Shia LaBeouf has been in the public spotlight since he was a child. “My family lineage is five generations of artists who never made it,” LaBeouf told Time. Apparently he was the exception to the rule. LaBeouf was 10 when he first took the stage as a stand-up comedian before branching out to the small screen and bringing his talents to the big screen. “I was a kid with a bowl cut and suspenders,” LaBeouf told the Los Angeles Times. “My frills back then was the 50-year-old mouth on the 10-year-old kid.”
What he lacked in years, he more than made up for in flying colors. LaBeouf admitted to randomly picking an entertainment agent’s name from the Yellow Pages (Google it, kids), acting as a talent manager, and then introducing himself to the agent as hot new commodity. Overwhelmed by his boldness and innovation, she signed him. “A few weeks later, I booked ER, then The X-Files, and then Just Suzanne,” LaBeouf told the LA Times.
Per IMDbLaBeouf’s breakout role was played by Louis Stevens on the Disney show Even Stevens. It earned him a Daytime Emmy Award and eventually led to his starring role in the 2003 neo-western dramedy Holes. He didn’t look back from there. Shia LaBeouf is not one to do things in moderation. He fully subscribes to the Go Big or Go Home school of thought. Unfortunately, this is reflected in the staggering number of arrests of Shia LaBeouf, beginning at the age of nine.
Shia LaBeouf’s arrest record goes way back
Even for Hollywood hotheads, Shia LaBeouf has taken an inordinate number of mug shots. He was arrested 11 times in total and had numerous other run-ins with authorities, according to Grunge. It’s not uncommon for former Disney teen stars to get in trouble with the law. However, Shia LaBeouf’s legal drama began before he was a star — or even a teenager. He wrote about his pre-adolescent crimes in an essay titled “Error Breeds Sense” (via Yahoo!), which was published in the book Prison Ramen.
LaBeouf shares that his first arrest “for stealing a pair of Nike Cortezes” was when he was nine years old. His flippant love of consumer goods led to his second arrest after he “stole a Gameboy Pokémon from K-Mart” at age 11. Luckily for him, LaBeouf was only held for a few hours both times and then released. LaBeouf put his criminal career on hold as a teenager but fell out of impasse in his 20s.
The bizarre arrests of Shia LaBeouf
According to Page Six, LaBeouf’s third arrest came for allegedly threatening his neighbor with a knife. “I tried to stab my neighbor and spent two days in jail,” he admitted in his essay. “While I was there I at least understood that being in prison is not the right move. It sucks.” LaBeouf might have gotten the point, but he still hadn’t learned his lesson.
Shia LaBeouf’s fourth arrest followed a 2007 altercation at a drugstore. “I was pretty exhausted in Chicago and ended up partying at Walgreens,” he told David Letterman. The fifth was a DUI offense after flipping his truck in 2008. LaBeouf explained to Esquire years later that he keeps the crumpled truck door as it represents “failure” and “fallibility.”
Per People, his sixth arrest was in 2008 for an illegal smoking offense that was later commuted to a fine. Unfortunately, from that point on, LaBeouf’s arrests only got more serious. Arrest #7 came after he was heckled at a Broadway show in 2014. “You know who the hell I am?” LaBeouf yelled (via TMZ). The star was arrested for the eighth time in 2015 after an incident in which he was walking around the street drunk and calling a police officer a “stupid man,” according to the affidavit (via Statesman).
Shia LaBeouf says he wants to right his wrongs
Shia LaBeouf’s ninth arrest came after the actor allegedly assaulted someone during his 2017 anti-Trump protest, per TMZ.
Arrest #10 was made that same year and was due to more alcohol. During this disorderly conduct arrest, LaBeouf launched a now-famous racist tirade against the officers who booked him. LaBeouf later he apologized for his insensitive outburst and admitted he had “publicly battled addiction for far too long.” Finally, according to the LA City attorney (via NBC), there was an alleged assault and hat theft in 2019.
“I fell forward a long time ago,” LaBeouf said of his story to Esquire in 2018. “The truth is, in my desperation, I lost the plot.” After ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him submitted, LaBeouf admitted to abusing himself and others. “I have a history of hurting the people closest to me. I’m ashamed of this story and I’m sorry for those I’ve hurt,” he told The New York Times in 2021, adding that he’s sober and in therapy.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration website or contact the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).