The Transformers star’s dad, Jeffrey, frequently disappeared and spent years in and out of a hospital in Virginia as he battled a serious heroin problem.
LaBeouf admits his father’s absence had a profound affect on him as a child and he regularly took out his anger on a large, stuffed teddy bear – on the advice of a therapist.
He tells Details magazine, “I f**king hated him for it – choosing the hospital over me. I felt like s**t about myself. I was basically alone. That does something to you.”
The actor began misbehaving at school and it wasn’t until he landed the breakthrough role on Even Stevens at the age of 14 that he found a way to keep his dad around.
Child labour laws in the U.S. require a parent or guardian to accompany them onset at all times – and LaBeouf decided to hire his own father for the job.
He says, “I basically rented my dad back. We developed a relationship based on this commerce.”
But the father-son relationship became strained after Jeffrey, who was still dealing drugs, was accused of sexually harassing one of the show’s actresses. He also attacked a gay Disney boss for hugging the teen.
LaBeouf recalls, “He goes, ‘Are you trying to talk to my boy, you chicken hawk?’ You can’t do that to the executives.”