FKA Twigs says she endured ‘horrific’ racist abuse from fans of ex-fiancé Robert Pattinson

FKA Twigs and Robert Pattinson were together for a few years. Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage
  • FKA Twigs spoke about ex Robert Pattinson, who she dated from 2014 to 2017, in a new interview.
  • The singer told Louis Theroux that she faced “horrific” racist comments from his fans.
  • “I think they considered that he should definitely be with someone white and blonde,” she said.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

FKA Twigs opened up about her previous relationship with Robert Pattinson and the racism she faced from his fans.

“It was really, really deeply horrific and I think it was at a time where I felt like I couldn’t really talk about it,” the 33-year-old performer, born Tahliah Debrett Barnett, said during an interview for BBC Radio 4’s “Grounded with Louis Theroux.”

“I feel like if I was going through it now, I would be able to talk about it and do some good with it,” she continued. “But I don’t know whether it was because of my age or because of the social climate or being Black and from Cheltenham and from a low-income family, and having to genuinely work twice as hard at everything I do to get a seat at the table.”

FKA Twigs said she worked tirelessly to become successful, and once she was, “people called me the most hurtful and ignorant and horrible names on the planet.”

“He was their white Prince Charming and I think they considered that he should definitely be with someone white and blonde and not me,” the singer, whose mother is white and father is Black, said.

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Robert Pattinson and FKA Twigs in 2015. Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

FKA Twigs also said people would compare her to a monkey.

“Say if I was wearing a red dress, they would have a monkey in a red dress or I was on a bike, they would find a monkey on a bike,” she said.

“I just remember it had this massive, dysmorphic effect on me for about six months to a year, where every time I saw my pictures, I would think, ‘Gosh, I look like a monkey and people are going to say that I look like a monkey, so I need to really try and hide this monkey-ness that I have,'” she said.

“It’s essentially bullying and it does affect you psychologically,” she said. “It’s really sad.”

FKA Twigs added that since then, she’s become less self-conscious.

“And just for everyone to know, I now love how I look and I’m very confident and I feel really good,” she said. “But it was deeply unfair at the time that I was made to feel so self-conscious and so ugly. It was a lot. That period was a lot.”

The “Cellophane” singer was first linked to the “Twilight” actor in late 2014.

Around that time, in September 2014, FKA Twigs addressed the hateful comments seen on social media.

“I am genuinely shocked and disgusted at the amount of racism that has been infecting my account the past week,” she tweeted.

In an interview with USA Today published months later, FKA Twigs also spoke about experiencing racism from “14-year-old kids that should be in bed.”

She also said that the “vacuous attention” regarding her personal life felt “disgusting” and compared it to a hangover.

“It’s weird, I know that’s not really because of me or what I’m doing, [but] the positivity that I get from (my relationship) makes the more challenging aspects … very worth it,” she said.

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Robert Pattinson and FKA Twigs at the 2016 Met Gala. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

During their relationship, FKA Twigs and Pattinson attended the Met Gala twice together (in 2015 and 2016) and other red carpet events.

They reportedly split in 2017 after two years together and being “kind of engaged,” according to Pattinson.

In an interview with Howard Stern in July 2017, when they were still together, Pattinson called FKA Twigs “super talented” and spoke about the toxic side of fandoms in regards to the racist comments directed at her.

“They get so addicted to just wanting to cause hurt and pain on someone,” Pattinson told Stern. “It’s one of the most difficult things to know how to confront. It’s a faceless enemy.”

FKA Twigs, who dated “Honey Boy” costar Shia LaBeouf and accused him of abuse in late 2020, also discussed how the public reacted differently to her when she began dating Pattinson.

“People thought I was quite odd-looking, until a white male validated my beauty,” she told The Guardian in 2019. “That’s frustrating and I still don’t accept it.”

The entertainer also said that despite that, she’s “never felt more beautiful because I’ve never been more skilled. Everything else is ephemeral.”