Shia LaBeouf has finally opened up about his arrest in Savannah, Georgia last summer, admitting that the incident was a turning point in his eccentric life.
LaBeouf did a full profile interview with Esquire, admitting early on that he was extremely nervous even talking to the reporter, Eric Sullivan. They reportedly spent two days together, discussing everything from LaBeouf's chaotic upbringing by a drug-addicted father who worked as a clown and an equally unconventional mother, to his lauded performances as an actor, with Vanity Fair once describing him as "the next Tom Hanks."
Yet from the beginning, LaBeouf acknowledged that they would have to discuss his fiery encounter with law enforcement in 2017. In an effort to get ahead of the story, he brought it up before Sullivan had the chance.
“I know this is uncomfortable for you to bring up, bro. I get it. Just get to it,” LaBeouf told him.
When he finally addressed the drunken arrest, LaBeouf was ashamed of the story. He was in Georgia filming a movie called The Peanut Butter Falcon, which stars a developmentally disabled man who leaves a nursing home to become a professional wrestler.
Around 4 a.m. on a Saturday night, a drunken LaBeouf approached two pedestrians, asking to bum a cigarette. One was a police officer. The encounter led to the actor being handcuffed and dragged to the station, and a lot of security footage was released to TMZ.
LaBeouf is on camera saying sexually explicit, racially charged things about all of the officers he encounters, and calling them all by diminutive names.
“What went on in Georgia was mortifying. White privilege and desperation and disaster … It came from a place of self-centered delusion … It was me trying to absolve myself of guilt for getting arrested,” LaBeouf admitted.
“I f—ed up,” he added simply.
LaBeouf has been punished by the market since the incident. His off-screen antics have made it hard to find work in entertainment, and he claims that even Spike Lee couldn't convince studios to let him hire LaBeouf recently.
“For a long time, I thought that life was secondary to art,” he said. “And then you realize you can’t have this art thing without the life thing. I’m just trying to deal with my life right now, ’cause I don’t have f—-all to offer the world until I do.”1comments
LaBeouf entered rehab after the incident, and remains sober ever since. He discussed his ongoing therapy with Sullivan, revealing that he has a lot of deep-seated family issues to work through. However, he credited Zack Gottsagen, the star of The Peanut Butter Falcon, for making him face reality.
“To hear him say that he was disappointed in me probably changed the course of my life,” LaBeouf said. “’Cause I was still fighting. I was still on my ‘Look how fast they released the videos! They don’t release these!’ Just on my defense-mechanism-fear garbage. And you can’t do that to him. He keeps it one thousand with you, and that s— doesn’t even make sense to him. Zack can’t not shoot straight, and bless him for it, ’cause in that moment, I needed a straight shooter who I couldn’t argue with.”