Armie Hammer said he contemplated suicide following sexual abuse allegations. Here's a timeline of the actor's controversial fall from grace.
Since January 2021, actor Armie Hammer has been accused of sexual violence and cannibalism.
After investigating Hammer, TMZ reported the LAPD closed the case without pressing charges.
Hammer addressed the allegations and his downfall in a new interview with Air Mail Saturday.
Armie Hammer has been the subject of intense scrutiny since claims of a cannibalism fetish began spreading in January 2021, when an anonymous Instagram account posted unverified purported DMs with the actor.
In his first interview since the scandal, Hammer told Air Mail Saturday that he was sexually abused by a pastor as a teenager and that he became suicidal after his downfall. He also denied any criminal wrongdoing, saying instead that he "never thrust" BDSM relationships or encounters on anyone.
A woman also accused him of a "violent" rape that took place in 2017 and spoke at a press conference in March 2021.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) confirmed to Insider the same month that it was investigating Hammer as the main suspect in a sexual assault allegation. An anonymous source told TMZ in December 2021 that the case had wrapped with the actor unlikely to face charges.
It all started when the Instagram account @houseofeffie posted dozens of screenshots of direct messages that it claimed Hammer had sent women between 2016 and 2020. The woman who shared the screenshots, who has since been identified as Efrosina Angelova, per The Hollywood Reporter, is the woman who accused Hammer of rape at the press conference in March 2021, according to Variety.
The messages in the screenshots, which are unverified, referred to fantasies involving domination and cannibalism, among other claims.
Hammer denied certain allegations against him, such as the allegation of rape, and simply avoided or refused to address others. He was dropped by two projects, including "The Offer," Paramount's series about the making of "The Godfather." He was also dropped by his agency and his publicist.
Hammer first began trending on social media in 2021 over alleged NSFW direct messages shared by the account @houseofeffie
In January 2021, an Instagram account called @houseofeffie began to share messages that the account claimed were from actor Armie Hammer. The messages, which remain unverified by media outlets including Insider, detailed fantasies including drinking blood, sexual domination, and even acts of cannibalism.
The messages began to go viral after being amplified by the Instagram gossip page @deuxmoi, which has 590,000 followers.
After @houseofeffie surfaced the claims, the account began to share other stories from women who it said had come forward with their own experiences and screenshots of their conversations with the 34-year-old "Call Me By Your Name" actor. While it is unconfirmed whether these messages are genuinely from Hammer, @houseofeffie insists they are and has tried to prove it by releasing what appear to be previously unseen photos of Hammer, which have since been deleted.
"Women approached me with their affair stories as we talked overwhelmed with grief for days and nights without sleeping or eating, with some ending up in the ER," the account admin wrote in an Instagram story, which was saved to the account's highlights reel.
"We collectively decided we have to speak out after how we were treated and seeing how the women in 2020 were being treated by him," the statement continued. "We cannot allow more women to endure what we are going through in the future."
Hammer stepped down from his next movie over what he called 'vicious and spurious online attacks' in mid-January
On January 13, 2021, days after the controversy had begun to unfold online, it was announced that Hammer had stepped down from a coming rom-com called "Shotgun Wedding," in which he was set to play the lead opposite the star and producer Jennifer Lopez.
"Given the imminent start date of 'Shotgun Wedding,' Armie has requested to step away from the film and we support him in his decision," a production representative confirmed to Insider. The role was recast with Josh Duhamel taking Hammer's place.
The actor and his team vigorously denied the allegations against him.
"I'm not responding to these bulls--- claims, but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for 4 months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic. Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I'm grateful to them for that," Hammer said in a January 13 statement to People.
Hammer's ex-wife Elizabeth Chambers and other exes have since commented on the alleged messages
During the timing of the alleged messages, Hammer was married to Elizabeth Chambers. Prior to the current scandal, Hammer and Chambers had decided to end their 10-year marriage. Chambers filed for divorce on July 10, 2020, citing irreconcilable differences, according to People, and asked for primary custody of their children.
According to an exposé written by Vanity Fair's Julie Miller on March 11, 2021, "The Hammers had been in expensive family therapy, but, to Elizabeth, the indiscretions — and more notably his decision to flee the family during a global pandemic — were the final straw." The article went on to claim that Armie mistakenly sent raunchy text messages meant for someone else to Chambers, which helped initiate the divorce.
At first, Chambers was tight-lipped as the controversy unfolded on social media. But on February 1, 2021, she posted a full statement on Instagram saying she was "shocked, heartbroken, and devastated."
"Heartbreak aside, I am listening, and will continue to listen and educate myself on these delicate matters," she wrote. "I didn't realize how much I didn't know."
"I support any victim of assault or abuse and urge anyone who has experienced this pain to seek the help she or he needs to heal," she continued.
Chambers is not the only one of Hammer's exes to speak out publicly about the supposed messages or share their own experiences with the actor. Previously, another ex named Courtney Vucekovich, 30, told Page Six that Hammer once told her that he "wants to break my rib and barbecue and eat it" in addition to alleging emotional abuse.
And ex-girlfriend Paige Lorenze shared explicit messages she claimed are between herself and Hammer to Page Six as well as detailing instances she claims were abusive.
