Published Dec 17, 2020Shia LaBeouf is facing serious abuse allegations from former partner and Honey Boy co-star FKA twigs. Now the director of the film — where the pair first met — has issued a statement in support of FKA twigs, born Tahliah Debrett Barnett.
Honey Boy filmmaker Alma Har'el penned an open letter of support for both Barnett and Karolyn Pho, another of LaBeouf's former partners who has accused the actor of abuse. The 2019 film marked Har'el first narrative feature and directorial debut, with the film featuring a very autobiographical and personal screenplay written by LaBeouf as a form of therapy while in rehab.
Since the film's release, Har'el frequently applauded LaBeouf for the transformation he displayed after struggling with deep-rooted childhood trauma and serious substance abuse issues. But while she saw Honey Boy as something positive and a form of therapy for LaBeouf, the actor has now been accused of sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress by Barnett, in addition to knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease.
As the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last week stated, "Shia LaBeouf hurts women. He uses them. He abuses them, both physically and mentally. He is dangerous."
In response to the allegations brought up in the lawsuit, Har'el provided an open letter for Variety, standing in solidarity with both Barnett and Pho.
"I have a deep respect for FKA Twigs' courage and resilience. Reading what she endured left me heartbroken and I stand with her in solidarity," Har'el wrote.
She continued: "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."
Har'el's full statement reads as follows:
I have a deep respect for FKA Twigs' courage and resilience. 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.
As a filmmaker and an artist, I am drawn to stories that help us develop empathy for the messy parts of the human condition. 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.
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.
I will be donating in Twigs' and Karolyn Pho's names to FreeFrom, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and Sistah Space. I support and encourage victims in similar situations to speak up and seek help so they can create a path to safety and the healthy relationship they deserve.
Following news of the lawsuit, LaBeouf stated, "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."
LaBeouf added, "I am not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism, but I am committed to doing what I need to do to recover, and I will forever be sorry to the people that I may have harmed along the way."
Meanwhile, Barnett wrote, "What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I've ever been through in the whole of my life. I don't think people would ever think that it would happen to me. But I think that's the thing. It can happen to anybody."