In the open letter he sent to Olivia Wilde this week– dismissing his claim that he was “fired” from his film don’t worry darling—Shia LaBeouf only mentions former romantic partner FKA Twigs once. “My failures with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that was presented,” he wrote, presumably referring to a series of allegations that the British musician has made against him, suing him for “sexual assault, assault and infliction of emotional distress” during their relationship. “There is a time and a place to deal with such things,” LaBeouf wrote to Wilde, “And I try to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, hence my silence. “
In contrast, LaBeouf wouldn’t have mentioned Twigs’ name at all during a new episode of Jon Bernthal’s podcast The real ones tonight (apparently the aforementioned “time and place” to break her “silence”), referring to her only as “that woman”. For example: “I hurt that woman,” he told Bernthal during the interview, although he doesn’t appear to have addressed many specific allegations against him. (LaBeouf has formally denied all of Twigs’ accusations against him. in 2021when he filed a motion to have his complaint against him dismissed.) “And by doing that, I hurt a lot of other people,” he added, in a manner similar to the comments he made in December 2020, saying he had been “abusive” to both himself and others, “for years”. “And many other people before this woman. I was a pleasure-seeking, selfish, self-absorbed, dishonest, inconsiderate, and fearful human being.
As with Wilde’s letter, LaBeouf — who admits in the interview to being unfaithful and not disclosing STDs to his sexual partners — cites the birth of his daughter as a transformative moment for him. He goes on to call “that woman” a “holy” who “saved his life”, because “if she had not intervened in my life and created the possibility for me to experience the death of the ego, I would either have a really mediocre existence or I would be completely dead. (LaBeouf also states, as he did elsewhere this week, that he contemplated suicide after the allegations became public. “I went to load a gun and sat down on my table.”)
LaBeouf—who is currently starring Abel Ferrara Father Pio– noted how this “ego death” stemmed from his status as a member of “the foolish tribe”. “I’m a very public sinner, a very fallible person in the public sphere, which I now think my goal is not to do…TThere’s other examples we’ve had of how to navigate something like this – which is to sue the woman, or try to win a lawsuit, or come back in a fucking movie or like come back at all. (Father Pio will debut this year in competition at the Venice International Film Festival.)
LaBeouf poses as he is now as a “billboard, for a principled way of life.” He also drew comparisons to Josh Brolin and Mel Gibson as actors who have been accused of domestic violence in the past, and tried to chart a path through Hollywood afterwards. He also mentioned that he now has a “team” of “60 guys” who he has weekly Zoom meetings and bike rides with so he can get feedback on his actions, “in real time.”
The two-hour interview is available on Bernthal’s Patreon. In an excerpt from the conversation made public on his InstagramBernthal (who played with LaBeouf in 2014 Fury then in 2019 The Peanut Butter Falcon) weighs in on himself, apparently attempting to plot his own response to the allegations, saying, “I don’t know what it’s like to lay hands on a woman, or for a woman to say I lay her hands on her. hand.” He also says his role as LaBeouf’s friend is to make sure “you never do it again,” while expressing his support for him.
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual abuse, contact the RAINN National Sexual Assault Helpline at 1-800-656-4673.