FKA Twigs Says Abuse Helpline Taking Her Seriously Was 'Massive Wakeup Call' She Needed

The singer and actress, who filed suit against Shia LaBeouf alleging physical and emotional abuse, says she’s looking to “change the conversation and the stigma around domestic abuse.”

FKA Twigs, who shocked the world in December with a legal filing against actor Shia LaBeouf alleging both physical and emotional abuse in their relationship, opened up a little about her allegations, as well as the pivotal moment she moved toward finding a way out.

The singer and actress detailed many of the same horrific incidents she says she endured during her time with the actor, whom she met on the set of their 2019 film “Honey Boy,” during an appearance on “Grounded with Louis Theroux” on Monday.

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But she also took the time to talk about the unexpected moment that served as a wakeup call for her, as well as why she feels it’s so important for her to be open in talking about what she says she endured.

In response to her original filing, LaBeouf told the New York Times that while “many of these allegations are not true,” he does not feel he is “in the position to defend any of my actions.” Instead, he believes that he “owes these women the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done.”

“I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel. I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations,” he said. “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.”

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Without addressing any specific allegations, LaBeouf said he is in a twelve-step program and therapy for “my many failings” and apologized “to the people that I may have harmed along the way.”

Alleging multiple incidents of controlling behavior, and abuse both emotional and physical, as detailed in part by TMZ, Twigs said that it was after a particularly frightening physical altercation in a car that she unexpectedly got the “massive wakeup call” she needed.

“I remember going back to where I was staying and calling an abused women’s help line. And I literally just, like, Googled free women’s abuse help line U.S.A.,” she said. “You know, I just called the first one that came up.”

It was how seriously the woman on the other end of the call responded to her story that got Twigs’ attention. From there, she said she started opening up to friends and finally to a therapist. That was the beginning of her journey away from her alleged abuser.

And to all of those who ask why she didn’t just walk away at the first (or second or whatever) sign of abuse, Twigs explained that it’s not always that easy.

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In fact, in her case she said she felt like it was “genuinely impossible” to just get up and leave. “I felt so controlled and I felt so confused and I felt so low, beneath myself, that the fear of leaving and knowing I had all this work to do to get back to just feeling OK, it felt completely overwhelming,” she said.

Further, she questions why the reaction is to always ask the abused why they don’t leave, rather than levy the real question at the abuser, “Why are you holding someone hostage through abusive behavior?”

Twigs claims to still have PTSD from the relationship, which has been exacerbated by the Covid lockdown. “For a long time, anything that woke me up in the night, even if it was just my dog or a noise outside or needing to go to the bathroom, it would trigger an intense panic attack,” she said.

As for why she’s since decided to speak openly and publicly about the alleged abuse, Twigs said that it has everything to do with looking ahead to herself, her future children and even her legacy, as well as trying to help normalize talk about domestic abuse in all of its forms.

“This is something that was completely unexpected. I never thought something like this would happen to me,” she said. But despite everything she says she endured, and still endures, she wants her story to be one that can serve as a guide, or even inspiration for those who come after.

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“It is something in society that’s a really big problem and it’s really common, but for some reason we don’t talk about it,” she said.

One of the reasons it’s still resonating so strongly with her is that as she said she was suffering PTSD during Covid lockdown, experts suggest that there has been a distressing spike in abuse cases with so many victims confined in their homes with their abusers.

“This situation is not really about Shia anymore, and it’s not really about me,” she said. “I’m doing this for something much bigger, which is– I just wanna change the conversation and the stigma around domestic abuse.”

Further, she can’t help but look ahead and think what she wants her story to be. “All I can do is just think about myself when I’m 50 years old [and] I’ve got kids. I think about what I want to have stood for.”

“When I’m older, if I have a daughter, I want to be able to say, ‘This thing happened to me. And I dealt with it.’ It’s a big thing to heal publicly and have to do it in front of everyone, but I can do it. I’m a big girl and I can do it.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse or violence, get help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress.

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