The Transformers star turned plagiarist-performance artist was arrested by the NYPD during a theater performance and charged with criminal trespass and two counts of disorderly conduct. It’s just the latest in a long line of mishaps.
If you thought the man-child formerly known as Louis Anthony Stevens was gangsta before, wait ’til you get a load of this. Shia LaBeouf, he of Even Stevens and Transformers fame, was reportedly arrested for causing a ruckus during the first act of the Broadway musical Cabaret on Thursday evening.
According to Good Morning America reporter Aaron Katersky, the 28-year-old was smoking and yelling during the performance and charged with criminal trespass and two counts of disorderly conduct. Police say he threatened an officer as well as other patrons. Benj Pasek, of the Tony-nominated musical theater composing team Pasek and Paul, said he saw LaBeouf “in tears surrounded by six police officers” outside of the Studio 54 theater on West 54th Street in Manhattan.
An Instagram user was also able to snap a photo of LaBeouf being hauled off in handcuffs by NYPD officers.
Cabaret, a revival of the celebrated musical, is presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company and stars Alan Cumming and Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams. God knows what set the young actor off (I mean… it’s Cabaret). Then again, this isn’t the first time LaBeouf has caused trouble on the Great White Way. In early 2013, he was all set to make his Broadway debut in director Daniel Sullivan’s Orphans, opposite Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge. But just a week into rehearsals, LaBeouf dropped out of the play due to what he called “creative differences.” He then claimed to have punched through a door at rehearsals, and posted an apologetic email exchange between himself and Orphans playwright Lyle Kessler:
But the real reason LaBeouf was dismissed was because he was beefing with his co-star, Alec Baldwin. The then-26-year-old actor later released a series of contentious emails between the two actors, as well as director Daniel Sullivan, which gave the assertion that LaBeouf became incensed by Baldwin’s lack of preparation, having not memorized the script.
In a recent New York magazine cover story with Baldwin’s byline, the acting vet shed some light on their Orphans squabble. He claimed, “LaBeouf seems to carry with him, to put it mildly, a jailhouse mentality wherever he goes.” He admitted that he didn’t have all his lines memorized prior to rehearsal and that LaBeouf got so upset he “attacked” him in front of the rest of the cast and said, “If you don’t say your lines, I’m just going to keep saying my lines.” Ultimately, Baldwin claims that he approached the show’s director and said one of the two had to go, so the decision was made by Sullivan to fire LaBeouf. “He was shocked,” said Baldwin. “He had that card, that card you get when you make films that make a lot of money that gives you a certain kind of entitlement. I think he was surprised that it didn’t work in the theater.”
LaBeouf was replaced in Orphans by Ben Foster, and later attended a preview performance of the play without informing any of the other cast members, sat in the front row, and gave a standing ovation—which took everyone by surprise.
But, Broadway peccadilloes aside, it’s become clear that the 28-year-old needs some help.
The problems began in February 2005, when police charged LaBeouf with assault with a deadly weapon. LaBeouf was reportedly attempting to access his garage but his neighbor was blocking his path and chatting with his girlfriend so, according to an onlooker, “Shia rammed his car into the back of the other guy's car. Words were exchanged and Shia jumped out and threatened the neighbor.” Later, LaBeouf allegedly materialized at the neighbor’s front door, reportedly armed with a kitchen knife, the two fought, and police were eventually called and arrested the actor. In an interview with GQ, LaBeouf later claimed that it was the neighbor who insulted his mother and rear-ended her car, so he grabbed his friend and a kitchen knife and went to the guy’s apartment, where he wound up getting jumped by six of the guy’s friends.
In Nov. 2007 he was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing after breaking into a Chicago Walgreens and refusing to leave, which resulted in this glassy-eyed mug shot. Then, in July 2008, LaBeouf was involved in a car crash in L.A. after a vehicle ran a red light and slammed into the side of the actor’s Ford F-150. Police said they smelled booze on his breath, and since the actor refused a breathalyzer examination, he was charged with misdemeanor drunk driving. Also, the passenger in LaBeouf’s vehicle was the actress Isabel Lucas, his co-star from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. She was dating Entourage’s Adrien Grenier at the time, but LaBeouf later admitted the two were “philandering around.” In that same awful Details interview, he also admitted to sleeping with Megan Fox during Transformers—while she was with Brian Austin Green—and the article revealed, “He and Megan Fox were at a Taco Bell and the cashier made a rude comment to her and LaBeouf wound up going behind the register and whaling on the guy.”
LaBeouf got in a pair of bar fights in 2011, first at Mad Bull Tavern in Sherman Oaks, California, and then in Vancouver, where he was caught on video getting punched out after threatening a patron. Also, earlier this year, TMZ obtained video of LaBeouf headbutting a guy at a London bar over an argument.
Then there was the recent plagiarism controversy. On Dec. 17 of last year, LaBeouf released a short film entitled Howard Cantour.com, which was later revealed to have been lifted almost verbatim from the graphic novel Justin M. Damiano by author Daniel Clowes. He apologized… but that was plagiarized too. A deeper investigation revealed that several of LaBeouf’s self-published comic books had been plagiarized from other authors’ works, including Charles Bukowski.
To atone for his sins—or just troll people—LaBeouf wore a paper bag over his head on the Berlin Film Festival red carpet that read, “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE,” and later appeared in #IAMSORRY, a strange L.A. art project where attendees entered a room with the actor dressed in a tuxedo with a bag over his head. When our writer Andrew Romano removed the bag, it was revealed that LaBeouf was quietly weeping.
Now, LaBeouf didn’t have a good childhood. He was raised by hippies and accompanied his father, a heroin addict, to AA meetings.
“His parents eventually divorced, but not before young Shia was subjected to verbal and mental abuse by a heroin-addicted father who once pointed a gun at his son during a Vietnam War flashback,” wrote the OC Register. “The father also gave his son marijuana to smoke when he was 10. His mother raised the couple’s only son on meager earnings, and they were forced to live in a tough neighborhood of Los Angeles.”
"When you’re 10 years old and watch your father going through heroin withdrawals, you grow up real fast,” LaBeouf told the OC Register. “You become the parent in the relationship. But I must give him credit because he always told me that he didn’t want me to be like him.”