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Shia LaBeouf says he was raped: Shouldn’t we believe him?

Shia LaBeouf is an artist who is willing to do anything for his art.

We get that and we even respect his plight, but the recent bombshell he dropped about his living art project has left some people wondering what happened.

The one-man art installment piece, #IAMSORRY, ran for five days in February of 2014. During the run, LaBeouf sat silently in a room with a paper bag over his head with, “I am not famous anymore,” written on it, and people were able to enter the space for one-on-one time with the actor. LaBeouf claims that a woman entered his exhibit and sexually assaulted him during his performance.

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The rape allegations have left some angry, while most people are just trying to wrap their heads around what really went on. Is it fair that people are challenging his claims and asking why nothing was done to stop the assault? Would people be so quick to judge if a female actress was making the assertions?

No one deserves to be assaulted or blamed for their own assault. This story just has some details that are making it hard for some people to connect the dots. Here are some things that are contributing to the confusion.

1. He didn’t defend himself

LaBeouf claims that the woman in question whipped his legs for 10 minutes before removing his clothing and raping him. Rape is not a word to be thrown around or taken lightly. Usually, the public associates the word “rape” with a situation where a person is physically unable to stave off attempts at an assault. Most people aren’t saying that LaBeouf doesn’t have a reason to be traumatized by what happened to him, they’re just wondering why he didn’t fight back.

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2. “Implements” were provided

Shia LaBeouf is sorry,” it says in the press release from the gallery that hosted the show, via E! News. “Sincerely sorry. He will be in situ at 7354 Beverly Boulevard for the duration. Implements will be provided. Free admission.” It doesn’t elaborate what materials were provided, or what they were intended for, but the word “implement” conjures up some Silence of the Lambs sort of images. Many are jumping to the conclusion that LaBeouf was whipped by the whip he and his collaborators provided.

3. LaBeouf, a high-profile figure, was placed in a room with no protection

In a world where celebs are constantly stalked and faced with death threats, it’s pretty hard to believe that the camp of someone as famous as LaBeouf would sign off on putting him in a room alone with no surveillance or protection. It also seems like a huge liability for the gallery, considering it was a free event and it was advertised that the aforementioned implements would be at the public’s disposal. Many are wondering why people around LaBeouf didn’t provide protection for the star.

4. The alleged perpetrator’s boyfriend was supposedly in line

While recounting what happened, LaBeouf said that the woman’s significant other was in line. “It was not good, not just for me but her man as well,” he said. If no conversation was had, people following the story are curious as to how he had this information.

5. His girlfriend happened to be in line as well

LaBeouf also shared that one of the most traumatizing things about the experience was that his current girlfriend, Mia Goth, happened to be in line when the assault occurred. Word leaked through the line and when Goth came inside to confront LaBeouf about it, he couldn’t say anything. It was Valentine’s Day, he says, which made it all the more painful.

6. Collaborators’ accounts don’t really make sense

Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, the artists who were collaborating with LaBeouf on the project, took to Twitter on Sunday to back up LaBeouf’s claims. Turner and Rönkkö both tweeted the same series of messages, saying that they didn’t intend for their cohort to be attacked and they stopped it as soon as they found out.

But when pressed for information and asked why they didn’t question the woman as she walked away, or why they let her walk away at all, Turner replied, “It wasn’t clear at the time precisely what happened and the first priority was to ensure everybody’s safety in the gallery. She ran out, rather than simply walking away. Beyond that, it’s not my place to comment.” They claim they went in when they found out what was going on, they “were aware of the incident and put a stop to it,” but then they backtrack and say they didn’t detain the woman because what happened wasn’t clear. So the confusion for many is: which way was it? Did they know what was going on and put a stop to it, or were they confused about the situation? There’s also controversy surrounding the fact that they allowed the project to continue, despite such a terrible event occurring.

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