In a rare display of gratitude towards the police, actor and screenwriter Shia LaBeouf publicly thanked the Savannah, Ga., police officer who arrested him in 2017, who he says changed his life.
The 33-year-old LaBeouf, who won a Hollywood Film Awards screenwriting award Sunday night for his autobiographical film “Honey Boy,” was arrested by the police officer in July 2017 for public drunkenness, USA Today reported. It was during his court-ordered rehab that he wrote the film’s award-winning script.
“I want to thank the police officer who arrested me in Georgia,” LaBeouf said over some laughs during his acceptance speech, “for changing my life.”
He went on to thank his therapist, his rehab sponsor, and his parents.
Robert Downey Jr., who also underwent a high-profile rehab stint, presented LaBeouf the award and praised it as a “damn near perfect” screenplay and “easily the best and bravest film I have seen in years.”
According to Fox News, police officers in 2017 asked an intoxicated LaBeouf to walk away after using profanities in public. The actor reportedly became aggressive with officers who asked him to leave and ran from officers to avoid arrest.
LaBeouf later plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction.
He was also ordered to pay $2,680 in fines and fees, perform 100 hours of community service, enroll in anger management counseling and complete a drug and alcohol evaluation.
In an interview with Esquire in March 2018, LaBeouf admitted he made a mistake, saying it “came from a place of self-centered delusion…It was me trying to absolve myself of guilt for getting arrested.”
In 2015, he was also arrested for public intoxication in Austin, Texas, during which he tried to get out of the arrest by claiming he was a member of the National Guard.
Last month, LaBeouf also credited Zack Gottsagen, a man with Down syndrome who played a wrestler in the movie “The Peanut Butter Falcon” alongside LaBeouf, with helping him end his drinking, according to Insider.
Gottsagen “nursed me back, on a boat, during a scene where we’re talking about, like, the painful past,” LaBeouf told Insider. “That stuff hurts.”
While filming the movie, LaBeouf reportedly promised Gottsagen he wouldn’t drink again for the rest of filming, and continued his vow beyond that because he didn’t want to disappoint Gottsagen.