Exclusive: Shia LaBeouf, Driving While Suspended?
The Transformers star, whose driver's license has been suspended since January, scratched up a fellow driver's car in a minor fender-bender in L.A.'s Los Feliz neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon, the other motorist tells Celebuzz exclusively.
LaBeouf was maneuvering his heavy black truck when he bumped the rear section of comedian Jesse Coccoli's Nissan while merging near the intersection of Los Feliz Blvd. and Hillhurst Ave., she told Celebuzz in a telephone interview. Coccoli recounted the incident live in her Twitter feed and provided more details in an email exchange with Celebuzz.
Representatives for the star, however, disputed her account, insisting that LaBeouf was not even in the neighborhood, much less at the wheel or involved in an accident.
"This story is completely fabricated," a spokeswoman for LaBeouf told Celebuzz last night. "Shia was in Santa Monica with friends for the afternoon in question. This must be a clear case of mistaken identity."
Any appearance behind the wheel would pose a thorny issue for LaBeouf, whose license suspension runs until next January, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Under state law, a first conviction for driving with a suspended license carries a penalty of a minimum of five days in jail.
Coccoli said she stood by her story. In recounting the incident to Celebuzz, she said she did not recognize the star initially. "I think I said, 'I can't believe you just hit my car going two miles an hour,' and realize, it is him," she said.
She added that she and the star — who was wearing a brown hat, white shirt and sneakers, she noted — exchanged contact and insurance information at the scene. Coccoli said they also briefly chatted about their mutual interest in comedy. (LaBeouf got his start as a performer working as a pre-teen stand-up comic who told dirty jokes). "He asked where I perform. I said, 'Laugh Factory, but you're not invited 'cause you hurt my car.'"
Unfortunately for LaBeouf, his recent track record as a driver has been no laughing matter. Last July, officers responding to an accident encountered LaBeouf and found it "immediately apparent" that he was intoxicated, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman told the Associated Press at the time. He was booked for a misdemeanor DUI, but authorities declined to move forward with charges, citing insufficient evidence. (In fact, prosecutors said then they planned to charge the other driver for running a red light).
Authorities did, however, suspend his license because he refused to submit to "a chemical test" following the accident. Since then, Shia has been spotted repeatedly catching rides in taxi cabs, walking around his Glendale neighborhood, or being chauffeured around by his mother Shayna.