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Shia LaBeouf accused of sexual battery in lawsuit filed by former girlfriend

The British singer FKA twigs accused the "Transformers" actor in a lawsuit of repeatedly assaulting her and inflicting emotional distress.
/ Source: TODAY

British singer FKA twigs has accused former boyfriend Shia LaBeouf of sexual battery, assault and "relentless abuse" in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

FKA twigs, 32, who was born Tahliah Barnett, also accuses the "Transformers" star of intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery and gross negligence, according to court papers obtained by TODAY.

Actor Shia LaBeouf has been accused of sexual battery and other serious offenses in a lawsuit by former girlfriend FKA twigs. John Phillips / Getty Images for BFI

The complaint also details alleged abuse suffered by Karolyn Pho, a stylist and former girlfriend of LaBeouf.

"Shia LaBeouf has abused Ms. Barnett, Ms. Pho and others," FKA twigs' attorney, Bryan Freedman, said in a statement to NBC News. "We 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.”

"What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in the whole of my life,” Barnett told The New York Times, which was the first outlet to report the allegations. "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."

LaBeouf and Barnett began dating in 2018 after filming "Honey Boy," an autobiographical film about LaBeouf's turbulent childhood with his father.

British singer FKA twigs claims in a lawsuit that former boyfriend Shia LaBeouf repeatedly assaulted her and inflicted emotional abuse.Jordan Strauss / AP

Representatives for LaBeouf did not respond to a request for comment regarding the lawsuit.

The actor told The New York Times that "many of these allegations are not true" in reference to the lawsuit. However, he felt Barnett and Pho should have "the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done."

"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."

Barnett also says in the lawsuit that LaBeouf kept a loaded gun by the bed and knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease. The complaint also contains a sworn statement by Barnett's housekeeper saying LaBeouf terrorized her when she was packing up to leave him last year.

The lawsuit represents the latest legal issue involving LaBeouf. He was charged with misdemeanor battery and petty theft in September for a June incident in which he allegedly fought with a man and took his hat. That case is still open with a hearing scheduled for January. In 2017, he was arrested for public drunkenness. He was later found guilty of one count of obstruction but not guilty of public intoxication. And then back in 2014, he plead guilty to disorderly conduct in connection with a drunken outburst during a performance at a New York theater.

Barnett took to Instagram on Friday afternoon to address the allegations.

"It may be surprising to you to learn that i was in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship," she wrote. "It was hard for me to process too, during and after I never thought something like this would happen to me. Which is why I have decided it’s important for me to talk about it and try to help people understand that when you are under the coercive control of an abuser or in an interpersonal violent relationship leaving doesn’t feel like a safe or achievable option."

She continued, "I hope that by sharing my experience I can truly help others feel like they are not alone and shed some light on how those who are worried somebody they care about may be in an abusive relationship can help because I understand it can be confusing and hard to know what to do."