‘Shia LaBeouf didn’t laugh at my son at Oscars’, says mother of actor with Down's syndrome

Dave Maclean

The mother of Zach Gottsagen, the actor who made history as the first Oscars presenter with Down's syndrome, has leapt to the defence of Shia LaBeouf after he was accused of laughing at his Peanut Butter Falcon co-star.

While announcing the award for Best Live Action Short Sunday, LaBeouf, 33, appeared to let out a laugh as he deviated from his lines.

On social media, some speculated that it was a giggle maliciously directed at Gottsagen, 34.

But Gottsagen’s mother Shelley, 64, has come to the Transformers star's defence.

She said: "Shia is just wonderful, you know? We really love him. If anything, I think they were grinning because it was hard to get the envelope open.

"Their friendship is really, really beautiful … It upset me when I thought that somebody was thinking that Shia could have ever had a kind of negative attitude ’cause he’s been nothing, nothing, nothing but supportive."

She added that the pair became "tight" while filming the movie, which is about a man who runs away from a care facility in North Carolina.

"They love each other [and] really encourage each other. Shia’s been very supportive of Zack as an actor, his professionalism. [He] did a lot with promoting the movie, you know, which, Shia always doesn’t - that’s not really his thing, but he did it for Zack."