FKA Twigs | CREDIT: JOE MAHER/GETTY
FKA Twigs | CREDIT: JOE MAHER/GETTY

FKA Twigs Releases ‘Don’t Judge Me’ amid Shia LaBeouf Abuse Lawsuit: This Is ‘Special to Me’

In a filing previously obtained by PEOPLE, Twigs alleges that LaBeouf sexually and physically assaulted and battered her

FKA Twigs is releasing new music amid her ongoing lawsuit against ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf, in which she alleges he sexually and physically assaulted and battered her throughout their relationship and knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease.

On Tuesday, the star, 33, dropped her new single “Don’t Judge Me” with Headie One and Fred Again. Announcing her latest release in an Instagram post, Twigs (né Tahliah Debrett Barnett), shared a heartfelt message, writing, “This project is very personal and special to me.”

The singer is especially proud to have explored “the interconnection of Black history between Africa, America and Europe” in her new song.

Twigs’ new project comes just one month after she filed a lawsuit against LaBeouf, accusing him of “relentless abuse,” according to the Dec. filing obtained by PEOPLE.

“What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in the whole of my life,” she told The New York Times then. “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 … I just thought to myself, no one is ever going to believe me. I’m unconventional and I’m a person of color who is a female.”

LaBeouf previously told The New York Times that “many” of the allegations against him were untrue.

(Twigs has since entered a new relationship with her boyfriend Matty Healy. In February, a source confirmed to PEOPLE that the two had officially become an item.)

In December, FKA twigs filed the lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

In the filing, the singer alleged that LaBeouf would turn small disagreements into night-long fights and had an armed gun by his bedside, which made her feel threatened to get up to use the restroom at night because she feared he would shoot her thinking she was an intruder.

She also described an incident in which she claimed the Transformers actor threw her against his car at a gas station and berated her publicly.

The singer further detailed the alleged incident during her interview on Monday’s episode of the Grounded with Louis Theroux podcast, in which she described that LaBeouf was “basically strangling” her in front of bystanders — and they looked on.

“Nobody did anything. That was a really low moment for me because I felt like I would never be believed,” FKA Twigs recounted, adding, “Nobody stepped in. For me, that was a real moment of, ‘Okay, no one is going to believe me, because I’m the type of person if I saw something happening, I will go and help somebody, that’s just who I am.”

“To have people see me being treated in that way and not do anything — I felt really disheartened,” she added. “I remember going back to where I was staying and calling an abused women’s helpline … and her reaction to me was so serious.”

To receive such compassion from a total stranger really helped Barnett feel seen and heard, “That was a really massive wake-up call. That’s the time when I realized, ‘I need a lot of help to get out of this.’ ” With the help of a therapist, FKA twigs ended the year-long toxic relationship last spring. In the court filing, she also claimed that when she tried to move out of LaBeouf’s house, he violently grabbed her and locked her in a room where he yelled at her.

https://people.com/music/fka-twigs-releases-dont-judge-me-amid-abuse-lawsuit-against-ex-shia-labeouf/

Last month, LaBeouf addressed the allegations of abuse in several emails to The Times, in which he wrote that he cannot “tell anyone how my behavior made them feel.”

“I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations,” he wrote. “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.”

FKA twigs’ attorney Bryan Freedman told PEOPLE at the time, “Shia LaBeouf has abused Ms. Barnett and others. 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.”

FKA Twigs | CREDIT: DAVE BENETT/GETTY
FKA Twigs | CREDIT: DAVE BENETT/GETTY

LaBeouf’s lawyer, Shawn Holley, told Variety in December that the actor was seeking help.

“Shia needs help and he knows that,” he said in a statement to the outlet. “We are actively seeking the kind of meaningful, intensive, long-term inpatient treatment that he desperately needs … This isn’t about Shia’s career. This is about making sure the trauma and pain inflicted on my clients and others doesn’t happen again. Shia is an admitted abuser and he needs to get meaningful help that addresses his violent behavior.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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