Grooming the Rich and Famous for Abuse

Evan Rachel Wood and FKA twigs with Shia LaBeouf

The last few months have found wealthy, successful women escaping abusive relationships, with Evan Rachel Wood and FKA twigs prominent among them.

But how do wealthy women who, it seems, could so easily leave, end up in such harrowing circumstances? Actually, theirs is the story we find among most victims of domestic violence, rich or poor: whirlwind romance, controlling behavior, isolation, criticism and verbal abuse leading to violence.

Forewarned is forearmed. What can we learn from the experiences of FKA twigs and Evan Rachel Wood? 

WHIRLWIND ROMANCE

Recording artist FKA twigs met and began dating actor Shia LaBeouf on the set of “Honey Boy.” Their early days were filled with “over-the-top displays of affection,” which helped earn her trust, she says.

This is a common tactic of abusive men, who frequently begin a romance as the embodiment of Prince Charming. But if something seems too good to be true, it likely is. 

In reality, these men are fantasizing about harming their partners and want them to fall in love both hard and fast. Fast so they can quickly begin the abuse, and hard to keep their lovers coming back once the violence starts. Apologies, professions of love and promises to re-embody the man of her dreams aid the process.

Evan Rachel Wood doesn’t speak of any romantic tsunami emanating from Marilyn Manson, and while there are patterns to domestic violence each situation can vary a bit, so their relationship may or may not have gone through that phase, yet being courted by a famous celebrity might feel something like a fairy tale. 

But Manson was likely fantasizing about abusing her, having said that the song “I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies” came from fantasizing daily about “smashing in her skull with a sledgehammer.” 

CONTROLLING BEHAVIOR 

Abusive men work to control their partners’ comings and going’s, their money, what they eat what they wear, who they can see, and on it goes…

Wood says Manson monitored her cellphone and online activities, erupting in fury if she spoke with someone he disapproved of. He also weakened her through starvation and sleep deprivation.

During times when she did leave him he called her incessantly. Manson himself told Spin magazine that after one breakup he called her 158 times in one day. He also threatened to harm or kill himself if she left, and he cut himself with a razor after each of those 158 phone calls.

Twigs was similarly controlled, saying LaBeouf would not let her speak to or look at male waiters, and insisted she keep her eyes down when men spoke to her. He also had rules about how often she must kiss or touch him. Any deviation from those rules sparked a diatribe of criticism.

ISOLATION

Isolating the victim from her support system is key, and is also an aspect of controlling behavior.

LaBeouf convinced twigs to stay in Los Angeles with him rather than return to her home in London where her friends and creative team were based. He also criticized her professional network, leading twigs to doubt them, which created still more distance between her and her team.

Similarly, Wood says Manson, “cut me off from my close friends and family one by one, by exhibiting rage in some form or another when I was in contact with them,” adding that “By the time I realized I was in a bad situation, I felt completely trapped and terrified for my life.”  

CRITICISM and VERBAL ABUSE

Criticism and verbal abuse often escalate to physical violence. And violence is itself a form of insult communicating, “You’re nothing.”

Twigs recalls how LaBeouf constantly amplified small disagreements (which songwriter is the better artist?) into all-night fights. This, in turn, deprived her of sleep and accelerated the brainwashing. Meanwhile his constant “belittling and berating” as she put it, shrunk her self-esteem, making her easier to control. 

VIOLENCE

Marilyn Manson had a “rape room.” Grammy nominated Phoebe Bridgers was a big fan as a teen but when she and her friends were invited to visit his house he referred to one room as the “rape room.” She stopped being a fan.

Manson used force in sex with Wood. As she related, sometimes he “would not allow me to sleep until I participated in acts of fear, pain, torture and humiliation, which I felt powerless to stop.” Once he forced her to kneel as he tied her hands and feet and then beat and shocked her with something he called a violet wand. 

Twigs says LaBeouf committed assault, sexual battery and inflicted emotional distress on her. As when she woke up in the middle of the night to him choking her. Once, during a long road trip he raged and drove recklessly, threatening to crash unless she said she loved him. When he stopped for gas twigs grabbed her bags from the car and fled but LaBeouf caught and assaulted her and then forced her back into the car. When she finally decided to leave for good he unfortunately came home unannounced as she was packing her bags. Angered, he began terrorizing her and locked her in a room. 

JEALOUSY: THE EXCUSE FOR ABUSE

Remember that at the beginning of the relationship abusers often pull out the stops, offering extreme charm and romance. This comes in handy when they get to the violent stage. Using jealousy as their excuse for abuse, the abuser hopes his victim will think, “His violent jealousy is a sign that he loves me so much.” And of course, that’s what he tells her when he later “apologizes” and promises the return of Prince Charming.  

Wood recalled that Manson “had bouts of extreme jealousy, which would often result in him wrecking our home, cornering me in a room and threatening me.” And jealousy surely figured in LaBeouf’s restriction on twigs’ attention to men.

FEELING POWERLESS

After all they have been through escape can come to feel difficult or even impossible. Wood says that at one point she thought Manson might kill her. “Not just because my abuser said to me, ‘I could kill you right now.’ But because in that moment, I felt like I left my body. I was too afraid to run, he would find me.”

In fact, she was barely able to process what had happened to her even after she found the strength to leave for good. Playing a character in “Westworld” who moves from naïveté to awareness of evil helped her to see and process more clearly the ordeal she had undergone.

Likewise, escape had come to seem “both difficult and dangerous” to twigs. She talks about her learned helplessness saying, “The whole time I was with him, I could have bought myself a business-flight plane ticket back to my four-story townhouse in Hackney” (in London). But she didn’t because, “He brought me so low, below myself, that the idea of leaving him and having to work myself back up just seemed impossible.”

In truth abusers are most likely to kill their partners when they are exiting the relationship, so careful planning is a must. Consulting a hotline or battered women’s shelter is recommended (see below). 

LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES, PTSD

FKA twigs still has panic attacks almost every night and Evan Rachel Wood says, “So often we speak of these assaults as no more than a few minutes of awfulness, but the scars last a lifetime. For years she has “struggled with depression, addiction, agoraphobia, night terrors” and she has made two suicide attempts. She was eventually diagnosed with PTSD.

But both women are still standing. Twigs and Wood. They bend but don’t break.

 – – – – – 

National domestic abuse hotline here. (But Internet usage can be traced.)

1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or  1-800-787-3224 (for hearing impaired)

More warning signs to look out for here.

SOURCES FOR ARTICLE:

New York Times: FKA twigs Sues Shia LaBeouf, Citing ‘Relentless’ Abusive Relationship

New York Times: What Defines Domestic Abuse? Survivors Say It’s More Than Assault

Washington Post: Evan Rachel Wood names Marilyn Manson in abuse allegations: ‘I am done living in fear of retaliation’  

Washington Post: ‘Westworld’ actress Evan Rachel Wood says she was raped: ‘I am strong, but I am still not okay’

New York Times: Evan Rachel Wood Accuses Marilyn Manson of Abuse 

Vanity Fair: He “Horrifically Abused Me for Years”: Evan Rachel Wood and Other Women Make Allegations of Abuse Against Marilyn Manson

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 10, 2021, in violence against women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 72 Comments.

  1. Just reading the title of this article drew me into reading more into the thoughts of the author. The rich and famous. These individuals have been given this title from entertainment recognition, their intelligence that might saved thousands, or even creating a new social media network. The rich and famous can be described to have been able to create an abusive tendency. Weather it is from verbal abuse, physical abuse, power of authority, or even mental abuse, some of these monstrous individuals have this idea of being able to get away with their actions.

  2. When I was in my final year in high school I met someone who became my best friend for about 2 years. During that time, we both met her ex-boyfriend who we eventually learned to be an extremely toxic and abusive guy in all of the ways you can be abusive. We met him at the same time and both had a similar experience with him getting extremely close with both of us. He came into our group because he was romantically interested in me but I didn’t think of him in that way. He and my best friend eventually got together and it was a textbook start to an abusive relationship except I was involved the majority of the time until he decided to start isolating her. Her and I had a very tight bond and he broke that. He turned her into someone I didn’t and still don’t recognize. I had never seen such a toxic person like him before and I’m very grateful I didn’t get romantically involved with him. I just wish my friend didn’t have to get caught in such a traumatic experience. I could only imagine how difficult it is for someone in that spot regardless of their social or economic class. My heart goes out to them.

  3. mehreen chauhan

    It is difficult reading this as a woman who is attracted to men. Not to say that all men exhibit this behavior and that this behavior is particular to men, but it is nonetheless terrifying that someone who you are supposed to trust can so easily change into someone who harms you. It is scary because these aren’t the first or the last stories I am going to hear. After reading this, I have this urge to prepare myself so I can spot the signs of these types of behaviors. I want to be able to spot the red flags so I can escape them before it is too late. I am currently watching the show “You” and the protagonist displays some of the behaviors described above. They start out as prince charming, but then they slowly begin to isolate you from your friends claiming that they are bad for you, they try and destroy your career to keep you close to them, and they seem to be jealous of everyone around them and use jealousy as an excuse for violent (physical and/or emotional) actions. If I am being honest, whenever I hear these anecdotes I always think to myself, “why didn’t they leave?” and, “why did they stay as long as they did?”. I know from lecture material and other people’s experiences that the victims self-esteem and self-worth drop so low they feel as if they can’t escape and fear the consequences of when they try to. I guess if I haven’t processed that someone could be brought to their ultimate low like that. I am fearful of that happening to me: being put in a relationship in which I fear escaping.

  4. I can see how people fall into the trap of an abuser. When you have been deceived/lied to and eventually fall for them, even red flags look normal through rose colored lenses. One thing I have learned to weed out abusers or abuse sympathizers is to talk about how someone else is going through any type of abuse. Listen to what the other person responds with. If it’s anything along the lines of accusatory or unsympathetic, I know it’s time for me to make my exit. My issue is that I’m not sure if abusers can see what they say or do is wrong.

  5. Hollywood often perpetuates the protection of abusers with multiple cases of misconduct simply due to their wealth or status. The greatest example of this would be Harvey Weinstein and his sexual abuse charges. He was extremely powerful within the film industry for many years and because of that, he was able to leverage his privilege to conceal his abuse, leaving many women hurt and forever scarred. Furthermore, women still have been shunned to speak about their experiences with abuse.

    • And that seems to stem from living in a culture that privileges men and masculinity. It helps men to become more powerful so that people are fearful of speaking out. And it also tends to bring people to side with the abuser.

  6. Domestic violence is an extremely common occurrence. It’s a set of coercive tactics used by one person against another, including physical, psychological, sexual, economic, and emotional abuse, with the objective of establishing and maintaining power and control. Many people seem to believe that just because someone is famous, they must live a happy life. They are still human at the end of the day, and Evan Rachel Woods was subjected to physical, verbal, and mental abuse in this case. I’ve learned a lot about domestic abuse and how the cycle works from personal experience, so it was interesting reading about Woods’ story, despite her misery. I learned that domestic violence may have been avoided after understanding more about how it occurs. As a result, I believe it is vital for other women to understand more about domestic abuse and to educate themselves about it.

    • Another point I didn’t make as a lot of women are ashamed to admit that they are being abused, as if it makes them look unloved or something. But here you see that even famous women can end up in the same situation. No woman should take it personally. Abusive men will abuse and it has nothing to do with the woman.

