Armie Hammer says he was sexually abused as a child by a youth pastor at his family church – in his first interview since he was accused of extreme sexual violence in a series of allegations made in 2021.
The actor tells Airmail the abuse he experienced went on for nearly a year, saying:
“What that did for me was it introduced sexuality into my life in a way that it was completely out of my control. 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.”
The actor also reveals he contemplated taking his own life when the allegations against him were first made, swimming out to sea at his home in the Cayman Islands, before thinking of his children and turning back.
In the interview, he admits he was emotionally abusive to a series of women – his status and moneymaking it possible for him to seduce and drop them in swift succession – and that he entered into BDSM encounters, and a ‘consensual-non-consensual’ scene with one woman. But he denies in detail those allegations made against him, telling Airmail:
“Every single thing was discussed beforehand. I have never thrust this on someone unexpectedly. Never.”
Hammer was enjoying a career-high at the beginning of 2021. Having previously failed to set the box office alight with leading roles in films including The Lone Ranger and The Man from U.N.C.L.E, he had instead opted for a lauded role in 2017’s independent Call Me By Your Name, and looked set for further high-profile performances.
Only a few days into the year, however, a number of young women released screenshot text messages they claimed were from the actor, describing fantasies related to sexual violence, rape and cannibalism. At the time, Hammer denied they were from him. In March 2021, he was accused of rape by one of the women – an allegation he also denied – and the charges were later dropped.
Following the initial allegations, however, Hammer dropped out of the film Shotgun Wedding opposite Jennifer Lopez, and two TV roles in The Offer (about the making of The Godfather) and Gaslit, opposite Julia Roberts and Sean Penn. His talent agency, WME, dropped him from their books. When the already-filmed Death on the Nile remake appeared in 2022, Hammer barely featured in the marketing, despite a prominent role.
At the time of pulling out of Shotgun Wedding, he said that he couldn’t be away from his children for an extended period following the pressure of the allegations. He entered rehab for drug and alcohol abuse soon afterwards, and currently spends his time as a sober companion to another person freshly out of rehab.
In the interview with Airmail, Hammer reflects:
“If someone came up to me and gave me a magic lamp and said, ‘There’s a genie in here, but it only gives you one wish. If you rub this lamp, the genie will come out and take you back two years in the past, and you could undo all of this,’ I wouldn’t do it.”
But he also concedes the chances of his resurrecting his acting career are extremely small:
“No one will hire me. No one will insure me. I can’t get bonded for a project—nothing. And no one will touch me because if they hire me, then they are the people who support abusers.”