Honey Boy is a 2019 film based on Shia LaBeouf’s upbringing, including his troubled childhood, fraught relationship with his father, problems with substance abuse, violence and subsequent time in rehab. At the time of its release, the autobiographical coming-of-age drama, which LaBeouf wrote in court-ordered rehab, received Oscars buzz and critical acclaim. Its director Alma Har’el praised LaBeof for how far he’d come on his journey to recovery, frequently referencing the actor’s growth and deep-rooted trauma.
Honey Boy was also where LaBeouf met his former girlfriend of a year, British musician FKA Twigs, who, last week, sued him with allegations of sexual battery ranging from verbal abuse to violent attacks and physical strangulation.
The lawsuit, which also includes abuse allegations from another of LaBeouf’s former girlfriends, Karolyn Pho, states, “Shia LaBeouf hurts women. He uses them. He abuses them, both physically and mentally. He is dangerous.”
Responding to the claims, Har’el has released a statement, saying she stands in solidarity with FKA Twigs and Pho and that LaBeouf’s road to recovery does not excuse any behavior of domestic violence.
“I have a deep respect for FKA Twigs’ courage and resilience,” the statement begins. “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.”
It continues, “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, minimise, or rationalise domestic violence.”
Har’el wrote that she is donating in Twigs’ and Karolyn Pho’s names to FreeFrom, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and Sistah Space. She finished, “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.”