"These latest messages are just further evidence of the reality of his dangerous proclivities and his reaction shows his blatant disregard for the women he has traumatized," the 22-year-old student told the publication. "I want to offer my continued support to the other women who have been preyed on by men and have the courage to come forward."
"These assertions about Mr. Hammer are patently untrue," his lawyer Andrew Brettler said in a statement shared to outlets including Page Six and Fox News. "Any interactions with this person, or any partner of his, were completely consensual in that they were fully discussed, agreed upon, and mutually participatory. The stories being perpetuated in the media are a misguided attempt to present a one-sided narrative with the goal of tarnishing Mr. Hammer's reputation, and communications from the individuals involved prove that."
The Daily Mail also reported that one of Hammer's exes, the writer Jessica Ciencin Henriquez, whose Twitter account is private, had posted about her experience with Hammer.
"If you are still questioning whether or not those Armie Hammer DMs are real (and they are) maybe you should start questioning why we live in a culture willing to give abusers the benefit of the doubt instead of victims," Henriquez tweeted, according to the Daily Mail.
Hammer's past behavior and quotes are now being re-examined with new scrutiny
Given the nature of the supposed messages, fans are going back through old interviews to find any connection.
In a Netflix Brazil interview for "Rebecca" in November 2020, for example, Hammer said his dream dinner guest would be the Marquis de Sade, an 18th-century French philosopher and writer famous for his erotic work that heavily involved sexual violence. The words "sadism" and "sadist" derive from de Sade's name.
And in 2013, Hammer described himself in an interview with Playboy magazine as being a "dominant lover."
"Well, if you're married to a feminist as I am, then it's ... I don't know how much we can put here without my parents being embarrassed, but I used to like to be a dominant lover," the actor said.
"I liked the grabbing of the neck and the hair and all that. But then you get married and your sexual appetites change," he continued. "And I mean that for the better — it's not like I'm suffering in any way. But you can't really pull your wife's hair. It gets to a point where you say, 'I respect you too much to do these things that I kind of want to do.'"
That same year, the actor told Elle magazine that a former girlfriend tried to stab him while they were having sex.
"She was like: 'True love leaves scars. You don't have any.' And then she tried to stab me with a butcher knife," he said. "Of course I promptly broke up with her. Seven months later."
Hammer was dropped by both his agency, WME, and his personal publicist, the Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported on February 5, 2021.
The LAPD investigated a rape allegation against Hammer
The LAPD confirmed to Insider in March 2021 that they were investigating an allegation of rape against Hammer.
It was not immediately clear whether the investigation was related to the accusation made by Angelova, who spoke about her alleged assault during a press conference Thursday alongside Gloria Allred, a high-profile women's rights attorney.
"On April 24, 2017, Armie Hammer violently raped me for over four hours in Los Angeles," she said at the conference, "during which he repeatedly slapped my head against a wall, bruising my face." She added that Hammer "also committed other acts of violence against me to which I did not consent."
Angelova said that she tried to get away from Hammer, "but he wouldn't let me."
Hammer's lawyer, Andrew Brettler, denied the allegations in a statement provided to Insider. "Effie's own correspondence with Mr. Hammer undermines and refutes her outrageous allegations," Brettler said in the statement.
The statement continued, "It was never Mr. Hammer's intention to embarrass or expose [Effie's] fetishes or kinky sexual desires, but she has now escalated this matter to another level by hiring a civil lawyer to host a public press conference. With the truth on his side, Mr. Hammer welcomes the opportunity to set the record straight."
Allred, Angelova's lawyer, told Insider in a statement: "I challenge Armie Hammer to present all, not some, of his communications with Effie to the Los Angeles Police Department and answer all of their questions directly rather than through his lawyers."
An anonymous source with "direct knowledge" of the case told TMZ in December 2021 that the LAPD wrapped its investigation and passed on their findings to the district attorney. They added that the actor wasn't likely to face charges because the case "wasn't strong."
Hammer addressed the scandal in a new interview shared Saturday
The actor told Air Mail that he contemplated suicide while quarantining in the Cayman Islands in February 2021.
"I just walked out into the ocean and swam out as far as I could and hoped that either I drowned, or was hit by a boat, or eaten by a shark. Then I realized that my kids were still on shore, and that I couldn't do that to my kids," he said.
He also said his desire to engage in BDSM emerged after he was molested by a youth pastor at age 13, citing a need for "control."
"What that did for me was it introduced sexuality into my life in a way that it was completely out of my control," Hammer said. "I was powerless in the situation. I had no agency in the situation. My interests then went to: I want to have control in the situation, sexually."
Hammer denied Angelova's rape allegation. Instead, he told Air Mail that the two engaged in a "scene" that they planned together over Facebook Messenger. He called the encounter a "consensual non-consent scene."
While he admitted to being emotionally abusive to his partners, he denied any criminal wrongdoing.
"I'm here to own my mistakes, take accountability for the fact that I was an asshole, that I was selfish, that I used people to make me feel better, and when I was done, moved on. And treated people more poorly than they should have been treated," he said.
Read the original article on Insider