TRIGGER WARNING: The following article contains references and details surrounding rape, sexual violence, cannibalism, and more.
In case you haven’t heard by now—or simply saw a tweet vaguely referencing “cannibalism” and scrolled past—actor Armie Hammer has been accused of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse by multiple ex-girlfriends and anonymous women he allegedly met on Instagram. (I’m somewhat surprised by how many people apparently haven’t heard of Armie Hammer, so to be clear, his most—and only—notable films include The Social Network and Call Me By Your Name, if that helps ring a bell.)
The allegations are extremely dark, disturbing, and ugly, and should be treated with the utmost seriousness.
Here’s the part where I remind you that this is not “kink-shaming,” unlike what some recent headlines may suggest. A BDSM kink—or any kink, for that matter—is intrinsically about consent, respect, safety, and boundaries. (You can read more about it here.) The allegations against Hammer, however, paint a portrait of someone who has failed to respect boundaries, performing horrific acts on women against their consent that clearly have made them feel unsafe. (Hammer himself admitted in a 2013 interview with Playboy that he “doesn’t pull his wife’s hair during sex, because she’s [his] wife.” This Twitter thread expands on why this is a red flag in the BDSM world, but the implication is that Hammer is aware, on some level at least, that his kinks may be incompatible with respect.)
While rumors surrounding Hammer’s behavior have been swirling for years—especially on celebrity “tea” blogs like Lipstick Alley and Blind Gossip—the allegations officially picked up steam in January, when Instagram user @houseofeffie began releasing details of her years-long affair with Hammer, which included when he was married to ex-wife Elizabeth Chambers. The “sexts” Armie sent in some of the screenshots released by Effie are… extremely unsettling, to say the least. “I want to see your brain, your blood, your organs… If I f*cked you into a vegetative state… When I tell you to slit your wrists and use your blood as lube for anal…” He said he was turned on by a Black Lives Matter protest. She also released photos of neck injuries and a corresponding conversation with Hammer in which she asked him not to buckle the belt when they would later have sex. He did it anyway.
Hammer initially denied the accusations, calling them “spurious bullsh*t.” After the first knee-jerk statement, Hammer has remained mostly silent, except to apologize for a video leaked from his finsta which showed a woman, whom he referred to as “Miss Cayman,” in lingerie on all fours. Hammer personally apologized, telling the Cayman Compass, “I would like to clarify that the person in my video, which was stolen from my private Instagram, is not Miss Cayman. I am genuinely sorry for any confusion my foolish attempt at humour may have caused.” He has, however, declined to comment on any of the recent accusations made by his ex-partners. His social channels remain up, but unused. On February 6, news broke that both his agency and his publicist dropped him, sparking rumors that there was a bombshell exposé on the horizon. (So far, no such exposé exists.)
YouTuber Paige Lorenze, 22, who dated Hammer for several months in late 2020 following his divorce from ex-wife Elizabeth Chambers, is another woman who’s come forward with allegations of abuse. “I was fresh out of a breakup after getting cheated on,” Lorenze told me. “I was in a vulnerable place, I moved out of my ex’s place and went directly to LA alone, and I was someone who was easy to take advantage of.” I first listened to Lorenze recount the details of her relationship with Hammer when she appeared on the Sofia With an F podcast in January, and I spoke with her at length about the relationship over the phone as well. Lorenze revealed on the podcast that Hammer, who is 12 years her senior, initially eased her into the BDSM lifestyle—at first by telling her to do things like show up outside of his house on all fours, before he subsequently would walk her with a dog leash. Soon, however, things got darker and even more degrading, and Hammer began to coerce Lorenze into rough, nonconsensual sexual acts—like biting, knife play, and strange, rape-based fantasies—that left bruises and injuries on her body (evident in photos she posted from the time the two were dating). “It wasn’t sexy. It just hurt,” Lorenze told Franklin about his bizarre sexual preferences.
The most disturbing—and damning—piece of evidence is the “A” Hammer allegedly carved on Lorenze’s body with a knife against her will while she was tied up during sex. (Yes, he literally branded her like Keith Raniere of NXVIM infamy.) In a photo shared by Lorenze, you can see the branding for yourself.
“He was bragging to his friends about it in front of me, and they may have thought it was a little weird, but didn’t say anything,” she told me. She also said the actor repeatedly told her he wanted to find a doctor in LA to remove her ribs so he could smoke them on the barbecue and eat them in front of her.
As a wealthy and well-connected Hollywood celebrity, Hammer has been enabled by many, many people, including his “industry” inner circle—whose transgressions Effie has been documenting on her account as well—for years. But I’ve said it on my Twitter, and I’ll say it again here: This is unlike any sex scandal we’ve seen before.
The difference between Hammer and other famous sexual abusers of the world—in my humble, untrained opinion—is his highly, highly troubling pattern of behavior. Hammer’s alleged behavior is reminiscent of just about every stereotype you’d associate with a budding Ted Bundy prodigy: animal abuse from an early age, fantasies about eating and displacing a woman’s organs, desires to break his partner’s ribs and bones during sex, and more.
As far as I’m concerned, Hammer isn’t coming back from this—and this isn’t the kind of behavior you can easily rehabilitate, either. But his conduct is not only troubling, it’s terrifying—who would feel safe around him on a movie set going forward? Who would want their loved ones around him in the future?
Complicating matters is the fact that the online gossip mills have nearly grown louder than the victims’ voices. One rumor that floated around r/ArmieHammerReceipts—before making its way to DeuxMoi, and eventually Page Six—was that Hammer was potentially involved in a missing persons case. “The thing is—I believed the rumors when I first saw them, honestly,” Lorenze told me. “He’s capable and he’s dangerous.” The rumors were quickly debunked, and it was confirmed that Hammer is not, in any way, related to the case.
But that hasn’t stopped many from wondering what other skeletons may potentially be coming out of Hammer’s closet soon, and the number of anti-Armie sleuths subscribed to the subreddit grows everyday.
Either way, I can’t help but feel that we appear to be living in a second reckoning comparable to 2017’s #MeToo movement following the bombshell sex crimes and coverups of Harvey Weinstein. There’s Marilyn Manson, and there’s Shia LaBeouf. There’s Joss Whedon, and there’s (maybe) Jared Leto. A clear message has been sent: The time is up for men who skated by the first time and were somehow left unscathed. (In fact, #TimesUpArmie has appeared to become the official social media hashtag in support of the victims.)
While it’s unclear when exactly Hammer will face any legal consequences that will give his many, many victims the closure they need, one thing is for sure: The public, aka us, has all the power right now. So far, Hammer has been dropped from the romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Jennifer Lopez, Paramount drama series The Offer, and was also edited out of the promotional materials for his upcoming movie alongside Gary Oldman called Crisis.
He’s crashing and burning right now. But we need to keep talking about it—because, to me at least, Hammer is a danger to society.
“As long as he’s out and free wherever he is, more women will get hurt,” Lorenze agreed. For every article with a headline insinuating that Hammer’s merely being “kink-shamed,” there’s likely a new 19-year-old sliding into his Instagram DMs telling him that she would love to indulge his kinks.
In any case, Hammer’s image is forever tarnished, and Lorenze and the rest of the victims have shown unspeakable strength and grace in the face of terrifying-sounding trauma. And if Hammer ever returns from the Cayman Islands, his next Hollywood meeting might just be with a fist. Lorenze admits, “I’m not sure what I would do if I saw him walking down the street in LA or something, but I’d probably throw up and clock him in the face.”
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, harassment or violence, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or chat online at thehotline.org.
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