On Tuesday, August 24, Romano, 37, posted a video to her YouTube channel titled “Why I Don’t Talk To Shia LaBeouf” where she discussed the time they spent together on Disney and what that has evolved into since then.
“We were these young kids put in this very unique situation. We had very raw talent. He had a knack for comedy and my comedy was a lot more of a straight man. And so we were like an instant comedic team,” the actress explained in the clip.
While the Even Stevens alum was “honored” that viewers enjoyed the fictional sibling bond between her and LaBeouf, 35, she admitted that they weren’t actually that close.
“People just assume you know people just because you work with them,” the Kim Possible star noted about the assumptions that came with working on the Disney Channel show.
Romano noted that her costar, whom she worked with from 2000 to 2003, was “dealing with so much more” at the time that even she realized.
“Honestly, when I look back, I just feel stupid. I know I’m not stupid because I care,” she detailed. “And I think I did care even then. And I think that’s why we had a little bit of animosity.”
For the Connecticut native, the level of success that the American Honey actor received was something she struggled with in comparison. Since then, the duo have significantly drifted apart, although Romano acknowledged that she values that time in her life just as much as she thinks LaBeouf does.
“I know that he cares a lot about that timeframe. Not only because of a movie that he did and exposing all that stuff that was going on behind the scenes,” she shared in the video. “But also because when he did the performance art piece, he had such love in his face when he watched Even Stevens and he was smiling.”
But when it comes to fans asking her questions about the filmmaker, she can’t offer much now that they “went from seeing each other every day to then not seeing each other for years.”
“I am piecing together reactions from a person I don’t know. I want to give all the knowledge that I have about this person,” she explained on camera. “But the person I knew is not the same person now, just based on all of this life experience that he’s had. And I’m not the same person that he knew.”
The singer ended the video by sharing her regrets when it came to the time wasted between the twosome on set.
“The only thing that I can say is that I really do kind of wish at the time when I was younger I would have given him a little more time and energy and love, like a real sister,” she mentioned. “I really do regret that. It kind of makes me sad.”
As for whether she would be interested in seeing LaBeouf again, Romano wasn’t sure based on their lifestyles.
“I have a very specific life. I am sober, I don’t drink alcohol. I have a very specific amount of time and energy that I can put towards having anyone in my life,” she noted. “That’s for business, that’s for pleasure, that’s for anything, I just don’t have a ton of time.”
She continued: “If I’m around somebody or taking the time to invest in a friendship, it needs to be with somebody that I can trust understands and respects me on an equal level. I’m not sure how he ever felt about me. To be honest with you. He never really let me know. I feel like there was a missed opportunity to bond.”
Since his time on Even Stevens, LaBeouf has dealt with alcoholism and PTSD. In June 2014, he was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing. He pled guilty to disorderly conduct and the other charges were dropped. The following year, he was booked for misdemeanor public intoxication and was later released. In July 2017, the Holes star was taken into custody for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. While pleaded no contest to the disorderly conduct charge, he was found guilty of obstruction of justice. Three years later, he was charged with counts of battery and petty theft after allegedly assaulting a man in June 2020. He was ordered to complete a judicial diversion program within 12 months, after which his charges would get dropped.
Five months later, LaBeouf’s ex-girlfriend FKA twigs accused him of “relentless abuse” and sexual battery in a lawsuit. In a statement to The New York Times, the actor acknowledged that “many of these allegations are not true” but accepted “accountability” for his actions.
“I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel. I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. I have been abusive to myself and everyone around me for years,” he explained at the time. “I have a history of hurting the people closest to me. I’m ashamed of that history and am sorry to those I hurt. There is nothing else I can really say.”
Scroll down for all the details Romano shared about her ups and downs with LaBeouf over the years: