FKA Twigs and Shia LaBeouf Lawsuit: What Happened?


Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known by the name she uses as a musician, FKA Twigs, has filed a lawsuit against her former boyfriend, Shia LaBeouf. The lawsuit accuses the actor of subjecting FKA Twigs to physical, mental, and emotional abuse throughout their relationship. 

The 32-year-old musician spoke recently to top media sources about some of the abuse she says she suffered. Barnett characterized the time she spent with LaBeouf as some of the worst days of her life. She says she is sharing her story to call attention to the tactic used by abusers to maintain control of their victims. 


The Lawsuit

FKA Twigs filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court and lists five causes of action. These actions include:


  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Sexual battery
  • Gross negligence
  • Emotional distress


The lawsuit targets financial compensation but does not identify a specific amount of damages sought. The plaintiff did say what she would do with any money she receives from the lawsuit. Twigs plans to use the potential winnings to help fund organizations that support victims of domestic abuse.


A second woman named in the suit, Karolyn Pho, was also in a past relationship with LaBeouf. Pho reports experiencing many of the same traumatic experiences as FKA Twigs when speaking about her relationship with LaBeouf. 


Specifics of the Allegations

The allegations detailed in the lawsuit against LaBeouf paint a horrible picture of the life FKA Twigs and LaBeouf shared. On one occasion, in February 2019, FKA Twigs says she was a passenger in a car driven by LaBeouf. The musician says her ex-boyfriend was driving a bit reckless when he detached his seatbelt. Twigs says LaBeouf’s actions happened as the couple returned from a trip to a desert near Los Angeles. She says that one night while on the trip, LaBeouf woke her up by choking her. 


Twigs says LaBeouf set rules regarding the number of times each day she could kiss him. These rules also applied to other demonstrations of affection. Twigs says she was isolated from other people and her boyfriend insisted she slept without clothes. She says she spent many nights in fear because LaBeouf kept a gun beside the bed as they slept. Twigs said LaBeouf showed paranoid symptoms and often thought gang members were planning to assault him in his home at night. 


Twigs says whenever she tried to leave the relationship, LaBeouf would become angry and violent. She says the actor once even locked her in a room against her will. The musician says that most times, LaBeouf did not have to prevent her from leaving. Twigs say that her damaged self-esteem made it rare for her to have thoughts of leaving her abuser. 


Reaction From LaBeouf

LaBeouf does not specifically deny anything specific among the allegations but says not all of them are true. The actor acknowledges both his history of alcoholism and abusive behavior toward the people closest to him. LaBeouf went on to say he is not proud of the way he treated people and will not try to tell anyone how his actions made them feel. 


Legal Perspective

Survivors of both domestic and sexual abuse possess the option to pursue redress in civil court settings. In many cases, a civil lawsuit will represent the only path to financial restitution for sexual assault victims.

The type and amount of compensation available to victims will depend on the specifics of an individual case. Damages awards in sexual assault cases aim to compensate victims for the physical and emotional harm the perpetrator caused them. Damage awards may also cover additional pain and suffering or PTSD symptoms that can affect the victim’s life many years after the abuse.


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