Actor Shia LaBeouf has opened up to the press about his struggle with PTSD after the alleged sexual assault of his mother, Shayna Saide, as reported by kiiitv.com. Saide is often featured in photos of LaBeouf, often walking hand-in-hand or embracing her 31-year-old son. Saide, a visual artist, raised LaBeouf as a single mother, and has remained a constant presence in LaBeouf’s life into adulthood. LaBeouf has been photographed multiple times at events promoting Saide’s artwork to lend support to his mother.
LaBeouf, who has enjoyed a successful but troubled career in Hollywood since his start as a child actor, has publicly struggled with alcoholism and anger, resulting in the actor’s multiple arrests and other legal troubles. Additionally, videos of LaBeouf engaged in explosive fights with several of his former girlfriends and his current wife, Mia Goth, have been released by the paparazzi and circulated on the internet. LaBeouf reportedly is ashamed and sorry about his behavior.
Recently, LaBeouf became the subject of controversy once again in 2017, as he reportedly went on a racist rant directed toward police officers in Georgia, LA Times reports. LaBeouf has since attributed his outburst to emotional trauma he suffered as a result of Saide’s alleged rape, according to USA Today.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Brooklyn-based Saide Supports Herself a By Working As a Visual Artist
Saide, who also goes by Shayna Saide LaBeouf, describes herself as follows on her official website, Shayna’s World, “LaBeouf was born on the Lower East Side of New York. The daughter of artist, performer, and barber, Shia Saide from Bialystok, Poland and Malki Rosen from a Russian Jewish family. A rebel and explorer, she made friends in all quarters in the multi-ethnic melting pot and attended the Henry Street Settlement cultural center that offered classes in the arts. Her family summered in the Catskills where she was allowed to roam freely in the forest and revel in the beauty and mystery of nature. In the city, she found a similar refuge in the church of St. Mary’s. While showing promise in all the arts, she made a career in modern and jazz dance. She toured the U.S. and Europe and formed a duo with a male dance partner; they performed as an opening act for Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan and many other performers.”
As a result of her son’s massive success as he transitioned from being a child actor into adulthood, starring in everything from obscure, indie art pieces to Spielberg-produced Hollywood blockbusters, Saide has been able to fully focus on her art, and no longer struggles to support herself. She has her own gallery today and no longer has to worry about how she is going to be able to put food on the table. However, that was not always the case for Saide, as explained in more detail below.
Most recently, Saide worked as a barber in Brooklyn while exploring her more artistic endeavors on the side. Her official biography focuses on Saide’s bohemian, unconventional lifestyle, often straying from the beaten path and marching to the beat of her own drum. While Saide’s life has undoubtedly been eccentric and unique, she has also been the victim of unfortunate circumstances, sexual violence, drug abuse and winding up on the wrong side of the law. While Saide tried to shield her son from the more brutal aspects of her life, he was aware of them from an extremely young age, and is still dealing with his childhood trauma today, which the actor acknowledges himself.
2. Saide Raised LaBeouf By Herself After She & The Future Actor’s Father Split When He Was Just 3 Years Old.
When Shia LaBeouf was born, his parents lived in Echo Park, an extremely impoverished neighborhood of Los Angeles. Saide was an artist who decorated their home with upside-down furniture. LaBeouf’s father is a Vietnam veteran who reportedly has struggled with mental health issues after returning home from his tour of duty.
“I come from hippies,” said LaBeouf. “My dad was a wandering dude recovering from the war in Vietnam. And my mom, before she met him, had a head shop in Brooklyn. Bob Dylan used to come in and smoke weed. All her furniture hung upside-down from the ceiling. She was out of her mind. It was the 1970s,” LaBeouf explained in an interview with Parade.com.
The LaBeoufs often supported themselves by working as performance artists. They would usually dress in clown costumes, including putting baby Shia in a tiny suit complete with elaborate makeup and parading through the streets of Echo Park.
“It was a hustle. We’d walk around the neighborhood in full clown regalia,” he recalls. “My embarrassment factor didn’t exist. I had fun, because I knew that in the middle of a performance my parents couldn’t fight. So, for sure, every day, there had to be some peaceful time for us, or we weren’t going to make it through the week financially,” LaBeouf told Parade.
Saide and LaBeouf’s father divorced in the late 80s, and Saide struggled to raise LaBeouf as a single mother. She continued to live in the Echo Park area, sharing a house with several other women and taking whatever work she could find to make ends meet. Tales of LaBeouf’s upbringing have raised some eyebrows; for example, Saide admitted to constantly walking around fully nude in LaBeouf’s presence when he was a child. LaBeouf in turn has caused pause for some after appearing in a nude bodysuit in the video for Sia’s Elastic Heart opposite a then 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler, performing dance routines that many have interpreted as sexually charged. LaBeouf appeared fully nude in the video for Sigur Ros’ Fjogur Piano video and in Lars Von Trier’s film Nymphomaniac.
3. Saide Is Reportedly a Sexual Assault Survivor; LaBeouf Suffers From PTSD As a Result of His Mother’s Alleged Rape.
In an exclusive interview with Esquire, LaBeouf stated that he was finally able to talk about “it,” his mother’s alleged attack, the pivotal incident with which the 31-year-old actor has struggled to come to terms with for most of his life.
