Sometimes when Shia LaBeouf goes full-throttle life disaster, society collectively responds by rolling its eyes, shrugging, and muttering “Oh boy, Shia’s gonna Shia, I guess.” Sometimes he gets into trouble. This is one of those times, and it may cost Shia.
Last month, someone recorded an allegedly-hammered Shia losing it on a bartender at a Jerry’s Deli in Studio City, CA. Shia had allegedly been drinking hard at the Pinz bowling alley next door and went off when the bartender wouldn’t serve him french fries. He called the bartender a “racist bitch,” and was eventually kicked out. The Hollywood Reporter says the bartender, David Bernstein, has filed a $5 million lawsuit against Shia for assault and defamation.
According to the lawsuit, Shia was pissed off because David (who is also the manager) refused to serve him more booze. David alleges Shia “reflected an intention to commit imminent physical violence” after slamming his fist on the bar before entering the staff-only bar area and yelling “at the top of his lungs.” David claims he has experienced “significant emotional distress, anxiety and fear” after the confrontation with Shia.
As for the defamation part of the lawsuit, that one has to do with being called a “racist bitch.” David’s lawsuit quotes Shia as “recklessly” calling him a racist twice in front of a crowd. The lawsuit describes David, who has 32 years of experience at Jerry’s Deli, as being “beloved” by customers who are “predominantly African American.” David also claims Shia’s fans have started attacking his reputation online, calling him “the racist bartender.”
Shia’s attorney Brian Wolf released a statement to People magazine about the lawsuit, which they hope to have thrown out.
“The recent lawsuit filed against Shia is baseless. The statements attributed to Shia forming the basis of the action do not remotely constitute ‘defamation’. The case is little more than an effort to harass our client. We will vigorous defend and seek dismissal of this frivolous action and will seek recovery of all attorneys fees and costs from the plaintiff.”
I’m sure Shia’s mind went straight to how he could turn this lawsuit into his next art project. I can see it now: art goers will sit in an abandoned bowling alley and eat french fries while Shia throws gutter balls and yells at the pins. #BUTWHATISDEFAMATION?, coming soon to wherever Shia can rent space.