After last year’s post-rehab redemption tour for Alma Har’el’s “Honey Boy,” Shia LaBeouf is sliding back to persona non grata status in Hollywood. This time, it’s after the New York Times reveal last week of a lawsuit from his former girlfriend FKA Twigs alleging an emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive relationship. While LaBeouf was a long-shot awards contender this year for his supporting turn in “Pieces of a Woman,” Netflix has removed his name from the For Your Consideration publicity materials on the awards page for the upcoming drama. His name is no longer included in the synopsis on the site, and also is not listed among those the streamer is pushing for film prizes.
That’s because he’s toxic again. But Hollywood forgives and forgets when recovery is found. After a long struggle with addiction, when Robert Downey, Jr. returned from prison and eventually found sobriety, the entertainment industry welcomed him back. LaBeouf, in a statement to the New York Times regarding the lawsuit, said “I am not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism,” but added he was a “sober member of a 12-step program.”
Directed by Kornél Mundruczó, “Pieces of a Woman” centers on the emotional fallout after a devastating home birth leaves Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and her partner Sean (LaBeouf) to reconcile their grief. Kirby won the Best Actress prize at the Venice Film Festival back in September, and is now in the mix for a possible Best Actress Oscar nomination. In the film, LaBeouf plays the emotionally self-destructive half of the relationship.
A source close to the Netflix project tells IndieWire that even without the lawsuit, LaBeouf was not going to be part of the streamer’s awards campaign in the first place, with Kirby, Supporting Actress contender Ellen Burstyn, director Mundruczó, and writer Kata Wéber in prime position. They’re all listed on the FYC page — along with other long-shot supporting candidates from the film such as Benny Safdie, Jimmy Fails, and Sarah Snook.
FKA Twigs’ allegations against LaBeouf include physical and emotional assault, such as the incident that incited the suit, when in 2019, LaBeouf “was driving recklessly… removing his seatbelt and threatening to crash unless she professed her love for him.” On a drive back from the desert, the “Transformers” star “raged at her throughout the trip…once waking her up in the middle of the night, choking her. After she begged to be let out of the car, she said he pulled over at a gas station and she took her bags from the trunk. But Mr. LaBeouf followed, and assaulted her, throwing her against the car while screaming in her face,” as detailed by the Times. “He then forced her back in the car.”
Among other episodes of abuse, FKA Twigs also alleges that LaBeouf knowingly gave her an STD. Another ex, Karolyn Pho, also makes allegations of abuse in the lawsuit.
Recently, after standing by LaBeouf since the release of “Honey Boy” last year, Har’el released a statement in solidarity with FKA Twigs days after the lawsuit was announced. “I have a deep respect for FKA Twigs’ courage and resilience,” wrote Har’el in the statement shared with Variety. “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.”
Anne Thompson contributed reporting.