Shia LaBeouf stopped by a heath food restaurant in Los Angeles on Monday as he prepares to make a ‘comeback’ in director Abel Ferrara’s next feature film.
The actor, 35, held onto a book on the life of Italian Saint Padre Pio, after it was revealed he will star as the lead in the film centred on the saint’s younger years.
It appears the project is the first for Shia since his ex-girlfriend FKA twigs, 33, accused him of sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress during their nine-month relationship. Shia has ‘denied each and every’ assault allegation.
Out and about: Shia LaBeouf (pictured), 35, researched his next film role while at a health food store in Los Angeles on Monday, as he prepares to make a ‘comeback’ after ex-girlfriend FKA twigs’ abuse allegations
Shia dressed casually in a grey T-shirt and shorts, white socks and scruffy tan boots.
He added a circus-themed cap and brought along rosary beads as well as a book based on the life of Italian Saint Padre Pio.
Shia showed off long locks and a scruffy beard, choosing to pull down his face mask.
Reading material: A very casual Shia held onto a book on the life of Italian Saint Padre Pio, after it was revealed he will star as the lead in the film centred on the saint’s younger years
It was reported by Variety earlier this month that Abel’s film will ‘center on the younger years of Italian Saint Padre Pio,’ with Shia portraying Padre in his youth.
‘He was very young before he became a saint, so Shia LaBeouf is going to play the monk,’ the director explained, adding that hooking Shia as the lead means ‘the project is “all set” to shoot in the very near future.’
The unnamed feature, according to Ferrara, will start shooting ‘on location in Puglia, located in Italy’s famous heel, in late October of this year.’
Accusations: FKA (pictured), 33, claimed during a CBS This Morning interview with Gayle King that Shia’s emotional and mental ‘gaslighting’ eventually evolved into physical abuse
Variety added ‘the project’s financing could collapse or other logistical hurdles could derail the film’ due to it being independently made.
MailOnline contacted Shia’s representatives for comment at the time.
Replying to Variety’s Twitter post, the 40-year-old real estate agent wrote: ‘Shoots dogs. Beats women. Ummmm I’m gonna pass.’
She concluded the tweet by sarcastically adding that she was ‘Glad [Shia] got a Comeback Role though.’
The controversial casting comes less than a year after Shia was fired from Don’t Worry Darling and replaced by Harry Styles, reportedly because of his ‘off-putting attitude’.
Comeback: The actor who has ‘denied each and every allegation’, is said to have signed on to play the lead in Abel Ferrara’s (pictured) next feature film, despite his ongoing legal woes
Pass! Selling Sunset star Chrishell Stause, after catching wind of the news reported by Variety, criticised Ferrara’s decision to award the actor a ‘comeback role’
The actor entered rehab after FKA twigs filed court papers in December claiming he knowingly infected her with an STD and relentlessly abused her.
The pair met on the set of his movie Honey Boy in 2018 and dated for nine months, before splitting in May 2019 over what was reported at the time as ‘conflicting work schedules’.
FKA claimed during a CBS This Morning interview with Gayle King that Shia’s emotional and mental ‘gaslighting’ eventually evolved into physical abuse.
‘Eventually it did become physical,’ she said. ‘There were certain instances where he would push me and say, “You fell.” And I would get really confused and think maybe I did.’
Allegations: The actor entered rehab after FKA twigs filed court papers in December claiming he knowingly infected her with an STD and relentlessly abused her. Pictured in 2018
She recalled one horrifying instance of Shia’s alleged abuse, which involved him threatening to slam his car into a wall while driving on Valentine’s Day in 2019 if she didn’t confirm her love for him.
Shia LaBeouf responds to allegations:
‘I owe these women the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those thing I have done. As someone in recovery, I have to face almost daily reminders of things I did say and do when I was drinking.
‘It has always been easy for me to accept responsibility when my behavior reflects poorly on myself, but it’s much harder to accept the knowledge that I may have caused great pain to others. I can’t rewrite history. I can only accept it and work to be better in the future. I write this as a sober member of a twelve-step program and in therapy for my many failings.
‘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.’
Twigs accused Shia of terrorising her at night and claimed she woke up to find herself being strangled multiple times over imagined slights, like his claims that she had been masturbating in bed next to him or that she was secretly plotting to leave him.
‘He made me feel like I wasn’t allowed joy, basically. That’s what it boils down to: I wasn’t allowed joy unless it directly revolved around him,’ FKA added.
The songwriter also accused the Nymphomaniac star of knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease and said Shia would allegedly shoot stray dogs that he saw while driving in Los Angeles as a sick form of method acting for his role 2020’s The Tax Collector.
The performer said Shia was attempting to get into the ‘mindset’ of his character Creeper, who is described as ‘a tax collector who works for one of the biggest gang leaders in Los Angeles’.
‘Because I take my art seriously. You’re not supporting me in my art. This is what I do. It’s different from singing,’ FKA claimed Shia said to her regarding his actions, adding that he doesn’t ‘just get up on a stage and do a few moves. I’m in the character’.
Shia’s attorney said in a court filing the Honey Boy actor ‘denies generally and specifically each and every allegation’ in FKA’s complaint.
He claimed to have apologised to ‘those he had hurt’ but ‘denied each and every’ assault allegation by the singer and wants her to pay his legal costs.
According to legal documents obtained by People, Shia denied ‘[Barnett] has sustained any injury or loss by reason of any act or omission on the part of [LaBeouf], and denies that [Barnett] is entitled to any relief or damages whatsoever’.
His lawyers added ‘none of the acts alleged were based on sex and/or the conduct was not sexual’ as they try to get the sexual battery allegations dismissed.
The actor also told The New York Times ‘many’ of the allegations were not true, and that he has ‘no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalisations.’
He only partially apologised, saying, ‘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.’
The filmmaker also said that he owed the women ‘the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done,’ according to NYT.
Shia added he was currently in therapy and in a 12-step program, although he is ‘not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism’.
UK readers: Call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/
US readers: Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline on 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or visit www.thehotline.org
Honey Boy: The pair met on the set of his movie Honey Boy in 2018 and dated for nine months, before splitting in May 2019. The former couple are pictured at Honey Boy premiere in 2019