Shia LaBeouf responds to FKA Twigs abuse allegations, saying, “I hurt that woman.”
LaBeouf stated on Jon Bernthal’s Real Ones podcast that he now wants to be a “billboard, for a principled way of living.”
Shia LaBeouf mentions former romantic partner FKA Twigs only once in his open letter to Olivia Wilde this week, excluding her claim that he was “fired” from her film Don’t Worry Darling. “My failings with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that has been presented,” he wrote, presumably in reference to a series of allegations made against him by the British musician, who is suing him for “sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress” during their relationship. “There is a time and place for such things,” LaBeouf wrote to Wilde, “and I am trying to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, thus my silence.”
In contrast, during a new episode of Jon Bernthal’s podcast Real Ones tonight (apparently, the aforementioned “time and place” to break his “silence”), LaBeouf reportedly did not mention Twigs’ name at all, instead referring to her as “that woman.” For example, he tells Bernthal during the interview, “I hurt that woman,” despite the fact that he does not appear to have addressed many of the specific allegations levelled against him. (When he filed a motion to have Twigs’ case against him dismissed in 2021, LaBeouf formally denied all of Twigs’ accusations against him.) “And in the process, I hurt many other people,” he added, echoing comments he made in December 2020, in which he claimed he had been “abusive” to himself and others for “years.” “As well as many others before that woman.” I was a selfish, self-centered, dishonest, inconsiderate, and fearful human being.”
As with the Wilde letter, LaBeouf—who admits to infidelity and not disclosing STDs to sexual partners in the interview—cites the birth of his daughter as a watershed moment in his life. He goes on to call “that woman” a “saint” who “saved his life,” claiming that “if she hadn’t intervened in my life and created the avenue for me to experience ego death, I’d either have a really mediocre existence or I’d be dead in full.” (As he has previously stated this week, LaBeouf considered suicide after the allegations were made public. “I went to my table and loaded up a gun.” )
LaBeouf, who is currently starring in Abel Ferrara’s Padre Pio, explained that his “ego death” stemmed from his membership in “the tribe of the fuck-ups.” “I’m a very public sinner, a very fallible person in the public sphere, and I believe my purpose now is to not do… The other examples we’ve had of how to navigate something like this — going after the woman, trying to win a court case, getting back into a fucking movie, or getting back on at all.” (Padre Pio will be shown in competition at the Venice International Film Festival this year.)
LaBeouf sees himself now as a “billboard for a principled way of life.” He also compared himself to Josh Brolin and Mel Gibson, both of whom have been accused of domestic abuse in the past, and attempted to navigate his way through Hollywood in the aftermath. He also mentioned that he now has a “squad” of “60 dudes” with whom he has weekly Zoom meetings and bike rides in order to get “real-time” feedback on his actions.
Bernthal’s Patreon page has the two-hour interview available. Bernthal (who co-starred with LaBeouf in 2014’s Fury and then in 2019’s The Peanut Butter Falcon) weighs in, apparently attempting to chart his own response to the allegations, saying, “I don’t know what it’s like to put my hands on a woman, or for a woman to say I put my hands on her.” He also expresses his support for LaBeouf and says that his role as his friend is to ensure that “you never do it again.”
In 2020, FKA Twigs made her allegations against LaBeouf. The lawsuit is currently scheduled for trial in April 2023.
If you or someone you know has been abused sexually, call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.