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Shia Labeouf Getty 1.jpg

Shia LaBeouf Packs on the PDA with Margaret Qualley for Good PR

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | December 21, 2020 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | December 21, 2020 |

Shia Labeouf Getty 1.jpg

Shia LaBeouf is currently being sued by his ex-girlfriend, the musician FKA Twigs, for sexual battery. She accused him of ‘relentless abuse’ and listed a series of deeply disturbing claims, including that LaBeouf beat her, knowingly gave her an STD, and drove recklessly with her in the car, threatening to crash the vehicle if she didn’t do as he said. This is not the first time that LaBeouf has faced such allegations. In 2015, he was involved in a violent fight with his now ex-wife Mia Goth, during which, he allegedly said that if he had stayed, he would have killed her. Another ex-girlfriend, stylist Karolyn Pho, also alleges that LaBeouf ‘drunkenly pinned her to a bed and head-butted her, enough that she bled.’

I list these awful details as context for just how truly queasy I felt when I saw the Us Weekly headline ‘Shia LaBeouf Kisses, Packs on the PDA With Margaret Qualley Amid FKA Twigs Abuse Lawsuit.’

In photographs originally published by the Daily Mail on Sunday, December 20, LaBeouf is shown passionately kissing the actress in public in a highly performative manner. This display of ‘love’ comes two months after the pair starred in a very NSFW music video for Rainey Qualley, Margaret’s sister.

I must admit that I’m really grossed out by how many publications have picked up this story and are running it without a critical eye, because it seems extremely obvious to me that LaBeouf is using this woman in a deeply insidious manner. I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes with them — although, given his history of alleged abuse, I’m not exactly optimistic — but what we see here, for the cameras in broad daylight, is the stuff of desperate media pandering. He wants to distract from the multiple allegations of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse leveled at him by several women, one of whom is taking him to court for it. He gave a pathetic non-apology and now he’s trying to show how he’s totally changed. See, look how kind and attentive he acts towards his girlfriend who’s younger, beautiful, talented, and part of a Hollywood family.

We also know that this is one of his alleged tactics. Twigs talked about the so-called honeymoon period of their relationship, described in the New York Times as the phase ‘that builds intimacy and sets a benchmark for how happy the romance could be. It serves as a powerful lure; though flashes of bliss may remain, they are meted out through increasingly controlling demands and impossible standards of behavior.’

This is what abusers do. They make their victims feel special at first. They’re not like the other women. They understand him. They’re strong enough to help him through his pain. He’ll be different this time because she makes him want to change. He loves her so much that he’ll let the world — and any passing paparazzi — know about it, and doesn’t she want everyone to see their love? And it’s all happening in public, right, so how bad could it get?

I hope Margaret gets out of there. I hope she’s safe and has people she can turn to.

And f**k every tabloid and photo agency going along with this bullsh*t PR save.

Kayleigh is a features writer and editor for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.

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