UPDATE (10/25/20, 3:26 PM ET): Shia LaBeouf is now seeking treatment, which his attorney Shawn Holley revealed. “Shia needs help and he knows that. We are actively seeking the kind of meaningful, intensive, long-term inpatient treatment that he desperately needs,” Holley told our sister publication, Variety, on Dec. 24, almost two weeks after FKA Twigs filed a lawsuit against her ex in which the singer accused the Honey Boy star of sexual battery and abuse. Olivia Wilde has also allegedly fired LaBeouf from her movie, Don’t Worry Darling, after insiders told Variety that LaBeouf “displayed poor behavior” and that “his style clashed with the cast and crew.”
ORIGINAL: Singer FKA twigs has filed a lawsuit against ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf, 34, accusing the actor of sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress, according to court documents obtained by HollywoodLife. In the December 11 lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, FKA (real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett) describes an incident that allegedly occurred “just after Valentine’s Day 2019,” in which Shia drove recklessly with FKA in the car, removed his seatbelt, and threatened to crash unless she professed her love for him.
FKA, 32, said in the lawsuit that they were returning from the desert, where Shia had “raged” throughout the trip. The Magdalene artist said in the lawsuit that after she “begged” to be let out of the car, Shia pulled over at a gas station, where she took her bags out of the car. She claims that the Even Stevens alum stopped her and allegedly assaulted her, throwing her against the car while screaming in her face. He forced her back into the car before driving off again.
This incident is at the center of FKA’s lawsuit, which accuses her ex-boyfriend of “relentless abuse,” including sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress. Their relationship, which began in 2018 after they wrapped Shia’s film Honey Boy, lasted less than one year. During that time, FKA claims Shia repeatedly abused her physically, emotionally, and mentally. Her aim in coming forward, she told The New York Times, was to explain how even someone with fame, money, and a strong network of support could be victim to an abusive relationship.
“I’d like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency,” FKA said. Shia responded to the allegations in an email to The New York Times. “I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel,” the Transformers star wrote. “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.”
Another ex-girlfriend of Shia, stylist Karolyn Pho, also describes similar instances of abuse during their relationship in the lawsuit. Shia responded to The New York Times in a separate email and said that “many of these allegations are not true,” but that he owes FKA and Karolyn “the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done.” He added that he’s “a sober member of a 12-step program” and in therapy.“I am not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism,” he stated, “but I am committed to doing what I need to do to recover, and I will forever be sorry to the people that I may have harmed along the way.”
FKA’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, told HollywoodLife in a statement: “Shia LaBoeuf has abused Ms. Barnett, Ms. Pho, and others. We tried to resolve this matter privately on the condition that Mr. LaBeouf agree to receive meaningful and consistent psychological treatment. Since he was unwilling to agree to get appropriate help, Ms. Barnett filed this suit to prevent others from unknowingly suffering similar abuse by him.”
In the lawsuit, FKA indicates that she plans to donate a large portion of any monetary damages to charities that help victims of domestic violence. “It was actually very expensive, and a massive undertaking of time and resources, to get out” of the relationship, she said. “What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in the whole of my life,” she said. “I don’t think people would ever think that it would happen to me. But I think that’s the thing. It can happen to anybody.”
After they began dating, FKA alleges that Shia convinced her to live with him in Los Angeles, rather than return to London where she and her professional circle are based. She believed it was the beginning of her isolation; Shia allegedly told her that her creative team “used her,” which made her begin to doubt them. She claims in the lawsuit that Shia kept a loaded firearm by the bed, and that she was scared to use the bathroom at night for fear he would mistake her for an intruder. Shia also allegedly wouldn’t let her wear clothing to bed, and would make small disagreements into massive fights, “depriving her of sleep.”
She attempted to leave Shia in spring 2019, she revealed in the lawsuit. But the actor reportedly showed up announced and “terrorized” her, according to a sworn statement from her housekeeper, who witnessed the incident. When FKA refused to leave with Shia, the actor “violently grabbed” her, according to the statement, picked her up, and locked her in another room while yelling. It took several attempts to leave Shia for good, the lawsuit states.
“The whole time I was with him, I could have bought myself a business-flight plane ticket back to my four-story townhouse in Hackney,” in London, she said. And yet she didn’t. “He brought me so low, below myself, that the idea of leaving him and having to work myself back up just seemed impossible,” she said.
HollywoodLife has reached out to Shia LaBeouf’s rep for comment.