In her first television interview since filing a sexual battery lawsuit against Shia LaBeouf, FKA Twigs is opening up about her former relationship with the actor, whom she has accused of verbal, emotional and physical abuse.
Sitting down with Gayle King on “CBS This Morning,” the British musician and actor says she came forward because she wants to help other survivors of abuse.
“I felt so alone,” Twigs said. “And that’s why I wanted to come forward, because victims and survivors shouldn’t have to feel alone.”
Twigs filed the lawsuit in December 2020. The civil suit paints a lurid picture of LaBeouf, whose troubling behavior has been well-documented over the years, as he has continued to work in the entertainment industry. Since the lawsuit, LaBeouf has parted ways with Hollywood talent agency, CAA, and has effectively removed himself from the industry, as he currently remains at an inpatient treatment, where he has been receiving care for more than one month.
While LaBeouf has been in treatment, his attorney responded to the lawsuit, denying “each and every allegation,” though LaBeouf initially issued an apology, stating that many of the allegations are not true, but admitted to his alcoholism, aggression and abusive character. In her interview with King, Twigs referred to LaBeouf’s statement as “gaslighting,” stating he is “sort of taking some of the blame, but not all of it, and then denying it.”
In the lawsuit, Twigs detailed numerous instances of abuse throughout the course of her relationship with LaBeouf, which lasted less than one year, after the two actors met as co-stars in “Honey Boy,” LaBeouf’s critically acclaimed autobiographical drama.
One of the most horrifying allegations in the lawsuit occurred over Valentine’s Day in 2019 when the former couple went on a weekend trip and LaBeouf allegedly became violent and choked Twigs. After the incident, when driving home, Twigs says LaBeouf became manic and threatened to crash the car if she did not profess her love to him. He stopped at a gas station and attacked her, throwing her up against the car, screaming and attempting to strangle her.
Twigs says that moment was her breaking point when she knew she needed to get out of the relationship and seek help.
“I thought, ‘Wow, he needed so much control over me that he would rather kill us both,’” she told King. She says she remembers looking at herself in the mirror and seeing her body completely black and blue.
She then called a hotline, which she says was the start of turning her life around, and she hopes that by speaking out, other victims of abuse will feel comfort in speaking out and seeking help.
At one point during the interview, Twigs began to cry. When she apologized for crying, King took pause to say, “No, no, no. You do not need to apologize. No, no. Twigs, look at you for just a second — you’re talking about something that is very traumatic to you, and yet, you feel that you’re the one that has to apologize. That’s sort of why we need to be talking about this.”
When King asked Twigs why she didn’t leave the relationship sooner, acknowledging that the question isn’t even appropriate in the first place, the actor corrected King and took a stance in not answering the question — something that King for which applauded her.
Instead, Twigs said the appropriate question would be to ask the abuser why they held someone hostage in a relationship.
“We just have to stop asking that question,” Twigs said, in a polite manner to King, using the moment as a teaching opportunity. “I’m just gonna make a stance and say that I’m not gonna answer that question anymore because the question should really be to the abuser, ‘Why are you holding someone hostage with abuse?’ You know, and people say, ‘Oh, it can’t have been that bad, because or else you would have left.’ And it’s like, “No, it’s because it was that bad I couldn’t leave.”
Twigs explained that she never wanted to file a lawsuit or go public with her story. She and her legal team have said numerous times that they tried to handle the matter privately, asking LaBeouf to seek meaningful help and make a donation to a women’s organization that helps victims of domestic violence.
“I wanted to ensure that he got help privately so that he couldn’t hurt anyone else the way he hurt me,” Twigs said, adding that she would not have filed a lawsuit if LaBeouf agreed to what she had asked of him.
LaBeouf’s attorney has disputed the claim that LaBeouf was unwilling to settle the matter privately.
At the end of the emotional interview, Twigs was asked how she feels today. With a big sigh and a slight smile, she said, “That’s a big question. I’m feeling brave.”