Shia LaBeouf is disputing Olivia Wilde’s version of events.
The actor, who had originally been cast in Wilde’s new film “Don’t Worry Darling” before being replaced by Harry Styles, has denied the director’s claim that he was fired from the project.
In this week’s Variety cover story, Wilde had said that she fired the actor, telling the trade, “I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work. His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances. I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”
Following the article’s publication, though, LaBeouf reached out to Variety to deny that he was fired, claiming that he “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time.”
The actor also forwarded the magazine a pair of emails he said that he sent to Wilde after the cover story was published, in which he directly responded to her claims.
“What inspired this email today is your latest Variety story. I am greatly honored by your words on my work; thank you, that felt good to read,” he wrote to her. “I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired, however. You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors & I couldn’t find time to rehearse.”
LaBeouf also forwarded text messages, as well as a video recording. The text messages show that on Aug. 16, 2020, he and Wilde met to discuss his departure from the film.
“Thanks for letting me in on your thought process. I know that isn’t fun. Doesn’t feel good to say no to someone, and I respect your honesty,” Wilde texted him later that night. “I’m honored you were willing to go there with me, for me to tell a story with you. I’m gutted because it could have been something special. I want to make clear how much it means to me that you trust me. That’s a gift I’ll take with me.”
In the video, which LaBeouf said was sent to him by Wilde days later, after he claimed to have quit the film, the director reached out to see if he might reconsider.
“I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I too am heartbroken and I want to figure this out,” she says in the video. “You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us. If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace — and I respect your point of view, I respect hers — but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Will you let me know?”
Around the same time, Wilde sent him another text which read, “You don’t have to be in my movies but don’t ever doubt me. We pinky promised. That means something in my house.”
In Dec. 2020, LaBeouf’s ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs sued him, alleging sexual battery and assault. She later spoke publicly about her relationship with the actor, detailing alleged instances of abuse.
“I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. 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,” LaBeouf said at the time, though in a later court filing he denied Twigs’ allegations “generally and specifically.”
In his email to Wilde, the actor addressed the abuse allegations once again.
“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,” he wrote. “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 continued, “I know that you are beginning your press run for DWD and that the news of my firing is attractive clickbait, as I am still persona-non-grata and may remain as such for the rest of my life. But, speaking of my daughter, I often think about the news articles she will read when she is literate. And though I owe, and will owe for the rest of my life, I only owe for my actions.”
Finally, LaBeouf added, “My failings with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that has been presented. 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. But this situation with your film and my ‘firing’ will never have a court date with which to deal with the facts. If lies are repeated enough in the public they become truth. And so, it makes it that much harder for me to crawl out of the hole I have dug with my behaviors, to be able to provide for my family.”
Wilde has not yet responded to LaBeouf’s claims.