Shia LaBeouf Will Play a Saint in His First Acting Role Since FKA twigs Abuse Allegations
The actor has been cast in a new movie by legendary director Abel Ferrara about an Italian saint.
Ferrara, who has directed King of New York and The Funeral, revealed the casting news in an interview with Variety saying LaBeouf, 35, had signed on to play Saint Padre Pio.
"We're doing a film about Padre Pio, he's a monk from Puglia. It's set in Italy right after World War I. He's not a saint, he had stigmata," Ferrara said. "He was also in the middle of a very heavy political period in world history. He was very young before he became a saint, so Shia LaBeouf is going to play the monk."
A rep for LaBeouf did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
The Transformers actor is currently facing a lawsuit brought on by FKA Twigs, in which she claims he sexually and physically assaulted and battered her, and knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease. FKA twigs, 32, who was born Tahliah Barnett, also alleged several instances of physical abuse in the documents.
LaBeouf's legal team has roundly denied every one of the claims. His lawyers deny that she suffered any damages or injuries from LaBeouf and assert that her sexual battery claims should be dismissed because "none of the acts alleged were based on sex and/or the conduct was not sexual."
RELATED VIDEO: FKA Twigs Sues Ex-Boyfriend Shia LaBeouf for 'Relentless' Sexual, Physical and Emotional Abuse
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In an interview with the New York Times, FKA twigs explained why she filed a suit against LaBeouf, who directed her in 2019's Honey Boy.
"What I went through with Shia was the worst thing I've ever been through in the whole of my life," she said. "I don't think people would ever think that it would happen to me. But I think that's the thing. It can happen to anybody."
Since the allegations came to light, LaBeouf has made headlines for being fired from Olivia Wilde's sophomore drama feature Don't Worry Darling, which PEOPLE confirmed in late December.
Netflix also scrubbed LaBeouf's name from its awards campaign website for the Vanessa Kirby film, Pieces of a Woman.
In February, a source told PEOPLE the actor was stepping away from his talent agency CAA and would take an acting hiatus as he did inpatient treatment.
The source added LaBeouf's break is "so that he can get the help he needs" amid the lawsuit.
In May, PEOPLE learned the actor was ordered to complete a judicial diversion program for misdemeanor battery and theft charges from a separate incident in June 2020.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.