The brand new yr kicked off with what’s going to probably be the most weird celeb story of 2021: Armie Hammer — the genetically blessed film star of “Name Me by Your Identify” and “The Social Community” fame, and inheritor to the Hammer household oil fortune — started trending on-line for being a cannibal.
Hammer will not be a cannibal.
And but, weeks later, questions nonetheless swirl about Hammer’s private life amid social media accusations. And after he dropped out of two high-profile tasks – which Selection hears from a number of well-placed sources he was requested to go away – it’s not clear if his profession can, or will, recuperate.
Unverified messages have been blasted throughout social media, reportedly displaying Hammer chatting with a number of girls in express conversations displaying his fetishes, the place he allegedly expresses his sexual urge for food to drink blood, reduce toes and enslave intercourse companions. The messages, allegedly despatched by Hammer, describe rape fantasies. Certainly one of Hammer’s exes instructed a tabloid the actor wished to barbecue and eat her rib. One other ex stated in a media interview that he carved his preliminary into her pores and skin on her pelvis, partaking in “knife play” in the bed room. Beneath the salacious accusations, which have became a media spectacle, the girls say Hammer’s sexual proclivities are getting used as a smokescreen, and are accusing him of emotional abuse, manipulation and coercion.
Hammer has not spoken about the veracity of the messages. And his internal circle disputes any claims of abuse.
But nonetheless, in 2021, what’s unfold on social media issues. Even when Hammer is denying the extra critical claims, there seems to be sufficient validity that his way of life decisions – pretty or not – will probably have a long-lasting stain on Hammer’s profession.
An lawyer for Hammer has instructed reporters that assertions in opposition to his consumer are “patently unfaithful,” stating that any interactions with any sexual companions of his “fully consensual in that they have been absolutely mentioned, agreed upon, and mutually participatory.”
“The tales being perpetuated in the media are a misguided try and current a one-sided narrative with the aim of tarnishing Mr. Hammer’s popularity, and communications from the people concerned show that,” Hammer’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler of Lavely and Singer, tells Selection in a press release.
Hammer has categorized the allegations as an unfounded takedown in opposition to him. “I’m not responding to those bullshit claims,” he stated in a press release, calling the social media accusations “vicious and spurious on-line assaults in opposition to me.”
Thus far, no lawsuits have been filed by any of the accusers. A consultant for one among Hammer’s ex-girlfriends tells Selection that her consumer isn’t at the moment exploring any authorized proceedings.
These near Hammer imagine he has a robust case for a defamation go well with, however presently, he has no plans to pursue authorized motion, as his focus is on the custody of his youngsters, in response to an individual aware of his crew’s current technique.
Selection has discovered that Hammer’s authorized crew is at the moment in the technique of subpoenaing Instagram and Fb to analyze the validity of the screenshots.
Ever since the screenshots surfaced on social media, first posted by the nameless Instagram account Home of Effie, Hammer has been pressured to exit two upcoming tasks: the romantic comedy “Shotgun Wedding ceremony,” wherein he was purported to star reverse Jennifer Lopez, and “The Provide,” a sequence at Paramount Plus about the making of “The Godfather.”
“I can’t in good conscience now go away my youngsters for 4 months to shoot a movie in the Dominican Republic,” Hammer stated when his departure from “Shotgun Wedding ceremony” was introduced. “Lionsgate is supporting me on this and I’m grateful to them for that.”
However quite a few insiders have instructed Selection that Hammer was requested to go away each tasks in the aftermath of the social media consideration, which is seen as a significant distraction that can proceed to snowball. Regardless of being basically pressured out, a lot of insiders have stated Hammer is being compensated for “Shotgun Wedding ceremony,” although he’s not being paid the full quantity of the preliminary supply.
A consultant for Hammer didn’t reply to Selection‘s request for remark.
Hammer receiving any kind of fee signifies that whereas his presence in any mission could be poisonous, he has not dedicated a cut-and-dried breach of contract.
