Strange behavior and rehab for alcohol abuse are just the beginning of the story for actor Shia LaBeouf. The actor sat down with Ellen DeGeneres in October to discuss his silent exhibition in which he invited people to come meet him in person and then do or say whatever they wanted to him. At the time, he said that the experience surprised him since so many people were very empathetic with him. Now, in a recent interview with Dazed and Confused, LaBeouf sat down for what many are calling his silent interview, which included an email interview where he discusses being the victim of an apparent rape during his exhibit at the beginning of the year.
The exhibition, called “#IAMSORRY,” was a five-day installation in which LaBeouf sat in silence with his famous paper bag over his head and gave people a chance to say whatever they felt like to him as well as do whatever they wanted. When he originally spoke to DeGeneres about the installation, he never mentioned a rape, but instead spoke about people seeing him differently. He described the experience as people no longer seeing him as an object, but instead as a human being. His initial portrayal of the installation was of it being very loving and human.
Since the interview with DeGeneres however, LaBeouf now admits that not everyone who came out for his silent exhibition was respectful. In fact, as part of LaBeouf’s silent interview, he brings up the story of a woman who apparently whipped him for 10 minutes and then proceeded to rape him. While he obviously did not speak during his silent interview, the real exchange took place in a series of emails which were included with the now infamous silent interview.
In the email exchange, LaBeouf describes the alleged sexual assault as extremely traumatic. He tells the interviewer that not only did this occur in front of a large crowd of people, but the woman’s own boyfriend was there as was LaBeouf’s own girlfriend, Mia Goth. Goth was apparently coming to see the actor since it was Valentine’s Day and he was basically living in a sleeping bag at the gallery where his silent installation was taking place. The two had no communication with each other during the five days in which they were separated while LaBeouf did his exhibit. He told the interviewer that the experience was extremely painful as he had to sit in silence with Goth, unable to discuss what had just occurred. He further describes that portion of the show – the alleged rape and its aftermath, as being the hardest part of the entire experience.
As part of the silent interview, LaBeouf and the interviewer sat silently while dialogue from their email exchage discussing the rape and exhibit were shown. The interview was one hour of silence mixed with some uncomfortable laughter as well. What is clear from LaBeouf’s interview is that despite the alleged sexual assault and the people who still refused to see him as anything other than a celebrity, it was still an excellent experience and he has no regrets about what occurred during his five days of silence.
By Kimberley Spinney