Shia LaBeouf Retires From 'Public Life,' Actor's Twitter Claims

Shia LaBeouf just either gave the world a belated Christmas gift, or disappointed millions of adoring fans, depending on your point of view. The embattled 27-year-old Transformers star who for the past three weeks has been combating accusations that he plagiarized a comic book for a short film he directed, took to Twitter just before 2 am this morning to announce that he is quitting "public life," The New York Daily News reports.

What exactly that means, or whether the tweets were just another of the increasingly bizarre Shia LaBeouf responses to the plagiarism charges are questions for which the actor did not provide answers, simply saying, "In light of the recent attacks against my artistic integrity, I am retiring from all public life."

On December 17, LaBeouf released a short film entitled The plot, characters and even dialogue of the film closely followed a 2007 graphic novel by acclaimed artist/writer Daniel Clowes, which was titled Justin M. Damiano.

When fans quickly noticed the similarities, Shia LaBeouf took to his Twitter account to apologize — except, as was also quickly spotted, his apologies were themselves ripped off from the apologies issued by other famous people who found themselves in compromising situations.

Shia LaBeouf's methods of responding to the plagiarism scandal did not get any less bizarre after that. At one point he issued an apology in sky writing over Los Angeles, and he also posted another Tweet taunting his critics with one more faux apology, this time "for offending you for thinking I was being serious instead of accurately realizing I was mocking you."

He then engaged in a lengthy, impromptu e-mail interview with Rich Johnston of the comic book news site Bleeding Cool, in which he told Johnston, among other semi-coherent statements:

"Cool, u stick with ur squadI'm good with mineLive good player"

England's Independent newspaper speculated that the Shia LaBeouf retirement, if it is real at all, would extend only to social media.

"He could take said 'retirement' one step further, canceling press, scheduled appearances and even premiere turns to live a secluded life away from the scrutinizing glare of the media eye," the newspaper said.

The new Shia LaBeouf film, Nymphomaniac, is scheduled for release on February 21. Whether the actor will make the publicity rounds to support the avant-garde, independent film in accordance with his "retirement" will soon become clear, it would seem.

The film reportedly includes explicit sex scenes featuring Shia LaBeouf and he already created a publicity stir by revealing that as part of his audition for the film, he was required to send producers photographs of his penis.