“Most expertise agreements checklist sure actions that aren’t permitted,” says Ryan Baker, a accomplice at the Los Angeles-based legislation agency Waymaker LLP, who has not labored with Hammer, however has represented expertise in litigation in opposition to main Hollywood studios. “A celebration searching for to terminate a contract might argue that the expertise’s picture has been unexpectedly tarnished because of one thing the expertise did and, in consequence, the expertise is now not in a position to carry the similar worth to the mission. I’d suspect that in a time like this, there could be a means for the events to succeed in a decision. Nevertheless, it appears extra info will come to gentle on this case.”
Whereas Hammer has had extramarital intercourse companions for years, in response to a member of his crew, these relationships have been all consensual and he didn’t have interaction in any abusive habits.
The ladies, who’ve been talking to the tabloid press and posting on social media, inform a distinct story.
Hammer’s scenario is totally different than different scandals of the #MeToo period, the place high-profile males noticed their careers finish once they have been accused of predatory habits in deeply reported newspaper or journal tales. However whereas the full circumstances round the allegations in opposition to Hammer nonetheless haven’t come fully into focus, his picture in the court docket of public opinion has rapidly modified.
And, in an business the place film star’s careers are constructed on their private model and public persona, the harm might need already been executed. The phrases “cannibal,” “kitten” and “daddy” will perpetually be subsequent to Hammer’s identify in a fast Google search, and his character has been introduced into query, as movies have surfaced of him allegedly snorting medicine, ingesting behind the wheel and bragging about passing a drug check that was required for him to see his youngsters in the midst of his divorce. Whereas not all of the social media movies have been verified, Hammer made a press release that confirmed content material surfacing on the web was “stolen from my non-public Instagram,” indicating that not less than a few of the footage is actual.
“He has by no means eaten human flesh, he has by no means drank blood, he has by no means reduce off a toe, he has by no means locked anyone in a cage, or no matter else is in these loopy messages. These messages positively shouldn’t be taken actually – even when he did textual content them,” says a supply near Hammer, who spoke on the situation of anonymity, given the private nature of the wild story. “Anybody can say what they need and solicit craziness on Instagram or TikTok or Clubhouse. Individuals suppose that kinky intercourse is bizarre and taboo, and perhaps it’s to most individuals, however clearly there are adults who have interaction in it and revel in it.”
Each tasks that Hammer departed – Lopez’s “Shotgun Wedding ceremony” and Paramount’s “The Provide” – have been near capturing, so the studio and community needed to transfer quick. However wanting forward, Hammer has a slew of accomplished tasks, which is able to show to be a headache for Hollywood executives, who’re carefully watching to see how the scandal unfolds.
Hammer’s most high-profile mission in the close to future is Disney’s “Dying on the Nile,” the follow-up to the field workplace success “Homicide on the Orient Categorical.” The A-list homicide thriller, wherein Hammer stars reverse Gal Gadot and Kenneth Branagh, wrapped manufacturing in late 2019 – lengthy earlier than the intercourse scandal – and was initially slated to be launched final yr. With COVID-19 theater closures, the movie was delayed and is now slated for a September 2021 launch.
Whereas Disney declined to remark, a supply near the movie says Hammer’s scenario may be very a lot on the studio’s radar and is an absolute concern, however provided that the movie’s launch continues to be months away, the scenario will not be essential – but. “Dying on the Nile” has an ensemble solid, so Disney may have the possibility of minimizing Hammer in advertising supplies, sources say. Relying on what particulars come to gentle in the months forward, it’s attainable the actor wouldn’t be a significant a part of the promotional blitz.
Subsequent month, Hammer shall be seen in the aptly named “Disaster,” a smaller-budget movie, starring Gary Oldman and Evangeline Lilly, which is being launched on house leisure in early March. Common, one among the studios distributing the film, didn’t reply to Selection’s request for remark.
Hammer has additionally wrapped capturing on Taika Waititi’s sports activities comedy “Subsequent Objective Wins,” which he filmed final yr, although he performs a really minor character and doesn’t have a outstanding function in the movie. The Searchlight Footage movie is at the moment in post-production, nevertheless it’s not at the moment on the studio’s 2021 slate. A consultant from the boutique studio declined to remark.
Whereas it’s one factor to have labored with Hammer on a film that’s already accomplished, it’s one other to start capturing a brand new function with him.
