Shia LaBeouf was a blockbuster star on the rise before a series of erratic public outbursts nearly derailed his career.
Most notably, the “Transformers” star was arrested last July after his attempt to bum a cigarette on a Savannah, Ga. street escalated into a full-blown racist rant that featured LaBeouf telling his black arresting officer he was “going to straight to hell” because “he’s a black man.”
Now, in his first interview since the arrest, LaBeouf, 31, calls the entire incident “mortifying” — and revealed that he is now sober since completing court-ordered rehab.
“What went on in Georgia was mortifying. White privilege and desperation and disaster … It came from a place of self-centered delusion,” he told Esquire. “It was my trying to absolve myself of guilt for getting arrested… I f–ked up.”
Shia LaBeouf tells black cop he’s ‘going to hell’ (GRAPHIC)
The entire ordeal was captured on camera, forcing the former child star to issue a public apology in which he said he was “deeply ashamed” by his behavior, which he called a “new low.”
He was charged with obstruction, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness (though the final charge was later dropped), and ordered to pay fines, complete hours of community service, enroll in anger management courses, attend ten weeks of rehab and spend a year on probation.
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Looking back, LaBeouf says his moment of clarity after the arrest only came when Zachary Gottsagen, an actor with Down syndrome with whom he was working on “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” said he was disappointed in him.
“I’ve got to look at my failures in the face for a while. I need to take ownership of my s–t and clean up my side of the street a bit before I can go out there and work again, so I’m trying to stay creative and learn from my mistakes,” he said. “I’ve been falling forward for a long time. Most of my life. The truth is, in my desperation, I lost the plot.”
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LaBeouf — who wed girlfriend Mia Goth in 2016 — also compared his public outbursts to those of tennis legend John McEnroe, whom he’s set to portray in the upcoming movie “Borg vs. McEnroe.”
“McEnroe was a master at his rage. I’m a buffoon,” the actor said. “My public outbursts are failures. They’re not strategic. They’re a struggling motherf–ker showing his a– in front of the world.”
If anyone can relate to public meltdowns, it’s Kanye West — though LaBeouf says his friendship with the rapper soured after West took all his clothes (including LaBeouf’s “Indiana Jones” hat).
LaBeouf said he took his mother to meet the rapper backstage shortly after West gave him a lyrical shout-out in his “Life of Pablo” track “No More Parties in L.A.” — and that West requested several items of clothing to use for a pop-up shop.
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“When I brought her backstage, he was a f–king sweetheart to her. And it just felt fair. So I’m like, ‘Go for it, my guy. Take everything you want.’ And he did. He took all my f–king clothes,” LaBeouf said.
He and West haven’t been in contact since the star called him out in an incoherent on-stage meltdown in November 2016, though LaBeouf said he has tried to reach out because he “f–king loves” West.
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