mistake. Barnett also claims that LaBeouf had impossible standards for her behavior and was incredibly controlling.
One of the most shocking incidents which the lawsuit alleges occurred right after Valentines day 2019. According to Barnett, LaBeouf was speeding and driving recklessly towards Los Angeles when he removed his seatbelt and threatened to crash the vehicle unless she professed her love for him. After she begged to get out of his car, the actor pulled over at a gas station. After grabbing her bags, LaBeouf followed her and assaulted her, screaming in her face, before forcing Barnett back into the car.
According to the New York Times, Barnett plans to donate a sizable portion of any money that she makes from the lawsuit to domestic-violence charities, and her goal in sharing her story is to show that this could happen to anyone.
“I don’t think people would ever think that this would happen to me,” Barnett stated, “But I think that’s the thing. It can happen to anybody.”