Shia LaBeouf used his speech at the Hollywood Film Awards to thank the police officer who arrested him in 2017, crediting them with changing his life.
The Even Stevens star was arrested in Georgia two years ago before being charged with disorderly conduct, obstruction and public drunkenness.
Video footage taken at the time, shared by TMZ, showed LaBeouf shouting racist and gendered profanities, telling one officer he was going ‘straight to hell… cause he’s a black man,’ and calling another a ‘stupid b*tch.’
The actor later took to Twitter to apologise for his actions, saying he was ‘deeply ashamed’ of the way he had behaved.
Though his anger was evident during the arrest, LaBeouf has since had time to reflect and he expressed his gratitude to the arresting officer while on stage on Sunday night, November 3.
While making his speech at the award ceremony, Shia said:
I want to thank the police officer who arrested me in Georgia for changing my life.
The 33-year-old made the speech while accepting a screenwriting award for his autobiographical film Honey Boy, in which Shia plays his own father.
LaBeouf penned the film while carrying out the court-ordered rehab he had been given after his arrest.
The star, who is now sober, went on to thank his therapist and his sponsor for ‘saving [his] life,’ as well as his parents ‘for giving [him] life.’
The screenwriting award was presented by Iron Man’s Robert Downey Jr., who described the film as ‘damn near perfect’ and added it was ‘easily the best and bravest film’ he had seen in years.
Honey Boy details the story of LaBeouf’s ‘stormy’ childhood up to his early adult years, as he struggles to reconcile with his alcoholic father and deal with his own mental health.
The actor spoke about both his arrest and his new film in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, admitting he was ‘drunk out of [his] mind and not rational at all’ when the police took him in.
LaBeouf explained his stint in rehab taught him he had PTSD; a diagnosis which came as a surprise as he had believed he was just an alcoholic.
As part of his treatment, he had to write down what he had been through in life – a practise which inspired his writing of Honey Boy.
The stuff that’s in Honey Boy comes out of these exposure therapy sessions.
The 33-year-old attended the Hollywood Film Awards with his mother Shayna Saide who watched tearfully as her son made his speech.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.