By the time LaBeouf was nine, things got worse. Their landlord, sick of all the sewing machines Shayna kept in their apartment, had kicked them out. They’d found a place in Tujunga, the biker-gang capital of the San Fernando Valley. Before Jeffrey left for a stint in rehab, he asked Dave, a biker who lived next door, to keep an eye on LaBeouf and his mother.
It didn’t help. One day, LaBeouf overheard a man raping his mother. “I froze,” he tells me, pausing. “The man ran out, and my mom ran after him. Dave came running over. I remember he had a crossbow.” By then, the rapist had fled. During a counseling session at the sheriff’s office, LaBeouf listened as his mother recounted her attacker’s appearance. “It was the first time I ever heard the word pubic,” he says. “That’s how she described his facial hair. The next day at school, I told some kid that his hair looked like pubic hair, and I remember getting in trouble. They never found the guy.
“When I got to rehab last year,” LaBeouf continues, “they said I had PTSD.” He says he now understands that the violence toward his mother that he witnessed, that he could not prevent, is the reason for his defensiveness, his own hair trigger for violence. “The first time I got arrested with a real charge, it stemmed from the same shit. Some guy bumped into my mother’s car with his car in a parking lot, and my head went right to ‘You need to avenge your mother!’ So I went after the dude with a knife.” (He didn’t use it.) It’s also why LaBeouf bought a gun as soon as he was able to; to this day, he sleeps with it. “I’ve always thought somebody was coming in. My whole life.”
Around the time of his mother’s attack, LaBeouf, then ten, went on a surf trip with Jeffrey to Malibu, where he met a kid about his age wearing the type of expensive outfit he could not afford. “I said, ‘What do you do?’” LaBeouf recalls. “He said he was an actor. That’s where it really started.” The kid told him he would never get past the first step: landing a modeling agent. “I was a weird- looking fucker,” LaBeouf says. Undeterred, he got crafty. “I looked up talent agents in the yellow pages. I put on this front like I was my own manager,” complete with a British lilt. One agent wasn’t fooled, but she was charmed, and LaBeouf was signed. He quickly began booking spots on ER, The X-Files, Freaks and Geeks, and Suddenly Susan.
4. Saide Has Been LaBeouf’s Rock Throughout His Struggled With Alcoholism & Anger Management.
LaBeouf has been arrested multiple times, including being charged with driving under the influence to public intoxication to allegedly brawling with a man outside a protest against President Trump. As a result of his arrest in 2017 during which he reportedly went on a racist tirade against the Georgia police officers attempting to take him into custody, LaBeouf was sentenced to court-ordered rehab. According to LaBeouf, it was during rehabilitation that he was officially diagnosed with PTSD in connection with his mother’s sexual assault as referred to above. LaBeouf has finally broken his silence in his 2017’s arrest, deeply ashamed of his alleged behavior, taking responsibility for his actions while attempting to provide some context for his behavior.
The public has treated LaBeouf with mixed support. After his multiple arrests, drunken, belligerent behavior and violent fights with his lovers, LaBeouf became a bit of an unflattering caricature of himself. He is also known for his over-the-top method acting and bizarre on and off camera antics, including his infamous “Just Do It!” video. LaBeouf has opened up about his shame with regard to his arrests and personal struggles.
LaBeouf, now 31 and married to actress Mia Goth, with whom he starred in Lars Von Trier’s film nymphomaniac, still talks to Saide on a daily basis. While LaBeouf has financially supported his mother since becoming a star on the Disney Channel and has done his best to shower her with gifts, she in exchange has by and large devoted her life to her son, her love unconditional and her emotional support unwavering. Whether the public will forgive LaBeouf remains to be seen; but for Saide, she will always be there for her son as a pillar of strength.
5. LaBeouf, a Method Actor, Was Allegedly The Victim of Sexual Assault By a Female Fan When He Was Violated During a Piece of Performance Art
LaBeouf, who has reportedly struggled with fame, launched a performance art piece in 2014 entitled #NOTSORRY where he sat in a room, motionless and silent, and allowed visitors to enter the room, unprotected by security, and to say or do anything to the actor that they pleased. Allegedly, one female fan took advantage of LaBeouf sexually, and the actor, committed to his project, felt that he was powerless to say or do anything to stop it.
LaBeouf discussed the alleged assault with Dazed Magazine, later reported on by The Guardian, estimating that he was assaulted for 10 minutes and had no one to talk to about the trauma itself since part of his performance art was maintaining his own silence.
Speaking to Dazed magazine in an email interview, he wrote: “One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for 10 minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me.”
#IAMSORRY consisted of LaBeouf sitting silently with a paper bag on his head, bearing the legend “I am not famous anymore” – members of the public queued to be able to sit in front of him in the one-on-one piece. It ran for five days in February at a Los Angeles gallery.
LaBeouf said that news of the incident “travelled through the line” of people waiting, and reached LaBeouf’s girlfriend. “When she came in she asked for an explanation, and I couldn’t speak, so we both sat with this unexplained trauma silently. It was painful.”
Earlier that same year, LaBeouf was arrested for causing a scene at a Broadway performance of Cabaret held at the venue formerly owned by legendary Studio 54. Allegedly, this was one of many incidents where alcohol was a factor in LaBeouf’s behavior. Initially, LaBeouf remained silent about the childhood trauma he endured and simply apologized for his behavior, taking the blame for once again having a very public meltdown.