Shia LaBeouf has responded to actress-director Olivia Wilde’s claims that she fired him from her film Don’t Worry Darling, claiming in a long email to her published by Variety that he wasn’t he asked to leave the production, while also alluding to “fundamental” failings in his allegedly abusive relationship with singer-artist FKA Twigs.
“My failings with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that has been presented,” the actor wrote an email Variety said he sent to Wilde just days after the actress told the trade magazine that she was forced to fire LaBeouf from the film just as production began in August 2020 because his acting process “seems to require a combative energy” that she could not get behind. Wilde also told the mag that “a lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me,” in reference to Twigs’ allegations several months later in a lawsuit against LaBeouf claiming sexual battery, assault and emotional distress.
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“There is a time and a place to deal with such things, and I am trying to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, hence my silence,” LaBeouf wrote in the letter about the allegations from the singer born Tahliah Barnett, who said in a 2021 Elle magazine profile that she started keeping a gun in their bedroom because of her fear of the actor. LaBeouf has denied Twigs’ allegations.
In the note to Wilde, LaBeouf denied being dropped from the leading role in Don’t Worry, instead saying he “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time.” In explaining his side of the story, Labeouf wrote to Wilde, “I have embarked on a journey that feels redemptive & righteous (dirty word but fitting). I write to you now with 627 days of sobriety and a moral compass that never existed before my great humbling that was the last year and a quarter of my life. I reached out to you a few months ago to make amends; & I still pray one day, you can find space in your heart to forgive me for the failed collaboration we shared.”
He went on to say he was “a little confused” about the narrative that he was fired, and reportedly included screenshots of their text exchange on the day of the alleged sacking, suggesting that the publicity campaign for the film, and the story of his being let go “is attractive clickbait, as I am still persona-non-grata and may remain as such for the rest of my life … Firing me never took place, Olivia. And while I fully understand the attractiveness of pushing that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. It is not the truth. So I am humbly asking, as a person with an eye toward making things right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this negatively effects you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be.”
LaBeouf — who did not go into any further detail about what he meant by his “failings” in his relationship with Twigs — was later replaced by singer Harry Styles in the lead role of Jack in Wilde’s second directorial effort following 2019’s Booksmart.