  7. Where is the red flag drawn when a man romanticizing a woman becomes an early warning sign for abuse to occur? Sweeping a woman off her feet hard and fast could more than surely create persuasion over her. Add to that a man with money and fame, then the ultimate control of power and seduction is put in place. People idolize superstars and have a hard time believing that they are capable of acts of abuse. They are sometimes ‘untouchable’ in the sense that they can get away with almost anything. I can see, unfortunately, how easy it would be for any woman (or man) to fall into a depth of control by the enticing lure of a celebrity’s eminence. Also, the thought of finally speaking out and being publicly scrutinized could be absolutely devastating to one’s character and reputation. The fear alone could silence even the strongest survivor. Recently, the #MeToo Movement has provided a platform for women to gain the confidence and strength to speak out against their abusers, despite their prestigious positions.

  8. Physically, mentally and emotionally abuse happens way more than we think it does. We often see happy relationships in social media, in the real world, however, we never really know what happens behind close doors. Just like these wealthy successful women, thousands of other women are going through similar situations everyday. I didn’t know how common abuse was till I learned more about it. Usually when we think about abuse, we think about physical abuse. However is way more than just physical abuse. Abuse can happen verbally as well. I truly believe that if more women educate themselves and become more aware of the pattern of abuse, it harder to fall into these abusive relationships. 

  9. This post is intriguing in the sense that it shows just another way in how men control women and exercise power to keep them down. This form of abuse happens to, as we see here, women of different backgrounds and different races. In society we continue to be witnesses and sometimes bystanders to this abuse. Both of these stories were public headlines in the press of which I remember reading about. What I do not recall reading about was the anger or any consequential actions towards LaBeouf or Manson. Actually, Manson was recently a guest star at another major celebrity’s album release party. I find it disturbing society continues to not hold men to a higher standard of conduct. Unfortunately, these women have been left with lasting and life-altering consequences while LaBeouf and Manson continue to live their lives unaffected.

  10. I feel like being in an abusive relationship is hard to get out of, especially now with the term being used as “toxic”. Teenagers and pretty much everybody is using this term when an individual is jealous, abusive, and controlling. I do not agree with this term at all because is taking all these characteristics as jokes. I have a few friends who were in an abusive relationship and they still are, as much as I give advice and try to help, it’s hard to understand because I am not in their shoes, as they tell me. I remember being in a similar situation, not being abused physically or mentally, but maybe emotionally, until this point, I am not sure. I was dating at that time and my boyfriend cheated on me, he used to tell me “forgive me, I love you, you are the only one for me”, we went back together and he did it again, and again he said the same thing, finally, in the end, I decided to put a stop to it because I saw that this was not right, was not healthy too. I do agree that sometimes it’s easy to say it than doing it.

    • People who aren’t aware of the pattern of abuse are probably even more likely to find themselves inside of it. Unaware of the warning signs. And as they say, love is blind. You don’t want to see what you don’t want to see when you are in love. And of course the abuser takes advantage of that. I am curious about why you don’t like using the word toxic to describe certain types of behavior that sound poisonous to me. I would be interested to get more on your point of view if you care to expound.

  11. I think that standards of treatment that women expect from men have dropped considerably over the past few decades. Although it is easy to be swept away with fairytale romance, I believe that there are numerous red flags that women choose to overlook showing up early in a relationship, if one pays attention. Keeping on objective outlook on the newcomers in one’s life can help prevent unhealthy dynamics from escalating to abuse. I have personally been involved in a relationship with a man who tried to guilt me into surpassing my boundaries, however, I realized this early on and was able to avoid such mistreatment in my following relationships. Staying highly aware of the possible dangers that lack of attention to warning signs of trouble can make one vulnerable to can help women avoid life-threatening situations.

  12. In recent times, women are lacking support from society, our peers, and institutions that we have rely on most. the main problem with sexual abuse and rape in the United States, is that women do not feel safe come in coming forward with their accusations. This fear does not discriminate against the wealthy or elite, in fact, coming forward with allegations can mean harsher consequences for woman involved with powerful and wealthy men. These men have the financial means to extinguish their allegations, even worse they have the power to humiliate their victims in the process. Majority of the high-profile cases we hear about, have not happened recently, but instead were part of an intricate system designed to protect the abuser and portray the victim as sexually immoral or flat out lying. If it were easier for women to come forward right from the start, evidence is more likely to be present and work in the woman’s favor.

  13. The blatant disrespect to anyone is just beyond me. All of the years of thinking that Shia Lebouf was a great guy and an even better actor have just bought my hopes down for good respectable men. For the two women that had to endure this torture I pray that they’ve found peace today and forgiveness in their hearts. They no longer have to go through fear of their mates and live in fear daily. For the two men that felt the need to put their hands on a woman I have no respect for that. They both should pay for their actions, no matter how long ago it was. It just needs to be pushed into the courts so justice can be service. My heart goes out to them.

  14. I remembered when all of this happened, how heartbreaking it was to read about what happened to FKA twigs and Evan Rachel Wood. It was disturbing how much people didn’t believe their stories. People were in denial that Shia LaBeouf and Marilyn Manson would actually do any of this. Especially Shia’s and Marilyn’s fans were the ones saying how there was no way these men would do such a thing. Meanwhile people were blaming the women for how they’re lying and not believing a word they said. I’ve never understood why people would call any survivor a liar.

    One of my cousins had gone through a similar situation where her ex had abused her to the point the cops were called and she had to be taken to the hospital because her ex hit her so bad in the face and broke her arm. When she told her ex’s parents at the police station, they didn’t believe her one bit. She told them endlessly how their son had done this to her and she’ll forever be traumatized by him and he got the paid back he deserved by being behind bars for the rest of his life.

  15. I think a majority of time regular people think of celebrities as something more. We forget they’re “human” and experience similar problems as the rest of us. Therefore, when onlookers see or hear of celebrities in abusive relationships they expect them to be able to just leave and get out of it, with no problem. The reasoning is usually because they have a lot of money or more resources than everyone else, which should essentially make it easy, right? Wrong! It is a much deeper subject than that; people in abusive relationships are being manipulated mentally and emotionally. Having money and resources won’t help you leave this situation unless you are in a strong enough mindset. I’ve seen friends and family in abusive relationships and it takes an incredible amount of mental strength to be able to leave for good.

