Music Features

FKA twigs Sues Shia LaBeouf for Physical and Emotional Abuse

"What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I've ever been through," the musician said of her actor ex-boyfriend.

Shia LaBeouf

Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI/Shutterstock

Content warning: This article contains description of sexual assault.

Musician FKA twigs has sued her ex-boyfriend, actor Shia LaBeouf, citing "relentless" physical, emotional, and mental abuse.

"I'd like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency," twigs, born Tahliah Barnett, told the New York Times. In the lawsuit, she cited a 2019 incident in which she was on a road trip with LaBeouf, who was driving, as he threatened to crash the car unless she professed her love for him. After finally letting Barnett out of the car at a nearby gas station, LaBeouf allegedly assaulted her, marking one of many instances in which the musician said her ex-boyfriend had abused her throughout their almost year-long relationship.

LaBeouf and Barnett met in 2018 on the set of Honey Boy, a largely autobiographical film written by the former. Once their "honeymoon phase" wore off, Barnett said LeBeouf began exemplifying controlling behavior, to the point where she was unable to fulfill work responsibilities. Her critically-acclaimed 2019 album, MAGDALENE, was delayed as a result.

"I just thought to myself, no one is ever going to believe me," Barnett told the Times. "I'm unconventional. And I'm a person of color who is a female...What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I've ever been through in the whole of my life."

Barnett's lawsuit also mentions plans to donate a large portion of any monetary damages to domestic violence charities.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can call 800-799-SAFE (7233), or chat live at the National Domestic Violence Hotline's website.

Build Back Better

Photo by SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

It's been said many times: Leaving Trump behind feels like emerging from an abusive relationship, or perhaps renewing one's relationship with a former BFF (America) after she leaves her sh*tty man.

After all, Trump is a classic abuser. He gaslights, he lies, he cheats, and he is leaving behind an America with 200,000 people dead and more dying every day. He never admits his mistakes, creating a vicious cycle wherein he does something atrocious, gets a tan, and then shows up smiling with flowers (or in his case, a last-minute attempt to curry favor with the Black community by befriending several aging rappers).

Many Americans are still under his spell, and there's not much a lot of us can do about it. People in abusive relationships are often in denial about what's happening to them, and they often won't leave until they decide to. Shaming someone in an abusive relationship is rarely an effective way to get them out of it, as they've likely already been shamed many times.

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Eminem Once Said "Of Course I Side with Chris Brown" Before Collaborating With Rihanna

A 10-year-old song snippet has leaked in which the rapper said, "I'd beat a b*tch down, too," shortly before he and Rihanna recorded "Love the Way You Lie."

Eminem, Rihanna

A snippet of a song recording in which Eminem supports Chris Brown's violence towards Rihanna has leaked online.

According to XXL, the clip was recorded during the making of the rapper's 2009 album Relapse. "I'm not playing, Rihanna where'd you get the V.D. at?" Eminem says. "Let me add my two cents / Of course I side with Chris Brown / I'd beat a bitch down, too." Brown became infamous following his February 2009 assault of Rihanna, whom he was dating at the time.

"This is a leak of something that's over 10 years old," Eminem's spokesperson Dennis Dennehy told XXL. "After Eminem recorded it, he scrapped it and rewrote it. Obviously he and Rihanna have a great relationship."

But how do we know Em and Rih actually have a great relationship? Sure, the pair have collaborated on two No. 1 hits: "The Monster" and "Love the Way You Lie." But the lyrics of the latter—which were originally praised at the time of its 2010 release—become even more harrowing under the shadow of Eminem's newly-surfaced bolstering of Brown. Take his final line in the track: "If she ever tries to f**kin' leave again, I'ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire." Considering the media frenzy surrounding Rihanna's abuse shortly before the song dropped and the countless accounts of assault in the entertainment industry since, can we really trust that the supposed "greatness" of their relationship extended beyond their studio time?

And even in the decade-plus since committing the assault, Brown has still remained massively successful; he's continued to clock hit after hit, and fellow rapper Lil Dicky even wrote an entire song with him, "Freaky Friday," about what it'd be like to switch places with each other. "And then I began thinking, like, 'Who would I wanna switch bodies with?'" Dicky said of the 2018 song, which even pokes fun at Brown's "controversial past." "So the first person I thought of was Chris Brown." "Freaky Friday" is a perfect example of the subtle exoneration the music industry has granted Brown, as well as the tendency many men have to schmooze with their buddies, letting misogynistic behavior slide rather than demanding accountability.

Lil Dicky in the music video for "Freaky Friday," which features Chris Brown.Lil Dicky

Brown wouldn't still be successfully making music today if it weren't for the men that pardoned him in the wake of his headline-breaking assault. Eminem's leak might be ten years old, but the issue it exhibits is still all-too relevant in 2019. Stop giving Brown a platform, but more importantly, call out your peers' misogynistic habits before it's too late.

