FKA Twigs: Abusive Shia LaBeouf Gave Me PTSD

Singer says it took months to 'gather enough of myself' to leave him
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2021 9:40 AM CST
FKA Twigs: It Took Months to Leave Abusive Shia LaBeouf
FKA Twigs poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards in London on Feb. 18, 2020.   (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

FKA Twigs says her boyfriend, actor Shia LaBeouf, had just strangled her in public in front of unmoving witnesses when she typed a search into Google. "Free women's abuse helpline USA." Twigs, aka Tahliah Barnett, called the first number that appeared and suddenly went from "a really low moment," feeling helpless and as though no one would intervene on her behalf, to realizing that even the stranger on the line truly cared and wanted to get her help. That was a "massive wake-up call," the singer tells Louis Theroux of the Grounded podcast, per the BBC. She could see a way out of the relationship, just not an immediate one. "I had to spend a lot of time before I could leave, just trying to gather enough of myself together so that I knew when I left, I really wouldn't go back and I wouldn't give in no matter what he did," the 33-year-old Brit says.

Twigs, who's suing LaBeouf for mental and physical abuse, says she started seeing a therapist, but it was still a few months before she was able to leave the relationship for good. Even then, the healing wasn't over. Twigs says LaBeouf had often woken her up in the middle of the night, accusing her of "all sorts of things," leaving her with PTSD. "For a long time anything that woke me up in the night, even if it was just my dog, or a noise outside ... it could trigger a really intense panic attack," she tells Theroux. That's "something that I don't think we really talk about as a society just in terms of the healing of leaving, and how much work that has to be done to recover, to get back to the person that you were before." LaBeouf has admitted to "hurting the people closest to me," but he says "many" of Twigs' allegations are untrue. (Sia warns others to stay away.)

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