The 33-year-old musician detailed how LaBeouf—who she met on the set of his 2019 film Honey Boy—employed manipulative tactics over the course of their year-long relationship, ultimately alienating her from friends and family and destroying her own self-worth, making it feel impossible to leave.
“If you put a frog in a boiling pot of water, that frog is going to jump out straightaway,” she told the publication. “Whereas if you put a frog in cool water and heat it up slowly, that frog is going to boil to death. That was my experience being with [LaBeouf].”
She added, “What I went through with my abuser is, hands down, the worst thing [I’ve experienced] in the whole of my life. Recovering has been the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do.”
Barnett went on to shed light on society’s misconceptions with assuming that women of influence and celebrity status have the confidence, financial security and resources to leave an abusive relationship. She said, “People wouldn’t think that it would happen to a woman like me."
"The biggest misconception is, ‘Well, you’re smart. If it was that bad, why didn’t you leave?’ It can happen to anyone.” And as a result of the global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, it made her reflect on how many other women may be trapped in similar abusive situations. “It made me realise I need to come forward and talk about my experience,” she said.
LaBeouf has chosen not to comment on the most recent information, only releasing a statement through his lawyer, saying that he "denies, generally and specifically, each and every allegation contained in [Barnett]'s Complaint, denies that [Barnett] has sustained any injury or loss by reason of any act or omission on the part of [LaBeouf], and denies that [Barnett] is entitled to any relief or damages whatsoever", per People.
When Barnett’s lawsuit went public back in December, LaBeouf did release a statement to The New York Times, “I'm not in any position to tell anyone how my behaviour made them feel. I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalisations. 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.”