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Publicity Finally Forced Kevin Spacey into Court for Sexual Assault

The actor has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 30 individuals who allege similar incidents occurring over decades. Why is the actor only now facing legal charges of felony sexual assault?

Kevin Spacey arrives to the US District Courthouse in New York City

Photo by John Nacion (Shutterstock)

A small resort island, a guilty plea, and a private jet wrecked Kevin Stacey's Monday morning.

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Chance the Rapper Doubted R. Kelly's Accusers "Because They Were Black Women"

The rapper says he was taken out of context when he said he didn't believe R. Kelly accusers because of their race.


Image by fitzcrittle (Shutterstock)

After Lifetime aired the finale of the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, Chance the Rapper sparked outrage with his remark about why he ignored stories of Kelly's sexual misconduct.

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Oscars 2018 Preview: Best Picture

Get Caught Up on This Year's Nominees

Call Me by Your Name Movie Clip - Dance Party (2017) | Movieclips Indie

Yesterday the Academy revealed their nominees for the 2018 Oscars. In case you're not caught up, here's Popdust's previews of the Best Picture candidates:

The Phantom Thread

It's been a decade since the Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis and Johnny Greenwood dream team got together to make a film, and while The Phantom Thread may not be quite as seismic as There Will Be Blood, it's made with just as much quality and finesse. Methodical, detailed, and imbued with significance in every smallest moment of run time, it's also the film that pushed Day-Lewis to retire from acting, which makes The Phantom Thread worth watching on two fronts. For a more in-depth look, check out my review.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

For my money, Martin McDonagh is one of Europe's most talented dramatists alive today. Three Billboards plays like a stage show—small scale, modest production value, dialogue-driven, etc—and possesses the qualities of McDonagh's best works: icky moral dilemmas, harsh characters, every variation on sh*t, piss and c*nt. Perhaps no other film this year is as tightly written.

The Shape of Water

Not since Beauty and the Beast itself has a film concerning bestiality (or whatever the monster version of that term would be) garnered so much critical acclaim as The Shape of Water. Like much of Guillermo del Toro's work, Water is beautifully colored and shot, but lacks depth in its writing. In spite of an emotional climax that amounts to the sort of "he loves me for who I really am" sentiment most common to teenage dramas and rom-coms, The Shape of Water has been reeling in praise and Critics' Choice Awards. Plus, the monster character looks a lot like an Oscar statue up close, so that bodes well.

Lady Bird

In tone and style, Greta Gerwig may be the closest equivalent to Woody Allen for the millennial generation. The character of Lady Bird, played by Saiorse Ronan, feels like a culmination of all the other pseudo-Gerwig protagonists of past films—Mistress America and Maggie's Plan come to mind—and the story a culmination of that character. It's also really funny.

Get Out

I remember listening to the October 29, 2013 episode of Pete Holmes' podcast, when Jordan Peele, his featured guest, mentioned a script he was working out: a sort of comedy-horror film called 'Get Out'. He played it off as being early-stage and, frankly, I wasn't too interested in a movie with such a bland title from the Key & Peele guy. Evidently, I did a misread. Get Out isn't perfect—the acting is fine, it's (intentionally) corny, and it plays the Easter eggs meta-game with little regard for subtlety (He drives a Lincoln? Just hammer it into my skull why don't you?). But its concept is, basically, perfect—unique, hilarious, social commentary turned on its head—which is particularly refreshing in our age of sequels, revivals and rehashes. There's also never been a movie more suited to its cultural moment.


Dunkirk is another pique Christopher Nolan picture—heavy, shot in expensive film, meant for only the largest of IMAX theaters. Its subject—the battles at Dunkirk during the Second World War—is so significant in 20th century history that it's surprising how few films have gone there before. Most importantly, in addition to all the other young British actors you can think of, it non-ironically features Harry Styles in a dramatic role.

The Post

If every Hollywood movie ever made had a group baby together, it might look something like The Post. The product of three of the industry's most accomplished and least objectionable figures—Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg—with a current events tie-in and leftist political appeal, The Post may just be the most normal movie ever made, for better and for worse.

Darkest Hour

Faced with the fate of his nation—whether to fight or surrender to the seemingly unstoppable Nazi Blitzkreig—Winston Churchill steps out of his private car on the way to Parliament, and takes the Tube for the first time in his life. Of course, no single bit of this sequence occurred in real life, but even as you're sitting knowing that, the pure emotion of the scene compels you to just let it happen. Such is the tension of Darkest Hour: it's Hollywood-ization without remorse, though the product itself is a terribly compelling drama.

Call Me By Your Name

Starring the point guard of this author's middle school Safe Haven basketball team, Call Me By Your Name is beautifully deep and uncomplicated. Much more compelling than what the film is actually about—a teen summer romance, queerness, coming-of-age—is how it handles the minute-to-minute interactions and shifts in its characters. For more, read my review here.

For continuing Oscars coverage, stay tuned for Popdust's predictions and review of the show.