'Pathological liar' Shia LaBeouf accused of abuse as ex FKA twigs sues him

Exes speak out against the actor as he admits to previously 'hurting' those closest to him

14 December 2020 - 12:56 By Jill Serjeant and Khanyisile Ngcobo
Actor Shia LaBeouf has been accused of abusing his former girlfriend FKA Twigs.
Actor Shia LaBeouf has been accused of abusing his former girlfriend FKA Twigs.
Image: Rachel Luna/FilmMagic via Getty Images

More abuse allegations have emerged against US actor Shia LaBeouf, three days after his former girlfriend FKA twigs filed a lawsuit against him for sexual battery.

Last week, twigs, real name Tahliah Barnett, filed a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the actor, accusing him of physical and emotional abuse during their year-long relationship.

The British musician is seeking unspecified damages for alleged sexual battery, assault and emotional distress.

On Sunday, singer Sia came out in support of twigs, while accusing LaBeouf of being a “pathological liar” who “conned me into an adulterous relationship claiming to be single”.

“I believe he's very sick and have compassion for him AND his victims. Just know, if you love yourself - stay safe, stay away,” Sia told her 3.7 million followers on Twitter.

She also praised twigs for speaking out, saying she was “proud” of the British musician for being “courageous”. 

Representatives of LaBeouf, 34, did not respond to a request for comment on twigs' claims.

But 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 towards 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 Bryan 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.

Reuters & TimesLIVE