Armie Hammer gave his first interview since the beginning of 2021, when multiple sexual misconduct and abuse allegations were made against the actor, saying all the encounters involved were consensual while acknowledging he was emotionally abusive in his relationships.
“I had a very intense and extreme lifestyle,” Hammer told Air Mail, a digital newsletter. “I would scoop up these women, bring them into it – into this whirlwind of travel and sex and drugs and big emotions flying around – and then as soon as I was done, I’d just drop them off and move on to the next woman, leaving that woman feeling abandoned or used.”
Hammer also revealed that he was sexually abused by his youth pastor for nearly a year at age 13, an experience which eventually would lead to his interest in BDSM, or sexual practices including bondage and masochism.
“What that did for me was it introduced sexuality into my life in a way that it was completely out of my control,” he told Air Mail. “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.”
Talking to Air Mail, Hammer vociferously denied any criminal wrongdoing, saying the encounters at the centre of the 2021 accusations against him were all consensual. However, he said, the “power dynamics were off” in the relationships he had with the women.
He said: “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.”
The Call Me By Your Name actor said that his behaviour does amount to him 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 said. “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.”
As Hammer faced a cascade of sexual assault and abuse allegations in February 2021, he described swimming out into the ocean in the Cayman Islands with suicidal thoughts.
“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,” he said. “Then I realised that my kids were still on shore, and that I couldn’t do that to my kids.”
Hammer, a father of two, and his wife of 10 years divorced in the summer of 2020. Half a year later, allegations against Hammer started to come out in January 2021, when an anonymous Instagram user, @houseofeffie, published screenshots of violent and graphic texts sent by Hammer.
Soon other women came forward with similar accusations of sexual coercion and emotional abuse in relationships with Hammer between 2017 and 2020. Hammer was ultimately dropped from his talent agency and either voluntarily stepped down or was removed from multiple high-profile projects.
In February 2021, the Los Angeles police department (LAPD) opened a sexual assault investigation into Hammer. LAPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the investigation and has not provided any public updates on its status.
In September, over a year after Vanity Fair published a report on Hammer’s disturbing family history (he is the great-grandson of oil-magnate millionaire Armand Hammer), Discovery+ released a three-part documentary series called House of Hammer that dived into the allegations and the dark sides of the Hammer family.
Besides being spotted in the Cayman Islands trying to sell timeshares, Hammer has kept a low profile after the accusations levelled against him over the last two years.
Hammer confirmed that he did at one point pitch time-shares to customers at a resort in the Cayman Islands where a friend worked. He told Air Mail that he is both “broke” and “massively in debt”, though he received a loan from his family to help him pay legal fees.
“In a he-said-she-said dispute, no one, and that includes lawyers, doctors and crisis managers, ever says, ‘Believe the men,’” Air Mail founders Graydon Carter and Alessandra Stanley said in a statement about the article’s publication.
“Hammer wants to clear his name – at least of the crimes he has been accused of,” the statement added. “Whether he deserves it is not for us to decide, and many readers’ minds may already be made up. This report may not change how Hammer is seen, but it does give a fuller, more detailed, and fact-checked version of what happened to turn the movie star into a Hollywood pariah without a single legal charge having been filed against him.”
Hammer ultimately painted himself as a victim of “this cancel-culture, woke-mob business”.
“The minute anyone does anything wrong, they’re thrown away,” he said. “There’s no chance for rehabilitation. There’s no chance for redemption. Someone makes a mistake, and we throw them away like a broken disposable camera.”
Hammer said that he wishes to experience growth like his mentor Robert Downey Jr did after facing drug charges in the 1990s.
“Robert and others are examples of what it looks like for a human being to experience pain and then growth,” Hammer said. “And that aspect of it is something that I aspire to.” - Guardian