  16. After reading the sad stories from Evan Rachel Wood and FKA twigs, it reminds me of my family. As a girl who was born in a rural area in China. I had faced some similar situations as they do. My mother never has a job after I and my brother were born because my father thinks my mom needs to take care of us. I always see they will have some arguments about the financial problem. Verbal abuse happened very often in my family when my father is stressed about his career. My mom is obedient to him because she doesn’t have a job. My father is the one who holds the purse strings in our family. Like the article mentions, ‘Abusive men work to control their partners’ comings and going’s, their money, what they eat what they wear, who they can see, and on it goes. ” He controls everything even when he had an affair, he still complains about my mom because he thinks she is too old and has no charming. 

    My grandma sometimes will visit our house and complains about the expensive apparel my mom purchased. If she cooks for us, she will let me eat less and complains that I have a too good appetite. However, she never complains about it with my father and my little brother. She always let them choose what they want to eat and cook for them if they are hungry. It makes me feel low self-esteem and begin to doubt myself for a long time.

    In the article, Wood says that at one point she thought Manson might kill her. She can’t even think about leaving him because she believes Manson will find her anyway. I was like her too. I never believe myself is better than my brother or my father until the day I leave my home and start my own life. The toxic relationship is truly harmful and painful. Fortunately, we are not alone. We have friends, psychologists, social workers, teachers, and feminists to get along with. The abuse can’t last too long when we begin to wake up and leave the toxic relationship. 

  17. Abusive relationships may happen more often than we thought. Despite the fact people are poor or rich, the toxic relationship could happen to anyone, but I think part of the reasons abusive relationships exist is deeply related to individual’s childhood experiences. It is heartbreaking to note that people have experienced an abusive relation or never experienced an intimate relation are more likely to be in an abusive relationship, whether as an abuser or the victim. It is also interested to realize that in patriarchal culture, men are more likely to be the abuser in the relationships. I wonder how heavily it is related to the patriarchies and how much it is to the physiological structure.

    • All humans are a mix of their biology, their social circumstances, and their culture. So two people with different biologies but who live in similar circumstances, like growing up witnessing abuse within a patriarchal culture, could have different responses/outcomes. One man might repeat the pattern while another fight against it.

      But even with individual differences/responses you find cultural patterns such that domestic violence is much higher in patriarchal cultures. Some non-patriarchal culture seem to have no domestic violence, like American Indians of the East Coast when whites arrived. Domestic violence is much lower now that the US is less patriarchal than in the early 1970s, too.

  18. This is sometimes crazy to think that abusive relationships do happen very often and I did not think it would have happened with famous people who I thought had control of their own life. I tend to see people that are in abusive relationships are from relying on the other person that you can’t or don’t want to leave but in this blog that is not the case.

    reading this blog I did not realize that there were multiple ways of being in an abusive relationship. I always thought that only if you put hands on the other person that would make it toxic and be unhealthy but the fact that when I read after a breakup Manson would call her 158 times just is so controlling.

    the fact that guys will tell their girlfriends that they are not allowed to wear certain things or talk to certain people just leads to or is a sign of an abusive or overbearing relationship.

  19. This sad story from Evan Rachel Wood and FKA twigs reminds me of my family. As a girl who was born in a rural area in China. I had faced some similar situations as they do. My mother never has a job after me and brother born because my father thinks my mom needs to take care of us. I always saw they had some arguments about the financial problems. Verbal abuse happened very often in my family when my father was stressed about his career. My father is the one who holds the purse strings in our family. My mom is obedient to him because she doesn’t have a job. As the article mentions, “Abusive men work to control their partners’ comings and going’s, their money, what they eat what they wear, whom they can see, and on it goes. ” My father controlled everything even when my mother found him was having an affair. He still complained about my mom because he thought she was too old and had no charm anymore at her age.

    My grandmom sometimes visited our house and complained about the expensive apparel my mom purchased. If she cooks for us, she will not allow me to eat as much as I want and complained about my good appetite. However, she never complained about it with my father and my little brother. She always let them choose what they want to eat and cooked for them if they were hungry. It makes me feel low self-esteem and begin to doubt myself for a long time.
    In the article, Wood says that at one point she thought Manson might kill her. She can’t even think about leaving him because she believes Manson will find her anyway. I was like her too. I never consider myself better than my brother or father until the day I leave my home and start my own life. The toxic relationship is truly harmful and painful. Fortunately, we are not alone. We have friends, psychologists, social workers, teachers, and feminists to help us. The abuse can’t last too long when we begin to wake up and leave the toxic relationship as early as possible.

  20. It is a well known phenomenon that men of wealth and power have a tendency to develop abusive behaviors  towards women , I think it has alot to do with the fact that they have connections & power to cover up whatever ill mannered behavior they may have .  While reading this blog  it almost confirmed what I think of men in higher power as far as them almost always being the abusers . It is very rare that this caliber of men are the victims.  When i was younger i thought to myself  leaving these type of men was easy and i wondered why the women  i knew and heard of being in these situations did not ,  Reading this made me realize its easier said than done.  It is almost like they are trapped in a endless cycle  . In the blog it talks about how Marilyn Manson had a “R*pe Room” . Being that this person has a very well known musical career you wouldn’t think that he had a room dedicated to harming women. And when you hear that you almost want to believe its false or you may think the person saying it is lying and I think that is also a big problem.  men with power such as musicians’ actors etc . They are so well loved and so highly praised that hearing something awful about them either garners a very controversial reaction or gets quickly swept under the rug by PR. Which im sure makes it even more difficult for women to speak up for them to leave and for them to feel safe . 

