For his art exhibit titled #IAMSORRY, LaBeouf sat silent and alone in a room at the Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles with a paper bag over his head – similar to what he wore to the Nymphomaniac press conference. The show started Feb. 11 and ran for five days, during which time visitors were are allowed to pick from a selection of bizarre props (whips, candies, instruments) and enter the room with the Fury actor one at a time.
In a recent email interview with Dazed and Confused, LaBeouf explains that many of the participants in the exhibit were kind to him once they were alone.
“People I’ve never met before came in and loved on me and with me,” he explains. “Some would hold my hand and cry with me, some would tell me to ‘figure it out’ or to ‘be a man.’ I’ve never experienced love like that; empathy, humanity.”
Unfortunately, not everyone was as understanding. Later in the interview, LaBeouf recounted a particularly upsetting experience where he says one of the exhibit’s visitors raped him while her boyfriend stood outside.
“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 … There were hundreds of people in line when she walked out with disheveled hair and smudged lipstick. It was no good, not just for me but her man as well,” he writes of the incident.
LaBeouf says things got even worse when he realized that his girlfriend, fellow Nymphomaniac actress Mia Goth, was waiting in line to see him when the assault took place.
“On top of that my girl was in line to see me, because it was Valentine’s Day and I was living in the gallery for the duration of the event – we were separated for five days, no communication. So it really hurt her as well, as I guess the news of it traveled through the line. 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.”