Two years after he faced a series of sexual abuse allegations that ended his career as a movie star, Armie Hammer is attempting to tell his side of the story. In a new interview, he reveals that he contemplated suicide after his downfall and claims he was sexually abused by a youth pastor at 13.
Hammer — who was the subject of an LAPD investigation after being accused of rape — denies all criminal wrongdoing, but admits to being emotionally abusive toward former partners he had met on the internet.
The actor, who was accused of having cannibalistic fetishes, now says that his interest in BDSM originates from being sexually abused by his youth pastor when he was 13 years old.
“What that did for me was it introduced sexuality into my life in a way that it was completely out of my control,” Hammer says. “I was powerless in the situation. I had no agency in the situation. Sexuality was introduced to me in a scary way where I had no control. My interests then went to: I want to have control in the situation, sexually.”
Speaking with the digital newsletter Air Mail, Hammer tells his side of the story for the first time. Air Mail reports that Hammer told two people about his childhood abuse, and the publication states it corroborated his account with his godmother.
Hammer was accused in 2021 of sexual abuse and improper behavior by numerous women, whose claims spiraled on social media and put “The Social Network” actor at the center of a media firestorm. In the wake of the scandal, Hammer was dropped by his agency, WME, and was fired from a plethora of projects, including Jennifer Lopez’s “Shotgun Wedding.” Over the past two years, the actor has worked as a timeshare salesman in the Cayman Islands and has spent time in a recovery facility. Last year, a Discovery+ docuseries, “House of Hammer,” chronicled Hammer’s downfall with a handful of his accusers publicly coming forward on-camera.
Hammer reveals he contemplated suicide as his life was unraveling.
“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,” Hammer tells Air Mail, recalling a time in the Caymans. “Then I realized that my kids were still on shore, and that I couldn’t do that to my kids.”
Hammer was married to TV host Elizabeth Chambers for 10 years, and they announced their split before the allegations came out against Hammer. The couple shares two young children.
In his new interview, Hammer goes into great detail discussing some of the accusations against him, undermining the nature of the allegations and painting a very different picture than what was set forth by his accusers. The most damning allegation against Hammer was by a woman, known as Effie, who accused him of violently raping her, which led to the LAPD investigation. Effie is behind the Instagram account “House of Effie,” which first posted shocking allegations against Hammer, garnering widespread attention in early 2021.
Hammer comments on his relationships with accusers Courtney Vucekovich and Paige Lorenze, acknowledging that “the power dynamics were off” and admitting “one million percent” that he was emotionally abusive towards both women.
“I would have these younger women in their mid-20s, and I’m in my 30s. I was a successful actor at the time. They could have been happy to just be with me and would have said yes to things that maybe they wouldn’t have said yes to on their own,” Hammer says. “That’s an imbalance of power in the situation.”
In the interview, Hammer denies criminal wrongdoing, and boils down his behavior and subsequent accusations to being “an asshole.”
“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,” Hammer says. “I’m now a healthier, happier, more balanced person. I’m able to be there for my kids in a way I never was…I’m truly grateful for my life and my recovery and everything. I would not go back and undo everything that’s happened to me.”
The “Call Me by Your Name” actor says he has improved through his recovery, and is now working as a sober companion to a fellow recovering addict out of rehab.
“I’m going to move in with him and live with him, get him on a healthy routine, get him into a good schedule of [recovery] meetings, take him to the gym, cook healthy food for him,” Hammer says of working as a sober companion. “It feels like my recovery has taken a turn from me being the one who needs help staying sober, to me being able to help others.”
Hammer also confirms past reports that he has found a friend in Robert Downey Jr., who has supported him through his downfall and stint in rehab. (Vanity Fair previously reported that the “Iron Man” actor paid for his treatment and provided him with additional financial assistance and a place to stay to help him get back on his feet.)
“There are examples everywhere, Robert [Downey Jr.] being one of them, of people who went through those things and found redemption through a new path. And that, I feel like, is what’s missing in this cancel-culture, woke-mob business,” Hammer says. “The minute anyone does anything wrong, they’re thrown away. There’s no chance for rehabilitation.”
He continues, “When they throw someone like me on the fire to protect themselves…all they’re doing is making the fire bigger. And that fire is now out of control and it’s going to burn everyone.”