FKA Twigs Received “Hurtful” Racist Abuse While Dating Robert Pattinson

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.
FKA Twigs recently went on Louis Theroux's Grounded podcast and opened up about her past relationships, including one with actor Robert Pattinson.
The couple dated in 2014 and later got engaged to before splitting up in 2017. In the conversation, she revealed how painful it was to be subjected to Pattinson's at times toxic fanbase during the relationship. She described the racist backlash from his fans as "really, really deeply horrific."
"It was at a time where I felt like I couldn't really talk about it. If I was going through that now, I feel like I'd be able to talk about it, and do some good with it," she said. "But I don't know whether it was because of my age or whether it was because of the social climate or whether it was because being Black and from Cheltenham and from a low-income family and having to genuinely work twice as hard as everything I do to get a seat at the table–because that is true."
"I got there and people just called me the most hurtful and ignorant and horrible names under the planet," she said.
Pattinson had wrapped up the Twilight film series in 2012 and dated his co-star Kristen Stewart before getting together with Twigs. She said that fans felt he should be with a white woman instead of her. “He was their white Prince Charming and they considered he should be with someone white and blonde and not me," she said. "[...] Whatever I did at that time, people would find pictures of monkeys and have me doing the same thing as the monkeys."
Understandably, the constant hailstorm of racist abuse took a serious toll on her mental health. "I remember it had this massive, dysmorphic effect on me for about six months to a year, where every time I saw my pictures and photographs I would think, 'Gosh, I look like a monkey, and people are going to say I look like a monkey. So I need to really try and hide this monkey-ness that I have, because otherwise, people are gonna come for me about it.' ... Obviously, I know now that's completely ridiculous. But it is essentially bullying, and it does affect you psychologically. It's really sad," she said.
Thankfully, Twigs maintains that she "now loves" how she looks and she's "very confident and [feels] really good," but still sees the experience as harrowing and very detrimental to her well-being. "I was made to feel so self-conscious and so ugly," she said.
It's been a difficult period for Twigs, as she most recently has been in the news for opening up about her year-long relationship with actor Shia LaBeouf, in which he allegedly physically and emotionally abused her. In December 2020, she filed a domestic abuse lawsuit against him.
"I felt like I wanted to come forward and talk about it, because it is something in society that's a really big problem, and it's really common, but for some reason, we don't talk about it and we just ignore it," she said of her decision to share her story.
If you or someone you know is experiencing an abusive relationship please reach out to Refuge on 0808 2000 247.

More from Pop Culture

R29 Original Series