The brand new 12 months kicked off with what is going to possible be the most weird superstar story of 2021: Armie Hammer — the genetically blessed film star of “Name Me by Your Title” and “The Social Community” fame, and inheritor to the Hammer household oil fortune — started trending on-line for being a cannibal.
Hammer isn’t 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 initiatives – 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, get better.
Unverified messages have been blasted throughout social media, reportedly exhibiting Hammer chatting with a number of ladies in specific conversations displaying his fetishes, the place he allegedly expresses his sexual urge for food to drink blood, minimize toes and enslave intercourse companions. The messages, allegedly despatched by Hammer, describe rape fantasies. One among Hammer’s exes advised a tabloid the actor needed 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, participating in “knife play” in the bed room. Beneath the salacious accusations, which have became a media spectacle, the ladies 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 inside 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 selections – pretty or not – will possible have an enduring stain on Hammer’s profession.
An legal professional for Hammer has advised reporters that assertions in opposition to his shopper are “patently unfaithful,” stating that any interactions with any sexual companions of his “utterly consensual in that they have been totally mentioned, agreed upon, and mutually participatory.”
“The tales being perpetuated in the media are a misguided try to current a one-sided narrative with the aim of tarnishing Mr. Hammer’s repute, and communications from the people concerned show that,” Hammer’s legal professional, 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 in all Hammer’s ex-girlfriends tells Selection that her shopper isn’t at the moment exploring any authorized proceedings.
These near Hammer consider he has a powerful case for a defamation swimsuit, however at the moment, he has no plans to pursue authorized motion, as his focus is on the custody of his kids, in accordance with an individual acquainted with his workforce’s current technique.
Selection has discovered that Hammer’s authorized workforce is at the moment in the means of subpoenaing Instagram and Fb to research 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 initiatives: the romantic comedy “Shotgun Marriage ceremony,” through which he was speculated to star reverse Jennifer Lopez, and “The Supply,” a sequence at Paramount Plus about the making of “The Godfather.”
“I can not in good conscience now go away my kids for 4 months to shoot a movie in the Dominican Republic,” Hammer stated when his departure from “Shotgun Marriage ceremony” was introduced. “Lionsgate is supporting me on this and I’m grateful to them for that.”
However quite a few insiders have advised Selection that Hammer was requested to go away each initiatives in the aftermath of the social media consideration, which is seen as a significant distraction that may proceed to snowball. Regardless of being primarily pressured out, a variety of insiders have stated Hammer is being compensated for “Shotgun Marriage ceremony,” although he isn’t 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 form of cost signifies that whereas his presence in any venture could be poisonous, he has not dedicated a cut-and-dried breach of contract.
“Most expertise agreements record sure actions that aren’t permitted,” says Ryan Baker, a accomplice at the Los Angeles-based regulation 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, because of this, the expertise is not capable of deliver the similar worth to the venture. I might suspect that in a time like this, there could be a approach for the events to succeed in a decision. Nonetheless, it appears extra information will come to mild on this case.”
Whereas Hammer has had extramarital intercourse companions for years, in accordance with a member of his workforce, these relationships have been all consensual and he didn’t interact in any abusive conduct.
The ladies, who’ve been talking to the tabloid press and posting on social media, inform a unique story.
Hammer’s scenario is totally different than different scandals of the #MeToo period, the place high-profile males noticed their careers finish after they have been accused of predatory conduct in deeply reported newspaper or journal tales. However whereas the full circumstances round the allegations in opposition to Hammer nonetheless haven’t come utterly into focus, his picture in the court docket of public opinion has shortly modified.
And, in an trade the place film star’s careers are constructed on their private model and public persona, the injury may need already been finished. 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, consuming behind the wheel and bragging about passing a drug take a look at that was required for him to see his kids 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 personal Instagram,” indicating that no 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 minimize off a toe, he has by no means locked anyone in a cage, or no matter else is in these loopy messages. These messages undoubtedly 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 interact in it and luxuriate in it.”
