FKA twigs: Being abused changes the whole of your nervous system

The singer said she has had to be ‘compassionate’ with herself.

FKA twigs appears on British Vogue’s April cover
FKA twigs appears on British Vogue’s April cover (Ian West/PA)

British singer FKA twigs has reflected on past traumas and said that “being abused changes the whole of your nervous system”.

In December 2020 the music artist accused actor Shia LaBeouf of physical and emotional abuse to which he denied “each and every allegation”.

Reflecting on her relationship with the Hollywood actor, she told British Vogue: “I think naively I thought it would be like any other break-up, that I’d be sad for six months to a year, and then one day I’d wake up and everything would be fine.

“But the fact is being abused changes the whole of your nervous system.

“Because my window of tolerance is now much smaller than it used to be, my body manifests stress in quite extreme ways – it really shows me when it’s upset.”

The music artist added: “I’ve had to be very compassionate with myself and really listen to myself to get better.

“Now I want to challenge myself to know more about the simple, most pure and important things: love, nature, food, a nontoxic lifestyle, my body.

“The path I’m on is not the pastel pink yoga leggings aesthetic.”

The singer, whose legal name is Tahliah Barnett, had filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles in 2020 alleging that Shia LaBeouf was physically and emotionally abusive during their relationship from 2018 to 2019 and claiming that he was a danger to women.

The 36-year-old from Cheltenham alleged the actor once slammed her into a car, tried to strangle her, and knowingly gave her an unspecified sexually transmitted disease.

LaBeouf’s lawyers said at the time that he did not cause harm to Barnett and denied all the allegations.

The singer is now in a relationship with filmmaker and photographer Jordan Hemingway and said she has had to kiss “a few frogs” to get to him.

“You know it just takes the right person,” she said.

“I’ve kissed a few frogs to get there but I feel that Jordan listens to me and opens me up in a way that no one really has ever been able to.”

She added: “When I’m with somebody who’s not in the public eye in the way I am, I’m conscious of everything I can do to make that situation as comfortable as possible because I’ve been on the other side of it. And it’s really not nice.

“Right now I feel so ready to stand up for things that I believe in, to protect people who I love.”

FKA twigs appears on the cover of British Vogue’s April issue and the first of Chioma Nnadi following the departure of British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful.

In Nnadi’s editor’s letter she called the musician an “artist who represents the ideal of the modern British eccentric: she is a shape-shifter who rejects conformity and takes real joy in clothes.”

See the full feature in the April issue of British Vogue, available via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday March 19.