In the wake of FKA Twigs' lawsuit against ex-boyfriend, Shia LaBeouf, the musician and singer remains haunted by memories of his allegedly abusive behavior towards her, a friend of Twigs recently told the New York Post.
"This has been hugely traumatizing … Shia having a gun by the side of the bed and her fearing to go to the bathroom at night — it's a primal fear to be stuck feeling helpless in the dark," the friend said.
Twigs, whose real name is Tahliah Barnett, filed suit against Shia last week, alleging he subjected to her to sexual battery, emotional distress and physical assault over the course of their nearly one year long relationship from 2018 until 2019.
In court documents, Tahliah, 32, details multiple instances of abuse, recounting experiences in which Shia, 34, allegedly attacked her at a gas station after threatening to crash the car they were in if she didn't profess her love for him and choked her as she slept, among other things.
The lawsuit also includes allegations of abuse from stylist Karolyn Pho, another woman Shia dated. In an interview with the New York Times, Karolyn said that one point, Shia "pinned her to a bed" and hit her with his head "enough that she bled."
"So much goes into breaking down a man or woman to make them OK with a certain kind of treatment," she told the outlet.
After Tahliah went public with her story, both in the lawsuit and in a separate interview with the Times, singer Sia, who once hired Shia for a music video, tweeted that he later "conned" her "into an adulterous relationship claiming to be single."
One day later, singer-songwriter Katy Rose levied more allegations against the actor. "I grew up with Shia LaBeouf in Los Angeles, she tweeted on Dec, 13. "We were the same age, ran in the same circles, and were working kids in the entertainment business at the same time. When I was 14, he groped me violently at a party in the Hollywood Hills," she continued.
Speaking to the Post, Katy alleged Shia was "always aggressive towards girls" as a kid. "He did grope me at a party when I was 14 … multiple times, on different occasions. He was always a scary guy. I felt very threatened by him," she said.
Shia, meanwhile, told the Times that while, "many of these allegations are not true," his struggle to overcome alcoholism makes it hard for him to "defend" his "actions."
"I have been abusive to myself and everyone around me for years," he told the Times in an email. "I have a history of hurting the people closest to me. I'm ashamed of that history and am sorry to those I hurt."
Tahliah and Shia dated after co-starring in "Honey Boy," a movie Shia wrote in court-ordered rehab. He's said it was inspired by his relationship with his abusive father.
Tahliah's friend tells the Post the singer felt like she had "had no choice" but to speak out about her experience in the interest of protecting others from similar treatment.
"Shia is not of sound mind …A lot of the stuff that [Twigs] is finding triggering at the moment is the psychological torment that she endured. It keeps playing itself out. Every time you have to recount something, it triggers you again," the friend explained.
Asked what Tahliah wants from the lawsuit, her friend said, "For no one else to get hurt … by Shia — however that happens, whether that's by a court trial or proactively. Shia needs to get help, and that's the crux of everything."
According to her lawyer, Bryan Freedman, Tahliah and Karolyn want Shia "to get help for his mental and alcohol issues and make a donation to a shelter for abused women," Bryan told the Post.
Shia's lawyer, Shawn Holley, said the actor "has never denied having serious issues for which he needs professional help, and he has been in treatment since the time these allegations were raised, if not before."