Each initiatives that Hammer departed – Lopez’s “Shotgun Marriage ceremony” and Paramount’s “The Supply” – have been near capturing, so the studio and community needed to transfer quick. However wanting forward, Hammer has a slew of accomplished initiatives, which is able to show to be a headache for Hollywood executives, who’re intently watching to see how the scandal unfolds.
Hammer’s most high-profile venture in the close to future is Disney’s “Demise on the Nile,” the follow-up to the field workplace success “Homicide on the Orient Categorical.” The A-list homicide thriller, through which 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 12 months. 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 remains to be months away, the scenario isn’t essential – but. “Demise on the Nile” has an ensemble forged, so Disney may have the possibility of minimizing Hammer in advertising and marketing supplies, sources say. Relying on what particulars come to mild in the months forward, it’s potential 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 residence leisure in early March. Common, one in all 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 Purpose Wins,” which he filmed final 12 months, although he performs a really minor character and doesn’t have a distinguished function in the movie. The Searchlight Footage movie is at the moment in post-production, however 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 Battle thriller “Billion Greenback Spy,” which is in pre-production. He’s starring reverse Mads Mikkelsen who, mockingly, 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 venture for Hammer is the long-awaited “Name Me by Your Title” sequel, which has not been confirmed and doesn’t have a script but, as director Luca Guadagnino is at the moment working on different initiatives. In an odd flip of occasions, a type of motion pictures occurs to be a cannibal love story starring Hammer’s “Name Me by Your Title” co-star, Timothée Chalamet, which garnered appreciable headlines, as the movie was coincidentally introduced amid Hammer’s social media downfall. Sources near that venture affirm that the movie was properly 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 Title” sequel, as he’s busy at work on one other venture.
Hammer is represented by WME and stays a shopper for now. WME declined to remark for this story.
Those that work intently with Hammer consider the actor will survive this scandal, although nobody is blind to the unfavorable consideration. “This isn’t the finish of Armie Hammer,” an individual in Hammer’s circle says.
Nonetheless, as efforts to create protected and equitable workspaces garner extra consideration, will ladies 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 shopper and ensure that they’re conscious with what’s going on earlier than even organising a gathering.”
Company and studio sources that spoke with Selection expressed a “wait and see” strategy to the scenario. For now, nobody needs Hammer’s identify anyplace close to a venture, however “time heals all wounds,” in accordance with an agent, with one other suggesting that the actions of which Hammer has been accused don’t rise to the stage of completely ending relationships with him. Nonetheless, the scandal has despatched shockwaves by way of 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 thus far 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.”
Practically 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 shortly from story to story, given the salacious nature of the scandal, the media firestorm is exhibiting no indicators of slowing down. Undoubtedly, Hammer’s repute has taken successful.
Though he posted to his personal account, Hammer publishing movies – anyplace – boasting about leisure drug use and lingerie-clad ladies raises critical concern over his judgement, which is critical when he’s the face of any firm or product. As a public determine, the determination to publish any doubtlessly damaging materials onto a social media platform with out considering he might be caught is perplexing. And, no matter the allegations, a standard thread expressed by quite a few trade insiders who spoke anonymously for this story is that the alternative to speak with ladies throughout social media platforms with sexually specific 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 rise up and recite the strains — there’s a picture and a persona that producers or others need to connect to their thought,” says legal professional, Baker, who has by no means labored with Hammer. “Actions exterior of the studio can have a profound influence on the public notion of attaching explicit expertise to a manufacturing.”
Hollywood is an all-too-forgiving enterprise that loves a comeback story, however one other trade supply believes that Hammer could not get better professionally – due to the present local weather, but in addition due to Hammer’s profession monitor report.
“He’s not Tom Cruise,” a high-powered publicist says. “He retains getting forged, however it’s by no means successful at the field workplace. Who’s going to battle at the moment for a star who has this sophisticated of a narrative surrounding him?”
Joe Otterson and Matt Donnelly contributed to this report.