Amid FKA twigs allegations, a timeline of Shia LaBeouf’s arrests and legal woes

Shia LaBeouf in 2017
Shia LaBeouf was sued Friday by ex-girlfriend FKA twigs, who alleged abuse. It’s not the actor’s first legal entanglement.
(Warren Toda / EPA)

FKA twigs unloaded on ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf in a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles, accusing him of assault, sexual battery and emotional abuse and alleging the actor is a dangerous serial abuser of women.

The 32-year-old singer-dancer-actress, born Tahliah Barnett, worked with LaBeouf on the 2019 movie “Honey Boy,”and they started dating after the film wrapped production. She quickly moved in with him, and according to the lawsuit wound up having to “escape” from LaBeouf’s home some months later after nearly nonstop alleged abuse.

Singer FKA twigs sues actor Shia LaBeouf, alleging he physically and emotionally abused her during a stormy yearlong relationship.

Dec. 11, 2020


“For too long, LaBeouf has sought to excuse his reprehensible actions as the eccentricities of a free-thinking ‘artist,’” the lawsuit states. “Even though his history of violent behavior was well-documented, many in the media have treated LaBeouf as a harmless figure of fun, which has helped enable him to perpetuate his cycle of abuse of women over the years.”

Reps for the actor did not respond immediately to a Los Angeles Times request for comment, but LaBeouf told the New York Times via email that “many of these allegations are not true.”

FKA twigs performs at Coachella in 2015
FKA twigs performs at the Coachella music festival in 2015.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

“I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations,” he wrote in a separate email to the NYT. “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 new lawsuit is far from the first entanglement the 34-year-old actor has had with the law. Here is a brief history of his arrests and incidents that involved police.

1996 — He started young

At age 9, LaBeouf, who grew up in L.A.’s Echo Park, was arrested on suspicion of stealing a pair of Nike shoes in Pacoima, he revealed in a 2015 essay. He was released after six hours.


1998 — The Kmart incident

The actor was arrested at age 11 for stealing a Gameboy Pokémon from a Kmart in Tujunga, a fact the actor revealed in that same 2015 essay. Once again, he was released after a few hours. Two years later, he landed his first major role on the Disney Channel show “Even Stevens.”

2007 — Arrested in Van Nuys and Chicago

LaBeouf was arrested and spent two days in jail after attempting to stab a neighbor in Van Nuys, he revealed in the essay. He wound up in jail for two days. “While I was there,” he wrote, “I at least understood that being in jail is not the move.”

An apparently drunken LaBeouf was also arrested in Chicago that November after refusing a security guard’s commands to leave a Walgreens at 4 a.m. The actor, who was in the Windy City working on the movie “Eagle Eye,” had visited the store three times that night in search of cigarettes he said he kept forgetting to buy. He was cited for misdemeanor criminal trespassing, but the charges were eventually dropped.

Shia LaBeouf, Bobby Soto and Donte Johnson’s theater company chronicles a single day at a drive-thru COVID-19 test site in South L.A.

Oct. 15, 2020

2008 — The Hollywood DUI arrest

LaBeouf was arrested July 27, 2008, on suspicion of drunk driving in Hollywood after he and two women were hurt in a crash. Then 22, he was cited for misdemeanor drunken driving instead of felony drunken driving because the injuries suffered by the others were minor, police said.

The actor wound up getting hand surgery. Because he refused to take a breath test, there was not enough evidence to convict him and charges were dropped, though he did lose his driving privileges for saying no to the Breathalyzer.

“LaBeouf has had previous brushes with the law, but each was relatively harmless,” an Associated Press story said at the time, “to the point that they reinforced his image as a Hollywood good-guy with an edge.”

Also, in February 2008, he was cited for allegedly smoking on a Burbank sidewalk. A judge later dismissed the charge, but the actor paid a $500 fine.

Premiering his personal pseudo-memoir “Honey Boy” to a standing ovation Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, Shia LaBeouf took the stage to cheers from the audience, revealing that the project began as part of his therapy while in rehab.

Jan. 26, 2019

2011 — Bar fights, but no arrests

LaBeouf, who was in Vancouver filming “The Company You Keep,” got involved in a fight outside a bar that followed a verbal altercation inside with another bar patron. He then allegedly went off in a rage on some people who were trying to soothe him after he’d been punched in the face.

It was his second bar fight of the year. Though police were called in February to an altercation between LaBeouf and another man in a Sherman Oaks bar, no arrests were made.

2014 — The ‘Cabaret’ arrest

LaBeouf was arrested in June outside New York City’s Studio 54 after he drunkenly disrupted a performance of “Cabaret.” He had stood up in the audience, shouted and reportedly smacked star Alan Cumming on the behind, then mouthed off to officers who came to arrest him, forcing them to use a spit guard on him.

Last week, Shia LaBeouf appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and explained, as best he could, what was going through his mind when he got arrested during a performance of “Cabaret” in New York City last June.

Oct. 21, 2014

He pleaded guilty that September to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and was sentenced to three months of alcohol-abuse treatment in addition to the help he sought immediately following his June 26 arrest. The offense and the guilty plea were to be scrubbed from his record if he went six months without more bad behavior.

2015 — Arrested in Austin

The actor was arrested in October in Texas, where he was attending the Austin City Limits music festival, and booked for misdemeanor public intoxication. After reportedly being turned away from a bar because he and a friend were too intoxicated, LaBeouf ran down the street and jaywalked in front of police. They warned him to stop, but he didn’t and was subsequently put in cuffs. He was later released on his own recognizance.

2017 — Arrested in New York and Georgia

In February 2017, LaBeouf was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault outside a New York City museum, where he’d been chanting “He will not divide us” in front of a live camera since President Trump’s inauguration. Police said LaBeouf pulled the scarf of a man outside the museum in Queens and scratched the man’s face. He also pushed the man. The charges were dropped in March due to lack of evidence.

Shia LaBeouf and co-star Zack Gottsagen have a genuinely touching chemistry in the Mark Twain-esque adventure tale.

Aug. 8, 2019

Then in July 2017, a drunken LaBeouf was arrested around 4 a.m. in Savannah, Ga., after trying to bum a smoke off two men, one of whom was a police officer. During the arrest, he was captured on video berating the officers involved, including racist slurs, and bragging about his “millionaire attorneys.” He was charged with obstruction, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

Afterward, he told Esquire that what went on in Georgia — while he was shooting “The Peanut Butter Falcon” — had been “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.”

He entered rehab shortly after the arrest, and eventually thanked the officer publicly during an awards show for hauling him in.

2020 — Arrested in L.A. during the pandemic

The “Honey Boy” star was charged in late September with one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of misdemeanor theft related to a July verbal altercation with a man that turned physical. The actor allegedly took off the man’s cap and left with it. It is unclear whether he was arraigned in November, as had been scheduled.