Hollywood actor Shia LaBeouf has landed his first film role since his ex-girlfriend and singer FKA Twigs sued him for sexual battery, assault and the infliction of emotional distress.
Shia recently signed on for his next acting role amid allegations of abuse by his ex. The actor has been cast in a new movie by legendary director Abel Ferrara about an Italian saint, reported Variety.
Abel Ferrara, who has helmed King of New York and The Funeral, revealed the casting news in an interview with Variety saying Shia had signed on to play Saint Padre Pio.
“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 not a saint, he had stigmata,” Abel said.
“He was also in the middle of a very heavy political period in world history. He was very young before he became a saint, so Shia LaBeouf is going to play the monk,” the director added.
Shia is currently facing a lawsuit brought on by FKA Twigs, in which she claims he sexually and physically assaulted and battered her, and knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease. FKA Twigs, who was born Tahliah Barnett, also alleged several instances of physical abuse in the documents.
She said that at times during their 9-month relationship back in 2018 she even feared for her life.
The Transformers actor’s legal team denied all of the claims. His lawyers deny that she suffered any damages or injuries from Shia and asserted that her sexual battery claims should be dismissed because “none of the acts alleged were based on sex and/or the conduct was not sexual”.
Since the allegations came to light, the actor made headlines for being fired from Olivia Wilde’s sophomore drama feature Don’t Worry Darling, which People magazine confirmed in late December.
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Netflix also dropped Shia’s name from its awards campaign website for the Vanessa Kirby film, Pieces of a Woman.
In February, a source told People magazine that the actor was stepping away from his talent agency CAA and would take an acting hiatus as he did inpatient treatment. The source added Shia’s break is “so that he can get the help he needs” amid the lawsuit.
In May, People magazine learned that the actor was ordered to complete a judicial diversion programme for misdemeanour battery and theft charges from a separate incident in June 2020. Shia’s past is riddled with strife, as he has struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol and has had several public breakdowns, after rising to fame as a young star on Disney Channel’s Even Stevens.