    In conclusion I feel as if no matter what form of abuse it is , as long as the person has power & money there will never be room for the victim to be 100% heard unless their is multiple claims to bring it to light. Which almost always happens in the case of celebrities 

    • Interestingly, men without power in the outside world are often abusive, too. Our society tells men that they should be powerful and men who feel powerless will sometimes try to create a sense of personal power by having power over their significant other.

  21. Domestic violence more easily happens than we expect, happens in high-income or low-income families, happens among high education or non-eductioned couples. I think there is a reason why female victims choose not to speak out about their domestic violence issue. They need to pay a high cost for domestic violence, so many issues there, such as facing pressure from public criticism, admitting their suffering, worrying their children/parents, and they don’t want to get sympathy from other people. Some domestic violence is not easily identified, such as controlling behavior, criticism, and verbal abuse. Their partners would announce they are just protecting their wives, their actions are good for them.

  22. Domestic violence more easily happens than we expect, happens in high-income or low-income families, happens among high-education or non-education couples. I think there is a reason why female victims choose not to speak out about their domestic violence issue. They need to pay a high cost for domestic violence, so many issues there, such as facing pressure from public criticism, admitting their suffering, worrying their children/parents, and they don’t want to get sympathy from other people. Some domestic violences are not easily identified, such as controlling behavior, criticism, and verbal abuse. Their partners would announce they are just protecting their wives, their actions are good for them.

  23. It is very heartbreaking to read about Evan Rachel Woods and FKA twigs going through an abusive relationship like that . As I was reading through what they went through and how they described the relationship with Shia LaBeouf I noticed so many similarities to a personal situation that happened in my life and it is so heartbreaking that it is so much more common than we think . I think that Evan and FKA twigs being able to open up and share their story with the world is something that should be taken more seriously , A lot of women are in extremely abusive relationships and situations like these and most of the time they don’t realize it themselves . It takes a lot for a woman to be able to have the courage and speak against her abuser , there is nothing we gain from sharing our stories . If anything we will face criticism , judgement , lose relationships . When more women share their stories it can really help potentially save someone’s life . A lot of people also do not realize how some men can manipulate and groom us into relationships and how they prey on certain women as well . I met an older man when I was 15 and unfortunately what he did to me he repeated those patterns with 5 other women . All of us having similar personality traits , looks , race , and taking us to the same exact spots where these situations happened . It is so scary that some men will go as far as even repeating that same abusive behavior with one women to another if they can no longer control her or abuse her . I thought it was interesting also that grooming can be seen in many different ways , I personally have noticed that to me it means when someone plans you out to hurt you in any way shape or form . After I almost lost my mom last year to domestic abusive  , this subject hits home for many reasons . I think it would be amazing one day if schools in even elementary started teaching kids about these kinds of signs in people and prevent more women and men being in abusive relationships like these .

    • I’m sorry you had to find yourself in the situation. I’m hoping that as people learn how abusers behave it will help young women to avoid getting trapped in the situations.

  24. It is sickening to read about how these poor women were groomed so horribly by men they thought they could trust. Manson literally said to Phoebe Bridges and her friends, that he had a “rape room”. Manson had a room literally build to rape women. I understand that women can rape and groom men as well, but the reports of men grooming and assaulting women are more frequent than women doing the same to men. Growing up I loved Shia LaBeouf and the transformer movies, I have always been kind of a fan of his until he went down hill after he didn’t finish the transformer movie series. But after reading about how he assaulted and manipulated that poor woman, I do not respect him or his work anymore. I can not comprehend how anyone can express those kinds of behaviors and emotions on someone else. What have those people gone through in their lives to become so evil towards innocent people? Or are those people just born evil and their sole purpose in life is to hurt and ruin others lives?

  25. It’s kind of disgusting of how guys get upset at anything that;s about women being victims. Most men are abusive and not every woman is abused. And there are women who abuse men, but we can’t just focus on “well women do it too” if it’s men doing it much more to women. And the fact that men are stronger so the abuse is more dangerous and scarier toward women and how dangerous male violence can be because of the size and strength difference. Come on guys, just lister for once instead of always trying to pick a fight. This blog comes out by you just when that sad incident that happened in uk, where (corrupt cop) that abducted a woman, idk if it was someone he was with or not. But raped and killed her and as you see the protests and anger by women in uk about that incident and the vigil that got messy.

    • We definitely see a lot more men killing women than women killing men whether it’s domestic violence or killers like we find in the UK or Atlanta. Women are definitely more harmed in domestic violence because of the size/strength difference. So yeah, picking a fight doesn’t make sense. I will say that I don’t believe that most men are abusive though. But where you have domestic violence in a straight relationship the woman is much more likely to end up in the hospital so it’s more serious.

      • That makes me wonder if that’s part of the reason there’s not much different between lesbian and gay men couples with domestic abuse. Like you said, a woman picking a fight vs a man doesn’t make sense because of the great size and strength disadvantage a man has. It might be what holds off a woman who may otherwise be aggressive or could be violent, but doesn’t to the man she’s with because of fear his retaliation could mean for her safety. Whereas, an aggressive woman might feel more ‘free” to be violent and less worried with retaliation if she’s in a relationship with another woman and hits her. Even if the woman is bigger, the different won’t be as big as a woman with a man and feel she can win out on her violent attack vs a woman.

        Granted there are big women or towering women just like you have average size men and huge nfl offensive lineman, linebacker men. But still generally, most guys will be stronger than most women, whereas, there aren’t a ton of ronda rouseys. I do wonder or suspect if it’s mutual or like the bigger woman in a lesbian relationship that iniates the abuse, like I assume for gay male relationships. Probably the dude the size of like Hulk Hogan being the abuser, especially if his boyfriend is like 5’5 160lbs. The small dude could be the abuser but most likely wouldn’t just for the fact of the huge dude would just kick the small gay dudes ass. Just like how the smaller kid was vulnerable to the big kid and that size differentce allowed the big kid in school to bully, That;s the sad thing is domestic abusers are basically bullies, that never grew up and continued on, but the man does it toward women instead. But both seem greatly tied to insecurity. The bully in school and man beating up his spouse at home

      • The lack of a big size differential could help to explain the violence in lesbian relationships. There is a certain logic to that. Research suggests that in straight relationships women are less likely to be violent toward men because they know they are likely to get the worst of it.

