Content warning: This story will talk about abuse and sexual battery
Recently, singer FKA Twigs filed a lawsuit against her ex Shia LaBeouf, accusing him of abuse and sexual battery. Among other things, she alleged that LaBeouf once choked and threw her against a car and threatened to crash the car while they were in it, as well as knowingly infecting her with an STD. Many have come in support of Twigs, but it’s unfortunately also been met with a wave of victim blaming. Sadly, rapper Azaelia Banks even accused Twigs of filing the lawsuit for the money.
Here’s the thing: LaBeouf has a history of alleged abuse, at least documented in the press.
In 2015, the “Transformers” actor was seen arguing with former wife Mia Goth, telling her: “This is the kind of thing that makes a person abusive.”
This happened while Goth, with LaBeouf in tow, was in Germany for the filming of the horror film “A Cure for Wellness.” According to different press reports from then, the couple was spotted outside a hotel arguing by a cab one night. “LaBeouf told her that he did not want to become aggressive with her. [He] appeared to be under the influence, the witness said,” reports Buzzfeed News. In a video taken from that night, LaBeouf is heard saying, “If I’d have stayed there, I would have killed her.” Allegedly, “the fight left him with an injured hand, possibly from punching a wall, and Goth was seen the following day with a black eye.”
Unfortunately, it seems as if this incident has been downplayed if not ignored by the media. When talking about Goth and LaBeouf’s tumultuous relationship (divorcing in 2018, they are rumored to have gotten back together this year after his split with Twigs), People Mag called it a “wild” and “on-and-off relationship.” (The SEO title of the article also calls it a rollercoaster relationship.) Understatement of the year? Romanticization? You pick.
This kind of behavior allegedly isn’t even exclusive to his partners. In 2012, LaBeouf admitted to harassing his “Lawless” co-star Mia Wasikowsca apparently while trying to get into character (let’s not even get into how so many actors think that method acting is an excuse to be a dick). “She was calling her attorney, like, ‘Get me the [bleep] out of here.’ Mia was ready to walk away from the movie. I was really pretty aggressive about it, and not in any kind of weird, strange way, but I don’t think she had ever experienced anything like that,” he said in an interview with Page Six.
He’s also been allegedly involved in many public altercations, some leading him to be arrested. One of these incidents included him attempting to stab a neighbor in Van Nuys.
Even LaBeouf seems to be aware of this pattern of abuse. “I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel,” he wrote to The New York Times. “I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. 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.”
He also admitted that he’s been getting help for these and hopes that he recovers soon. “I am committed to doing what I need to do to recover, and I will forever be sorry to the people that I may have harmed along the way,” he added.
However in a seperate email, he claims that “many of these allegations are not true.”
When it comes to abuse, being self-aware isn’t enough. It’s hard not to take his claim that he’s trying to improve himself with a grain of salt, especially when it’s been going on for so long. It’s equally hard to believe his statements on respecting the survivors’ right to air out their concerns when he’s also discrediting them in the same breath.
Photo screengrabbed from the “Transformers” movie trailer