Mel Gibson: “My Heart Goes Out” to Shia LaBeouf, “He’s Suffering”

Mel Gibson and Shia LaBeouf
Mel Gibson spoke sympathetically about Shia LaBeouf David M. Benett/Getty; D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

Shia LaBeouf has a friend in Mel Gibson. Accepting an award in Karlovy Vary, the controversial star, 58, sat down for an extended interview with Indiewire, which made its debut this week, and spoke sympathetically about LaBeouf.

"When I see someone like Shia LaBeouf with the bag on his head and stuff, my heart goes out to the poor guy," Gibson said of the troubled star, 28. "I think he's suffering in some way. Or why would he do that?" 

"People are inclined to sort of point the finger at him and say like, well, he's this, that, or the other," Gibson continued. "It's easy to judge. But I'm sure he's going through some kind of personal, very painful, cathartic thing that he has to exorcise and get out there. He'll probably play it out and come back… whatever it happens to be." 

LaBeouf has famously gone a bit off the rails as of late, getting arrested just weeks ago and reportedly seeking treatment for addiction. 

"He'll be all right," Gibson added. "I actually like the kid. I think he's good."

This isn't the first time that Gibson has defended a struggling star. In 2008, when Britney Spears was spiraling, Gibson reached out to the pop star and went on a vacation with her and their families in an attempt to help her. 

Infamous for his own brushes with the law, racially charged rants, and struggles with substance abuse Gibson seems to empathize with the Nymphomaniac actor and the reformed singer. His past scandals, including a racist and obscenity-filled tirade overheard in a leaked phone chat with an ex, were recently brought back into the limelight when Gary Oldman attempted to defend him in a Playboy interview

"These things happen," Gibson told Variety about his dirt being unearthed again. "[Oldman]'s fantastic. I know him. He's a good dude."

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