  26. Because of testosterone men on average are bigger and stronger and because of gender socialization men are taught to avoid being, or feeling weak. So when they are having emotional problems they are less likely to see a therapist. Thy are less likely to open up and share their feelings. This can be an issue that can cause abuse. It seems that their actions are driven by fear, and they have every reason to feel that way, they stay because they’re scared, they keep it quiet because they’re scared. Something that happened earlier in life in their childhood as such.

  27. After reading through the article of the Rich and Famous for Abuse how the two successful women were able to escape their abusive toxic relationships, I was able to make an connection with how relationships like this is hard to get out of and the fact famous people go through it and everyone knows their business is tough. Some women tend to get themselves into men that never deserved them and especially didn’t deserve to be in bad situations to a point it has to be abusive. It’s like trying to solve a problem with and you’re just stuck and don’t know how to solve it since the relationship is so toxic. Everything is always easy said than done. This is a really important topic that I think every women should be aware with this type of behavior.

  28. Reading about grooming prior to abuse is a huge concept that is overlooked. I have seen psychologically abusive relationships up close and although they may be frightening, I have never seen one as harmful as the two relationships being written about. The fact that Manson “also weakened her through starvation and sleep deprivation” is absolutely frightening yet so real. Sleep deprivation is real and we all know how hard it is to think straight when we do not eat. To be deprived of those two necessary resources by someone who wants to lessen your ability to function is a scary reality that many women live in. The grooming process zeroes in on the habits and expectations of the women who are being targeted and manipulated. It is also easy to hide, especially when the one doing harm is successful at driving the support system away.

  29. The point FKA Twigs brings up about having the means to physically leave her abuser, yet being in such a state of mental degradation and dependence on him shows how important mental well being is. These abusers know patterns of behavior that tends to allow them to get away with despicable behavior, that will affect the people they abused for their entire lives. I think the fact that these are both women who are public figures, who are involved with men who are also public figures can compound underlying problems. It could potentially make someone stay with a partner purely from fear of public outlash, as social media allows people to become even more invested in celebrity relationships and how “perfect” they are. These women were already being terrorized by a figure that is supposed to lend them love and support; and the world of public media tends to be very unkind to female public figures ending relationships, creating more fear outside the relationship.

  30. It’s not surprising that women might give us good as she gets because it’s not uncommon to fight back. But it’s an unequal playing because, due to testosterone making men bigger and stronger, women will end up getting the worst of it.”

    This makes me think of how it might be culture that causes more violence of men to women in domestic situations. But also just the size and strength difference. A lot of domestic violence does seem like the cycle of control with the man being controlling, abusive and then apologizing. Making the woman feel love again so he can then continue the cycle of abuse. But I believe there are other domestic situations or calls where men are arrested and seen as the abuser, just for the fact they have hit the woman or physical attacks happen. But it’s actually a relationship of two toxic, aggressive people. Where the woman gets the brunt of the abuse just because the guy is stronger, but it’s not like self defense and mixed both ways as far as instigating the aggression and violence. For example two hot headed couples, maybe on drugs or alocholics, but get in heated arguments, but the woman may hit the man or initiate the violence just as often as the man. Obviously the man retaliating will cause the more harm so he’s going to be arrested. Despite that, I still think such men are disgusting as I still feel a man should walk away if a woman attacks of try to restrain, but not fight back just because how easily or bad he could harm a woman. But I also don’t believe a woman should hit anybody either. That;s different if it’s self defense but losing your temper and hauling off on someone is not acceptable even if it’s a woman doing that to a man.

    I also found it interesting if it’s because of culture but also the physical difference. There’s assumption that men are more aggressive than women in relationships thus why men are abusers much more often. But what I found interesting is, statistics in lesbian relationships show that domestic abuse amonst female couples happens more or just as much as gay male couples. If there’s inherent violent aggression between men and women. Shouldn’t gay male relationships have more or much more domestic violence than lesbian relationships? But it doesn’t and I believe the percentage of gay men and women and population is roughly similar. I think it might be due to the fact that since men are bigger a tempermental woman may obviously be more cautious of striking a man in a relationship vs with another woman and if things get heated, she can be violent toward her female partner. Because if the female partner retaliates she has a much better chance of fighting back the her female partner vs a woman with a man.

    • Domestic violence is high in patriarchies and low in gender-equal societies. And if you live in a patriarchal culture you are likely to get domestic violence in same-sex relationships. That’s largely because the biggest factor in abusive relationships is how your parents behaved. People who are raised amid domestic abuse are more likely to reenact it in their relationships. They are more likely both to commit it and to be accepting of it, as they learn that this is “normal life” — even though it isn’t.

  31. Reading this article did not entirely surprise me. It is very unfortunate that abuse even exists and that so many people go through it. These are just stories coming from famous people. I can only imagine how many other people go through situations like these or even worse ones. There are people who have been abused and don’t even tell anyone, people who heal in silence. I can’t imagine being in that situation trying to leave and still getting caught. Yet most abuse victims end up going back to their abusers because of the love or because they believe they will change.

