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‘Honey Boy’ Director Alma Har’el ‘Heartbroken,’ Backs FKA Twigs Over Shia LaBeouf Assault Accusations

”I have a deep respect for FKA Twigs’ courage and resilience. Reading what she endured left me heartbroken and I stand with her in solidarity,“ filmmaker says

Alma Har’el, the director of “Honey Boy” who worked closely with star and writer Shia LaBeouf on the mostly autobiographical film, has shown her support for FKA Twigs after the musician accused LaBeouf of assault and sexual battery.

In a statement, Har’el said she was “heartbroken” reading FKA Twigs (real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett) and another of LaBeouf’s ex-girlfriend’s accounts. She also says that she will be donating in their names to a series of domestic violence charities.

“I have a deep respect for FKA Twigs’ courage and resilience. Reading what she endured left me heartbroken and I stand with her in solidarity. I’m sending my love to her, Karolyn Pho, all victims of domestic violence, and everyone who is trying to stop cycles of abuse,” Har’el wrote in her statement.

LaBeouf had written the screenplay for “Honey Boy” during his court-appointed rehab, and despite his past problems with the law and with substance abuse, Har’el at Sundance in 2019 and on the press tour for the film stood by LaBeouf and spoke frequently about his growth and recovery.

Last week however, Barnett filed a lawsuit against LaBeouf, accusing him of “relentless abuse,” of inflicting emotional distress and of knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease while they were in a relationship. The two were together for just under a year between 2018 and 2019 and had met on the set for “Honey Boy.”

LaBeouf last week told The New York Times that “many of these allegations are not true,” but added that he owed Barnett and Pho “the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done.”

Representatives for LaBeouf did not immediately respond to TheWrap for a new request for comment on Har’el’s statement.

“As a filmmaker and an artist, I am drawn to stories that help us develop empathy for the messy parts of the human condition. Like many of Shia’s collaborators and fans who battled substance abuse, suffered childhood trauma, and face mental illness, I am painfully aware of my past investment in his recovery. I want to send a clear message today that none of the above should excuse, minimize, or rationalize domestic violence,” Har’el continued in her statement.

Har’el won a DGA Award for a first-time filmmaker for her work on “Honey Boy,” and the film at the time earned considerable Oscar buzz. A representative for Har’el did not immediately reply to TheWrap for a request for comment.

Read Har’el’s full statement below via Variety:

“I have a deep respect for FKA Twigs’ courage and resilience. Reading what she endured left me heartbroken and I stand with her in solidarity. I’m sending my love to her, Karolyn Pho, all victims of domestic violence, and everyone who is trying to stop cycles of abuse.

As a filmmaker and an artist, I am drawn to stories that help us develop empathy for the messy parts of the human condition. Like many of Shia’s collaborators and fans who battled substance abuse, suffered childhood trauma, and face mental illness, I am painfully aware of my past investment in his recovery. I want to send a clear message today that none of the above should excuse, minimize, or rationalize domestic violence.

I’m grateful that survivors of childhood trauma have seen some aspects of themselves in Honey Boy and might feel less alone in their pain. I hope that they don’t take these events as a discouraging moment in their own recovery.

I will be donating in Twigs’ and Karolyn Pho’s names to FreeFrom, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and Sistah Space. I support and encourage victims in similar situations to speak up and seek help so they can create a path to safety and the healthy relationship they deserve.”