This paper presents advancements toward a monolithic solution procedure and anisotropic mesh adaptation for the numerical solution of fluid–structure interaction with complex geometry. First, a new stabilized three‐field stress, velocity, and pressure finite element formulation is presented for modeling the interaction between the fluid (laminar or turbulent) and the rigid body. The presence of the structure will be taken into account by means of an extra stress in the Navier–Stokes equations. The system is solved using a finite element variational multiscale method. We combine this method with anisotropic mesh adaptation to ensure an accurate capturing of the discontinuities at the fluid–solid interface. We assess the behavior and accuracy of the proposed formulation in the simulation of 2D and 3D time‐dependent numerical examples such as the flow past a circular cylinder and turbulent flows behind an immersed helicopter in a forward flight.