  32. The fact that even the rich and famous find themselves in abusive relationships despite all the socio economic resources available to them should show us how severe domestic violence is in our society. Both women and men can be responsible for this toxicity but there is no doubt the power dynamics have made women much more susceptible to this abuse. Men like Marilyn Manson and Shia LaBeouf have lived a life where they have been given privilege their entire life and been praised for the bad boy image, never given consequences for their actions. I believe if we implement teaching about domestic violence at an adolescent age we would avoid a lot of women and men’s lives being destroyed. We need to teach people to be aware of the first red flags. It is not a woman’s role to fix and take care of men. And it’s not a men’s role to always be strong and to resist emotion. Unfortunately, if we don’t address the underling mental health issues this circle will keep repeating.

    • True. It’s important to examine this issue on two levels. First, the society that tends to create negative behaviors. You don’t find domestic violence in every culture, and certainly not at high levels. The more gender-equal the society the less domestic violence. But then there is also the individual psychological level. And I suspect that domination cultures lead to both higher levels of abuse and higher levels of psychological damage.

  33. Domestic violence is a touchy subject and honestly a little hard to read through sometimes because you can’t help but image being in that position, especially as a woman. I am not sure if there is a specific type of person who enacts in domestic violence, if it is people in power or people who feel the need to be in power but the patterns for the most part are the same. The anger is hidden until they feel like they can have some control and manipulate it. Truly horrifying!

  34. I always thought grooming is when someone who is older takes advantage of someone who is much more young than them but it is much more than just that it can also be abuse. Reading about what happened to FKA twigs and Rachel Evan Wood was very heartbreaking and it showed how hard it is for celebrities to escape this relationship because of the repetition they both have as it can be ruined and of course the things that their abuser would do to them if they were to try anything. Even though later they were able to escape FKA Twigs suffers with panic attacks every night and Evan Rachel Wood struggles with depression, addiction, agoraphobia, and night terrors. She also attempted suicide twice, but both FKA twigs and Evan Rachel Wood are both standing stall.

  35. I never thought the idea of grooming to be considered with acts of abuse and rape in mutual relationships. It was always the thought of an older person building that trust and connection with someone much younger and most people that are groomed are unaware of it. It is a tendency with those with wealth, fame, and power to enact these tendencies of abuse to gain control of the people around them and I believe it is harder for the victim to get out of these situations because they believe that no one would believe them because of the power the assailants have with the public and media. Though it seems unbelievable to see this happening and the cause of the problem is a former beloved Disney star for many, it is going on all around us and possibly to those we care about. Abuse is beyond physical; it messes with your emotional and mental state which follows the victims throughout their lives.

  36. It’s truly devastating knowing how many people experience domestic violence. It’s so hard for anyone to come out with their stories because of stereotypes. When women come out with these stories everyone is doubtful. Domestic violence is something that people associate with women. Men are usually seen as the abuser and women as the nurturing ones who would do no such thing. When there are women who lie about domestic violence it makes it so much harder to believe women. For example, with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, everyone was so quick to defend her. There has been so much evidence released of her being the abuser and Johnny Depp’s reputation has not recovered. Not so long ago the hashtag #AmberHeardIsAnAbuser was trending because Johnny Depp had to step down from a role. Meanwhile, Amber Heard continues to get roles. It’s so easy for people to just tell domestic violence victims to just leave but it’s easier said than done. Abuse comes in so many forms we might not always realize when it’s happening. So many people are afraid to speak up because of fear, shame, or even flashbacks that can follow. After I left my abusive relationship it took me months to realize what had happened. It’s interesting how accurate this description was to my experience.

    • I’m sorry you had to experience this. And yes, it is strange how similar the pattern is. I’ve had students who have undergone it and talked about the similarity.

  37. Sadly, this article did not surprise me. It is a well-known fact that most men in places of power and wealth usually develop abusive tendencies towards their partner, mostly because they know they have the ability to cover it up. While reading this blog I realized how terrible these situations become and the strength it takes to leave them. I have always thought, well if they’re abusing you, why stay with them? But now that I have read this article and understand how trapped victims feel it is so much more complex than simply leaving, especially when the abuser has wealth and power. I feel as though it might be harder to leave these abusive relationships when you are famous because of the damage it might have on your career and reputation. There will always be people who will take the side of your abuser and sometimes those people can do harmful things to your livelihood. Big scandals like these can make the acting and music industry not want to recruit you in their projects because of the outlook it will have on their own company. Scandals that include abusive relationships also trend to one side of the story and the media always warps the story into something false. These false stories are almost always in the abuser’s support and I think that might fall back into the power men have in our society. Even though all abusers are not men and some are women, the stories you hear about women abusers tend to have less presence in the media. Women abusers are less likely to be seen as a threat and the victims of them are less likely to be believed. However, the same can be said for victims in cases of extreme poverty. In most cases, the men provide most of the money in the relationship and if they are the abusers it will be extremely hard for the women to leave. If they leave they risk losing all of their money, their shelter, their food, and with kids it becomes an even bigger problem. In conclusion, after reading this article I found that no matter what position you are in financially, the abuser usually always gets their way.

    • It’s true that abuse can be more common within social situations where men are protected for some reason. They are basketball stars or in a high status fraternity, for example. And it tends to be in macho situations. Like football and basketball have a higher rate of abuse than golf.

  38. It is a really sad and touchy situation when someone is dealing with abuse, it does always seem there is an easy solution for someone who is outside looking in, but hearing about a lot of women’s situations it appears to be a lot more complex. It seems that their actions are driven by fear, and they have every reason to feel that way, they stay because they’re scared, they keep it quiet because they’re scared. Or maybe they stay because they get sweet-talked back into staying and think things will get better. My heart does go out to the people who live in this situation because their life depends on every decision they make, It’s too bad there is so much judgment and disbelief towards these women who come forward when it should be taken as a courageous act.

  39. I used to have a neighbour-from-hell who was a narcissist, along with other things. After he had gone, I had an opportunity to speak to his first ex-wife, who told me how abusive he been to her, both physically and mentally. I found it quite strange how she spoke about him with both contempt and adoration in equal measure. She told me that once the children grew up, they took nothing to do with him. I suspect they were mentally damaged from what she told me.

