When heavenly forces align. FKA Twigs recently starred as a guest on Louis Theroux's new podcast series this week, and in true fashion if being interviewed by Theroux, was given the space to detail her experience of domestic abuse at the hands of Shia LeBeouf candidly, and the points the Sad Day singer makes about the ways domestic violence and abuse can infiltrate lives are poignant and important to consider.
The singer filed a lawsuit against LeBeouf towards the end of 2020 which cited a pattern of abuse in their relationship, and detailed everything from harassment to assault and sexual battery. In her interview with Theroux, who is gentle and inquisitive in his approach, the singer tells him that during their last interview together when Theroux asked what she'd been doing during lockdown, Twigs revealed that she was actually just "trying to sleep through each night without having a panic attack.", and wasn't ready to talk about the details.
"It's not something that defines me but it is now a big part of who I am" she now reveals in the latest interview. After a few months of silence, she talks about her motivation to speak out, "To raise awareness to the signs of abuse via my experience," Which began, as prompted by Theroux, as "an intense honeymoon period at the beginning which is a signifier of how brilliant things can be - it sets the benchmark for if you behave well and if you fulfil all of the requirements and meet the rules and all of these things of the abuser, it can be there, it can be great. Intense love bombing, displays of affection." she describes as the initial red flags of potential abuse, and then "the grooming, the pushing of your emotional and spiritual boundaries. So, that can come out through somebody being jealous, controlling, little things that you could do wrong that could take away from the happiness of where things could be."
"For me," she elaborates, "it was being nice to a waiter or being polite to someone. That could be seen as flirting, or wanting to engage in some sort of relationship with somebody else when I'm literally just ordering pasta and being polite." she told Theroux.
For so many survivors, the dynamic begins the same. All at once in a dreamlike albeit intense entanglement, and then over time becoming more sinister and controlling. At one point, Theroux asks why she didn't leave when she knew how bad it had gotten. "It's hard to understand what's going on psychologically when you're being controlled and coerced by and abuser because it happens very slowly." She explains, "the 'why didn't you just leave' conversation is something I really want to tackle, because people often ask the survivor "why didn't you leave?" instead of asking the abuser "why are you holding somebody hostage through abusive behaviour?""
Twigs' generosity in sharing her story - one that is so necessary to tell - isn't one to go unnoticed, especially to fellow survivors. Alongside her words spreading awareness on grooming and coercive control, she talks about the importance of building herself up so that she felt strong enough to leave, and how she got to a point of asking for help.
Alongside the topic of her relationship, FKA Twigs spoke on new music and the way it's come to fruition throughout lockdown, "Over lockdown I wrote an album, all over the internet," she said. "All working with people I've never worked with before. I've got more collaborations and features on this album than I've ever had before. The majority of the people I've never met in real life. We spent a lot of time with each other over FaceTime. It's a real product of 2020. It's about being able to have my work represent landmarks in time. To make an album over FaceTime is the epitome of an artist being isolated and still having the desire to make work. So I felt that I did that."
The product of which has just been released with her new song “Don’t Judge Me”, which you can preview below.
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