Musician FKA Twigs is suing actor Shia LaBeouf for sexual battery and mental abuse during their year-long relationship. Her hope, according to an interview, is to help people understand how even those with strong financial and emotional support could get caught in a cycle of abuse.

“I’d like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency,” FKA Twigs told The New York Times.

Her relationship with LaBeouf began in 2018 when she was cast in Honey Boy, LaBeouf’s autobiographical film. They had a brief and intense honeymoon phase, where LeBeouf showered her with near-excessive affection to earn her trust, before telltale signs of abuse began to appear.

According to the lawsuit, FKA Twigs and LaBeouf’s relationship was largely dictated by his intense jealously, which he used to justify various forms of abuse. She was forced by LaBeouf to not acknowledge male waiters, keep her eyes averted when men spoke to her, sleep naked and show him physical and verbal affection a certain amount of times a day to avoid his criticism and harassment. He also coerced FKA Twigs into staying with him in Los Angeles instead of returning to her home and team in London, isolated her by cutting her off from her creative team, took her on a trip to the desert during which he physically and verbally assaulted her both in private and public, and even knowingly gave her an STD.

Perhaps worst of all, Karolyn Pho, a stylist who is another of LaBeouf’s former girlfriends, said that he had treated her in nearly the same way when the couple was together. FKA Twigs’ accounts of drunken physical assault, public harassment and assault, and his willful non-consenting transmission of an STD were all descriptions that Pho recognized from her own time with the actor, among others.

“So much goes into breaking down a man or woman to make them ok with a certain kind of treatment,” she said in an interview.

LaBeouf told the Times request for comment with a lengthy email, explaining his opinion that his exes had a right to voice their pain, even if their accusations against him were not true.

“Although many of these allegations are not true, I am not in the position to defend any of my actions,” LaBeouf said. “I owe these women the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those thing I have done. As someone in recovery, I have to face almost daily reminders of things I did say and do when I was drinking.”

“It has always been easy for me to accept responsibility when my behavior reflects poorly on myself, but it’s much harder to accept the knowledge that I may have caused great pain to others,” he continued. “I can’t rewrite history. I can only accept it and work to be better in the future. I write this as a sober member of a twelve-step program and in therapy for my many failings.”

“I am not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism, 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,” LaBeouf concluded.

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