The suit, detailed in a New York Times report published Friday, was filed in Los Angeles by twigs, whose real name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett. LaBeouf is specifically accused in the suit of sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress.
"I'd like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency," said twigs, who was previously in a romantic relationship with LaBeouf and also co-starred in his semiautobiographical film Honey Boy.
An alleged incident that's key in the suit stems from Feb. 14, 2019. As alleged by twigs, she was with LaBeouf in a car as he drove recklessly and threatened to intentionally crash the vehicle unless she "professed her love for him." At the time, the suit states, LaBeouf and twigs were on their way back to Los Angeles after a trip to the desert during which LaBeouf allegedly woke her up in the middle of the night and choked her.
At a gas station, LaBeouf is alleged to have thrown twigs against the car and screamed in her face when she tried to take her bags from the trunk, ultimately forcing back into the vehicle. LaBeouf is also alleged to have knowingly given twigs an STD. At multiple points, twigs said, he would squeeze or grab her "to the point of bruising."
Also mentioned in the lawsuit is Karolyn Pho, a stylist who is described as another former partner of LaBeouf's. She has also alleged that LaBeouf was abusive, stating that "so much goes into breaking down a man or woman to make them OK with a certain kind of treatment." In the lawsuit, LaBeouf is accused of pinning Pho to a bed when drunk and head-butting her hard enough that she bled.
A number of email correspondences between the Times and LaBeouf are cited in the piece.
"I'm not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel," he said in one email, per the Times. "I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. 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."
In another email, which reporters Katie Banner and Melena Ryzik explained was a response to being given a "detailed account" of the allegations, LaBeouf said "many of these allegations are not true" but that he "owed" twigs and Pho the "opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done."
In the same email, LaBeouf said he was a "sober member" of a 12-step program and currently in therapy, noting that he is "not cured" of his PTSD and alcoholism.
"But I am committed to doing what I need to do to recover, and I will forever be sorry to the people that I may have harmed along the way," he said.
A "significant portion" of any monetary damages resulting from the suit will be donated to domestic violence-related charities, twigs said.
Read the full New York Times piece by Katie Benner and Melena Ryzik here.