The actor is ready to star in Amma Asante’s Chilly Conflict thriller “Billion Greenback Spy,” which is in pre-production. He’s starring reverse Mads Mikkelsen who, sarcastically, portrayed Dr. Hannibal Lecter in NBC’s “Hannibal.” Neither the studio or Asante responded to Selection’s request for remark when requested about potential re-casting.
Maybe the buzziest mission for Hammer is the long-awaited “Name Me by Your Identify” sequel, which has not been confirmed and doesn’t have a script but, as director Luca Guadagnino is at the moment working on different tasks. In an odd flip of occasions, a kind of films occurs to be a cannibal love story starring Hammer’s “Name Me by Your Identify” co-star, Timothée Chalamet, which garnered appreciable headlines, as the movie was coincidentally introduced amid Hammer’s social media downfall. Sources near that mission verify that the movie was effectively in the works lengthy earlier than Hammer’s alleged DMs hit the web, and describe the scenario as “a really unlucky, craziest coincidence in the historical past of the world.”
Guadagnino was not obtainable to remark for this story, or on the standing of the “Name Me by Your Identify” sequel, as he’s busy at work on one other mission.
Hammer is represented by WME and stays a consumer for now. WME declined to remark for this story.
Those that work carefully with Hammer imagine the actor will survive this scandal, although nobody is blind to the detrimental consideration. “This isn’t the finish of Armie Hammer,” an individual in Hammer’s circle says.
Nevertheless, as efforts to create protected and equitable workspaces garner extra consideration, will girls in Hollywood need to work with Hammer?
“Armie Hammer is somebody I wouldn’t need to put close to my purchasers,” says a feminine literary agent who represents tv writers. “Somebody like that may be a legal responsibility, and I wouldn’t need to put my purchasers in that scenario. It may be so damaging. At the very least, I’d have a dialog with the consumer and ensure that they’re conscious with what’s going on earlier than even establishing a gathering.”
Company and studio sources that spoke with Selection expressed a “wait and see” strategy to the scenario. For now, nobody desires Hammer’s identify wherever close to a mission, however “time heals all wounds,” in response to an agent, with one other suggesting that the actions of which Hammer has been accused don’t rise to the degree of completely ending relationships with him. Nevertheless, the scandal has despatched shockwaves by a few of the strongest workplaces in Hollywood, as many high-ranking executives who’re in enterprise with Hammer have been briefed on the allegations, as they should monitor the ongoing scenario.
“It’s to date off from what all of us thought we knew about him,” says a significant studio insider of Hammer’s obvious double life. “It’s so surprising.”
Almost one month after the social media chatter relating to Hammer’s intercourse life first surfaced, the headlines proceed to pour out. In a 24/7 information cycle the place the focus shifts rapidly from story to story, given the salacious nature of the scandal, the media firestorm is displaying no indicators of slowing down. Undoubtedly, Hammer’s popularity has taken a success.
Though he posted to his non-public account, Hammer publishing movies – wherever – boasting about leisure drug use and lingerie-clad girls raises critical concern over his judgement, which is important when he’s the face of any firm or product. As a public determine, the resolution to put up any probably damaging materials onto a social media platform with out pondering he may very well be caught is perplexing. And, no matter the allegations, a standard thread expressed by quite a few business insiders who spoke anonymously for this story is that the selection to speak with girls throughout social media platforms with sexually express messages when he’s a well-known married father of two is silly, to say the least. And it’s a legal responsibility for any community or studio that hires him.
“When expertise is retained, it’s extra than simply the one that can arise and recite the traces — there may be a picture and a persona that producers or others need to connect to their thought,” says lawyer, Baker, who has by no means labored with Hammer. “Actions outdoors of the studio can have a profound affect on the public notion of attaching specific expertise to a manufacturing.”
Hollywood is an all-too-forgiving enterprise that loves a comeback story, however one other business supply believes that Hammer could not recuperate professionally – due to the present local weather, but additionally due to Hammer’s profession observe document.
“He’s not Tom Cruise,” a high-powered publicist says. “He retains getting solid, nevertheless it’s by no means a success at the field workplace. Who’s going to combat at the moment for a star who has this difficult of a narrative surrounding him?”
Joe Otterson and Matt Donnelly contributed to this report.