    She went on to tell me how his behaviour towards his second wife culminated with him holding a Stanley knife to their baby’s neck and threating to cut its throat, he then stabbed the wife 28 times with the knife. He spent 5 years in prison for that offence. While he was in prison the wife fled to the USA with the baby.

    After his first ex-wife told me some more stories, I said “You still hold a torch for him, don’t you?”, she quietly said “Yes”.

  40. I’ve been doing a project against Domestic Violence for a few years and it’s like there’s a playbook with step by step directions on how to do this stuff. We need to educate kids as a matter of public policy that these behaviors aren’t normal or OK.

  41. It hurt to read their stories. To think that I once thought that Shia LaBeouf was cute!

  42. I find it a little weird that you would accept all the Hollywood gossip as gospel fact. Especially when the rich and vapid, or should I say the rich and narcissistic break up, winning the new media war becomes all important. Shia LaBeouf denied FKA twigs’ allegations, and Marilyn Manson denied Evan Rachel Wood’s allegations. I’m also reminded of Amber Heard severing Johnny Depp’s finger, and the allegations and counter allegations surrounding that. While certainly there are abusive men out there (and women!), typically women in abusive relationships dish it out just as much as they take it.

    The constant narrative of men = bad abusers, women = suffering wall flowers, is a tired old narrative, we’ve all had beaten into our skulls since childhood, it’s time to expand our thinking into those areas of domestic violence that are un-acknowledged by society, namely the role women have in perpetuating domestic violence. The more you push this tired old one sided narrative, the further away we are from a balanced and critical view of what’s really going on.

    • These aren’t the only women who have made these allegations. There is a pattern. And there is always a pattern with these guys. It doesn’t do these women any good to speak out since it makes them look weak and possibly publicity-hungry. They know that many like you will question their motives and that hurts them. And that’s what protects the abusers.

      Not sure why you jumped to looking at this as “black and white.” Just because some men are abusers don’t mean all men are and just because some women suffer from abuse doesn’t mean all women are.

      When someone ends up in the hospital because of domestic violence it is almost always women. Because of testosterone men on average are bigger and stronger and because of gender socialization men are taught to avoid being, or feeling weak. So when they are having emotional problems they are less likely to see a therapist. And they are more likely to do emotion work to turn a “weak” feeling like helplessness and hopelessness, sadness and depression, into a strong emotion of anger. Men are taught male superiority and to try to bolster themselves up or more inclined to push their partner down. The Internet is even filled with vitriol and it tends to take the pattern of men directing vitriol toward women. Same pattern I just described. Something to think about.

      • Obviously it’s all on marilyn manson since he was abusive. But I do believe his muscial talent or celebrity did it. Because what woman would date a dude acting and looking like him if he wasn’t a top musician back then? I grew up in the era where grunge rock and his music was big in the 90s. But I always felt he was a very weird, creepy dude. Some felt it was just an act, but he sure seemed to carry it over in interviews. His act was him living out his real life sadistic fetishes. So it didn’t surprised me to hear this about him, considering he’s always looked and acted like a very creepy dude imo. But wondered what brought women to take a risk when a guy acting and looking like him that just seems like such a creep. She’s not the only woman, there are many too. And a recent one I think that accused him also. There are some interesting thoughts though, what do you think about . What’s your thoughts on amber heard then? A lot of people who supported initally feel amber was abusive and manipulative. PEople were upset heard is going to be picked in a new disney movie. But with texts and stuff it does seem sketchy. Interesting thing is all depps ex gfs and wives said he’s never been abusive to them whereas, amber heard who is bisexual was previousl charged for domestic violence before when she was dating a woman before him and she attracked her ex gf

      • Before I ever knew that MM was abusive I couldn’t figure out how Evan Rachel Wood could stomach him because he gave me the creeps too. I don’t even like his music. Also gives me the creeps. Everything seems to fit together with him.

        Not so sure about Amber Heard. Especially since, as you say, other women who have been in relationships report his personality to be non-abusive. And that is different from the two men I’m talking about here. I haven’t done a lot of research on this one. If a H has a history of committing violence that is certainly suggestive. Where there is a pattern of abuse it seems so much more credible. And a pattern of abuse is typical in domestic violence.

      • “These aren’t the only women who have made these allegations.”

        And these aren’t the only men they have accused. Evan Rachel Wood is a serial accuser. Could it perhaps be that she is one of the women who are a victim of their own violence? I don’t know, but neither do you, and that’s the point. You credulously believe what women say without a critical eye.

        “Just because some men are abusers don’t mean all men are and just because some women suffer from abuse doesn’t mean all women are.”

        “When someone ends up in the hospital because of domestic violence it is almost always women. ”

        Yes, that’s sad, but still men are the biggest victims. Why? Because the bruises heal, but the power of the state (and the media) to destroy men’s lives, goes on forever, through the family courts. When a man and a woman are mutually abusive, which is the most common case, the courts believe the woman only, and the man ends up in jail and without his children. And no man, no matter how strong, has the strength of the state to damage lives. Women know this and play it up.

        “Men are taught male superiority and to try to bolster themselves up or more inclined to push their partner down. ”

        Then how do you explain that in 60% of abusive couples, the woman gives as good as she gets? Did society forget to teach her that she is a weak wallflower who should respect male strength?

      • Just because you have been abused more than once doesn’t make you a serial accuser – whatever that is. Women who have been abused are unfortunately more likely to end up in abusive situations in the future. Sometimes it’s because they are in desperate need of love and care and mistake the appearance of that for what can end up being abuse.

        Men don’t end up being the biggest victims. All they have to do is not abuse in the first place if they don’t want the courts to take their kids away or put them in jail.

        It’s not surprising that women might give us good as she gets because it’s not uncommon to fight back. But it’s an unequal playing because, due to testosterone making men bigger and stronger, women will end up getting the worst of it.

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