Shia LaBeouf Says He Lied About Childhood Abuse From His Father: ‘My Dad Never Hit Me’
Content warning below // child abuse
Shia LaBeouf disavowed the story he told in his seemingly autobiographical film Honey Boy and denied that he suffered abuse at the hand of his father as a child.
The Transformers star both wrote and starred in the film, which was released in 2019. It told the story of a struggling former child star and his relationship with his father. However, during an appearance on Real Ones with Jon Bernthal, LaBeouf said that he fictionalized parts of the plot.
"I wrote this narrative, which was just f---ing nonsense, " he said, according to IndieWire. "My dad was so loving to me my whole life. Fractured, sure. Crooked, sure. Wonky, for sure. But never was he not loving, never was he not there."
LaBeouf also clarified that his father was not abusive or violent and said that his depiction in the movie "vilified [him] on a grand scale."
"I turned the knob up on certain s--t that wasn't real. My dad never hit me, never. He spanked me once, one time. And the story that gets painted in Honey Boy is this dude is abusing his kid all the time."
He added that he lied to his dad about the script so that he could release the film and that he "wronged him."
"I remember getting on the phone with him, and him being like, ‘I never read this stuff in the script you sent.’ Because I didn’t put that s--t in there.”
LaBeouf said that he "took accountability" for the film's release and recognized that it could damage his father's reputation "for a very long time, probably the rest of his life."
In regards to why he felt the need to dramatize the story, the actor explained that his true story "didn’t position me as this wounded, fractured child that you could root for" and depicted Honey Boy as a “big ‘woe is me’ story about how f---ed my father is.”
LaBeouf has made headlines recently after responding to abuse allegations from his ex FKA Twigs and commenting on exiting his role in Don't Worry Darling. He was replaced in the film by Harry Styles but denied being fired in an email shared with Variety.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of child abuse, help is available through the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline. To speak to someone on the phone, dial 1-800-422-4453.