FKA Twigs Says It’s A ‘Miracle’ She Came Out Alive After Allegedly Enduring Year Of Abuse From Shia LaBeouf

by : Emily Brown on : 17 Feb 2021 17:22
FKA Twigs Says It's A 'Miracle' She Came Out Alive After Enduring Year Of Abuse From Shia LaBeoufPA Images

FKA Twigs said it was a ‘miracle [she] came out alive’ as she discussed the alleged abuse she endured while in a relationship with Shia LaBeouf. 

The British singer, whose real name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett, opened up about her relationship with her former boyfriend and Honey Boy co-star after she sued him last year for ‘relentless abuse’.


In a new interview with Elle, Twigs claimed LaBeouf would use ‘calculated, systematic, tricky, and mazelike’ tactics to control her, including gaslighting, isolating her from others, and depriving her of sleep.

Shia LaBeoufPA Images

She commented:

If you put a frog in a boiling pot of water, that frog is going to jump out straightaway.

Whereas if you put a frog in cool water and heat it up slowly, that frog is going to boil to death. That was my experience being with [LaBeouf].


Twigs said the emotional, verbal, and physical violence came to a head over Valentine’s Day weekend in 2019, the details of which are outlined in the lawsuit she filed against her former boyfriend.

The singer alleged that she awoke in the hotel they were staying in to find LaBeouf on top of her, after which he began to strangle her, saying, ‘If you don’t stop, you are going to lose me.’

The following morning, LaBeouf is said to have thrown Twigs to the ground outside the hotel. Once in the car on the way home, the actor allegedly began driving maniacally and demanding that Twigs profess her love for him.


Recalling the situation, Twigs said:

I was thinking to myself, ‘I wonder what would happen to my body…if [we] smashed into a wall at 80 miles per hour?’ I was looking for the airbag and I couldn’t see the airbag sign, so I was thinking, ‘If he doesn’t have an airbag, will this car crush my sternum?’

I was thinking, ‘Oh no, if I crouch like that, and the front of the car crashes into my head, will it snap my neck?’ Do I jump out of the car at 80 miles an hour?

Shia LaBeouf wins screenwriting awardPA Images

Twigs attempted to escape at a gas station, but claims LaBeouf slammed her against the car and tried to choke her before forcing her back into the vehicle.


She expressed belief that she managed to survive the relationship with ‘luck’, adding, ‘I honestly wish I could say that I found some strength and I saw this light. I wish I could say, ‘[It is] a testament to my strong character’, or, ‘It’s the way my mother raised me’. It’s none of that. It’s pure luck that I’m not in that situation anymore.’

Though she did try to reach out to friends for help, Twigs said embarrassment about the abuse would take over and force her to retreat from those trying to help.

She explained that she decided to open up about her experience after the UK went into its third national lockdown, forcing many suffering women to stay inside with their abusers.


Twigs commented:

It’s hard to do this publicly… but I want people to know my story. If I can’t help people through my experience, it makes my experience 10 times worse. There has to be a point to this – a reason why this happened to me. It’s not just about my [personal] recovery.

The singer stressed that abuse can ‘happen to anyone’, and said that the alleged abuse is ‘the worst thing [she’s experienced] in the whole of [her] life’. She now hopes to take little steps towards her recovery and inspire people as she continues to take back control of her life.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, please know that you are not alone. You can talk in confidence 24 hours a day to the national domestic violence helpline Refuge on 0808 2000 247.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Abuse, domestic abuse, FKA Twigs


  1. Elle

    'It's A Miracle I Came Out Alive'