Actor Armie Hammer has been accused of raping a woman in Los Angeles.
A woman named only as Effie accused the Call Me By Your Name actor of raping her “for over four hours” during a virtual press conference held by high-profile US lawyer Gloria Allred.
In a statement to the PA news agency, Hammer’s lawyer Andrew Brettler described the allegations as “outrageous” and said his client “welcomes the opportunity to set the record straight”.
The Los Angeles Police Department told PA it had opened a sexual assault investigation over the alleged rape, said to have taken place in 2017.
What we know about Effie and what she alleged?
The accusation was made by a 24-year-old named only as Effie. Allred revealed that Effie lives in Europe but did not reveal her occupation.
The accuser broke down while reading a prepared statement, alleging she first met Hammer, 34, on Facebook in 2016.
She said she first had contact with Hammer on Facebook when she was 20, adding: “I fell in love with him instantly.”
Effie said Hammer was “employing manipulation tactics in order to exert control over me, until I started to lose myself”.
She said he would “test my devotion to him, finally removing and crossing my boundaries as he became increasingly more violent”.
Effie accused the actor of abusing her “mentally, emotionally and sexually” and said he once beat her feet so badly “they would hurt with every step I took for the next week”.
She said: “On April 24 2017, Armie Hammer raped me for over four hours in Los Angeles, during which he repeatedly slapped my head against a wall, bruising my face.”
The accuser added: “During those four hours, I tried to get away and he wouldn’t let me. I thought that he was going to kill me. He then left with no concern for my wellbeing. I was completely in shock and I couldn’t believe that someone I loved did that to me.
“I tried so hard to justify his actions, even to the point of responding to him in a way that did not reflect my true feelings.
“During and since this attack, I have lived in fear of him. And for a long time I tried to dismiss his actions towards me as a twisted form of love.”
Effie said she is coming forward so Hammer will be “held accountable,” adding she feels “immense guilt” in not speaking out sooner.
Effie added: “I want other survivors of sexual assault around the world to feel empowered and know they are heard, believed, understood and loved.”
How has Armie Hammer responded?
Mr Brettler has denied the allegations on behalf of his client.
He included a text, allegedly from the accuser, claiming it “undermines and refutes” the rape allegation.
Mr Brettler’s statement read: “As recently as July 18, 2020, (the accuser) sent graphic texts to Mr Hammer telling him what she wanted him to do to her. Mr Hammer responded making it clear that he did not want to maintain that type of relationship with her. The screenshot below is just one of hundreds (the accuser) sent to Mr Hammer.
“It was never Mr Hammer’s intention to embarrass or expose (the accuser’s) fetishes or kinky sexual desires, but she has now escalated this matter to another level by hiring a civil lawyer to host a public press conference. With the truth on his side, Mr Hammer welcomes the opportunity to set the record straight.
“From day one, Mr Hammer has maintained that all of his interactions with (the accuser) — and every other sexual partner of his for that matter — have been completely consensual, discussed and agreed upon in advance, and mutually participatory. (The accuser’s) attention-seeking and ill-advised legal bid will only make it more difficult for real victims of sexual violence to get the justice they deserve.”
Hammer, known for films including The Social Network and Call Me By Your Name, previously described social media allegations against him as “vicious and spurious online attacks against me”.
What has the LAPD said?
The Los Angeles Police Department told PA it has opened a sexual assault investigation following a rape claim against Hammer.
A spokesman said officers were contacted by an attorney “representing a female in the community” on February 3.
He added a sexual assault investigation is under way and no further details would be released at this time.
What has Elizabeth Chambers said?
A source close to Hammer’s estranged wife Elizabeth Chambers says that she is “horrified” by the claims.
The source told Entertainment Tonight: "Elizabeth is horrified to hear the most recent allegations against Armie. Her number one priority is her kids and she wants to make sure that her children feel loved and taken care of during all of this.”
Hammer’s Hollywood career is in freefall following a series of damaging accusations over explicit messages he allegedly sent on social media.
An anonymous poster alleged that Hammer shared sexual fantasies involving violence and cannibalism.
His wife appeared to address the claims in February .
Sharing an image of a beach, she wrote: “For weeks, I’ve been trying to process everything that has transpired. I am shocked, heartbroken, and devastated. Heartbreak aside, I am listening, and will continue to listen and educate myself on these delicate matters. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know.
“I support any victim of assault or abuse and urge anyone who has experienced this pain to seek the help she or he needs to heal.
“At this time, I will not be commenting further on this matter. My sole focus and attention will continue to be on our children, on my work and on healing during this incredibly difficult time.
“Thank you for all of the love and support, and thank you in advance for your continued kindness, respect, and consideration for our children and me as we find ways to move forward.”