Shia Labeouf's career came toppling down in 2020 after facing a string of abuse charges and allegations, but now it appears the actor is planning his comeback by playing the role of a saint in director Abel Ferrara’s newest film.
The controversial filmmaker confirmed to Variety that Labeouf will be playing Italian saint Padre Pio in his upcoming film, which may also star Willem Dafoe.
"We’re doing a film about Padre Pio, he’s a monk from Puglia. It’s set in Italy right after World War I. He’s now a saint, he had stigmata. He was also in the middle of a very heavy political period in world history," Ferrara said. "He was very young before he became a saint, so Shia LaBeouf is going to play the monk."
News of Labeouf's casting comes months after he parted ways with Hollywood talent agency CAA while receiving inpatient care following a lawsuit filed against him by ex-girlfriend, FKA Twigs, who accused Labeouf of sexual battery, assault, and emotional distress, The New York Times reported.
In her filing, FKA Twigs said LaBeouf mentally and emotionally abused her on several occasions. She further stated he knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease. The lawsuit also included allegations of abuse by another former girlfriend, Karolyn Pho, who claimed LaBeouf reportedly pinned her to a bed then head-butted her so hard she bled. Several other women have also come forth with similar claims.
It was not long after the allegations emerged that LaBeouf, who was being considered for an award by Netflix for his latest film, "Pieces of a Woman," was removed from the streaming service's awards-consideration page. His name was also removed from the description on the awards page and from stills from the movie.
Then, in May, it emerged that LaBeouf had been ordered to complete a judicial diversion program after being charged with misdemeanor battery and theft. The incident that led to the charges took place in Los Angeles in June 2020, according to TMZ. Details of what transpired are vague but a complaint states that LaBeouf is accused of willfully and unlawfully using "force and violence upon" a person. He then reportedly drove away with the person's hat that was worth less than $950. The actor pleaded not guilty to the charges brought forth against him.
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