After standing by Shia LaBeouf for the last two years, “Honey Boy” filmmaker Alma Har’el released a statement of solidarity with the actor’s former girlfriend FKA Twigs, who is suing the actor for sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress. The director worked very closely with LaBeouf on the 2019 film, which was loosely based on his childhood and for which he wrote the screenplay. Throughout allegations of public intoxication and disorderly conduct, Har’el expressed support for her collaborator, citing addiction and anger issues and believing he was working through his issues.
For the first time, the filmmaker is breaking with her previous stance to voice support for FKA Twigs, who also starred in “Honey Boy.” In a statement obtained by Variety, the filmmaker said LaBeouf’s addiction issues do not excuse domestic violence.
“I have a deep respect for FKA Twigs’ courage and resilience,” wrote Har’el. “Reading what she endured left me heartbroken and I stand with her in solidarity. I’m sending my love to her, Karolyn Pho, all victims of domestic violence, and everyone who is trying to stop cycles of abuse.”
Pho is a stylist whose allegations of abuse by LaBeouf were also revealed in a New York Times piece about the lawsuit filed by FKA Twigs, née Tahliah Debrett Barnett. Har’el is making a donation to organizations that support victims of domestic violence in Barnett and Pho’s names.
“As a filmmaker and an artist, I am drawn to stories that help us develop empathy for the messy parts of the human condition,” she wrote. “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. I want to send a clear message today that none of the above should excuse, minimize, or rationalize domestic violence.”
The filmmaker ended by acknowledging the complex content of “Honey Boy,” which dealt with childhood abuse and addiction.
“I’m grateful that survivors of childhood trauma have seen some aspects of themselves in ‘Honey Boy’ and might feel less alone in their pain. I hope that they don’t take these events as a discouraging moment in their own recovery.”