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FKA twigs sues ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf over alleged abuse

British singer-songwriter FKA twigs has filed a lawsuit against the Hollywood actor Shia LaBeouf for sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress, the New York Times reports.

The newspaper quotes the lawsuit as saying LaBeouf knowingly gave the singer a sexually transmitted disease.

The pair dated between 2018 and 2019.

LaBeouf, 34, has not commented on the lawsuit, but told the Times he accepted he had “been abusive to myself and everyone round me for years”.

“I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behaviour made them feel,” he said in an email to the newspaper broadly addressing his conduct towards FKA twigs and a second former girlfriend who accused him of abusive behaviour.

“I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations…. 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.”

In another email, the Times says, he wrote that “many of the allegations are not true” but that he owed the women “the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done”. He said he was “a sober member of a 12-step program” and “committed to doing what I need to do to recover”.

However, FKA twigs’ lawyer Bryan Freedman disputed this saying his client – who filed the lawsuit under her non-stage name Tahliah Debrett Barnett – “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.”

Ms Barnett, 32 who was born in Gloucestershire, has filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, the Times reports.

The newspaper quotes distressing testimony in which she describes how LaBeouf lavished her with “over-the-top displays of affection” in the early days of their relationship, but quickly became possessive, jealous, critical and violent. Living with him became frightening and isolating, she said.

In one key incident in the lawsuit, the Times reports, she describes how just after Valentines Day in 2019, LaBeouf was driving recklessly on their return to Los Angeles and threatened to crash the car unless she professed her love for him. After he pulled into a petrol station, she says he assaulted her as she tried to get away and forced her back into the car.

In her lawsuit, the singer says wants to raise awareness of “the tactics that abusers use to control you”, and will donate a significant amount of any financial damages she receives to domestic abuse charities.

“What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in the whole of my life,” she is quoted by the Times as saying.

“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.”

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