As of this week, Shia LaBeouf has been removed from Netflix’s award consideration website and publicity materials following recent allegations of physical, emotional, and mental abuse. LaBeouf played a supporting role in the film Pieces of a Woman, slated to premiere on Netflix in January, but his name no longer appears anywhere in the movie’s official synopsis or award consideration list. He also doesn’t appear in any promotional stills.
The film follows Martha (Vanessa Kirby), a woman grappling with the loss of her baby after a home birth ends in tragedy. LaBeouf plays her husband, Sean, and features prominently in the trailer. Netflix is pushing Kirby — along with six of the film’s supporting actors and actresses — for award consideration. Refinery29 has reached out to Netflix for comment.
On December 11, The New York Times reported that FKA Twigs (real name Tahliah Debrett Bennett) had filed a lawsuit against LaBeouf, citing “relentless” abuse including sexual battery, assault, and emotional distress. Among other incidents, Bennett alleged that LaBeouf once threatened to crash a car if she didn’t profess her love for him. She said that when she begged to be let out of the car, he pulled over at a gas station and assaulted her as she tried to leave.
Karolyn Pho, a stylist and another former girlfriend of LaBeouf’s, recounted similar experiences in the lawsuit. After the piece was published, Sia also came forward with her own allegations. “I too have been hurt emotionally by Shia, a pathological liar, who conned me into an adulterous relationship claiming to be single,” she wrote on Twitter. “I believe he’s very sick and have compassion for him AND his victims.”
LaBeouf addressed the lawsuit in a statement to the New York Times. “I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behaviour made them feel,” he said. “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.” Refinery29 has reached out to LaBeouf for comment multiple times.
In the days following the NYT story, Alma Har'el, who directed LaBeouf's semi-autobiographical film Honey Boy, came forward with support for Bennett. "Like many of Shia’s collaborators and fans who battled substance abuse, suffered childhood trauma, and face mental illness, I am painfully aware of my past investment in his recovery," she told Variety in a statement. "I want to send a clear message today that none of the above should excuse, minimize, or rationalize domestic violence."
Bennett shared a screenshot of the story on Instagram, and elaborated on her decision to come forward. “My second worst nightmare is being forced to share with the world that I am a survivor of domestic violence,” she wrote. “My first worst nightmare is not telling anyone and knowing that I could have helped even just one person by sharing my story.”
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please visit the Ending Violence Association of Canada to find a local hotline. In the event of an emergency, call 911.