Actor Shia LaBeouf accused of abuse by ex-girlfriend FKA twigs

CHRIS DELMAS / AFP

British musician FKA Twigs on Friday filed a lawsuit against actor Shia LaBeouf, accusing him of physical and emotional abuse during their year-long relationship.

The civil lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages for alleged sexual assault and emotional distress. It was filed under FKA Twigs’ birth name, Tahliah Barnett.

Representatives of LaBeouf, 34, a former child star who dated the singer for about a year in 2018 and 2019, did not respond to a request for comment.

In a statement to the New York Times, which broke the story, LaBeouf said, “I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behaviour made them feel. I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalisations. 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.”

Barnett met LaBeouf while appearing in his 2019 semi-autobiographical film Honey Boy about a young actor’s dysfunctional early years.

The lawsuit says LaBeouf "engaged in a continuous stream of verbal and mental abuse toward Tahliah, belittling her and berating her after the slightest perceived ‘insult’".

It said that on one occasion in February 2019, the actor slammed Barnett against a car and tried to strangle her.

She also accuses LaBeouf of knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease.

Barnett’s attorney Freedman said in a statement that Barnett initially wanted to resolve the matter privately on condition the actor 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," Freedman said.

LaBeouf found fame as a Disney Channel star on Even Stevens and later appeared in movies including Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The past decade has seen several run-ins with the law for disorderly conduct, drunk driving and anger management issues. LaBeouf sought treatment for alcoholism in 2014 and 2017.

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