UPDATED: The anonymous woman who first made allegations about Armie Hammer on social media has come forward publicly.
“I thought that he was going to kill me,” the woman, named Effie, said through tears on Thursday during a press conference with her attorney, Gloria Allred. Effie is accusing Hammer of violent rape and physical abuse, during their on-and-off four-year relationship from 2016 to 2020.
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“On April 24, 2017, Armie Hammer violently raped me for over four hours in Los Angeles, during which he repeatedly slapped my head against a wall, bruising my face,” Effie said. “He also committed other acts of violence against me to which I did not consent.”
Crying uncontrollably at the virtual press conference, Effie says during the alleged rape, Hammer beat her feet “so they would hurt” with every step she took. She says she tried to get away, “but he wouldn’t let me.”
“He then left with no concern for my well being. I was completely in shock,” Effie said.
Along with a statement strongly denying the rape allegation, Hammer’s attorney, Andrew Brettler of Lavely & Singer, sent a screenshot of text message correspondence they say is between Hammer and Effie, in which Hammer texts, “I am not going to be able to engage in you in that specific way right now. It never ends well. We can talk and be friends, but I can’t do that.”
Hammer’s attorney says the screenshot is “just one of hundreds” Effie sent to Hammer.
“Effie’s own correspondence with Mr. Hammer undermines and refutes her outrageous allegations. As recently as July 18, 2020, [she] 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,” Brettler said in a statement.
“It was never Mr. Hammer’s intention to embarrass or expose [Effie’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,” the statement continues. “From day one, Mr. Hammer has maintained that all of his interactions with [Effie] — and every other sexual partner of his for that matter — have been completely consensual, discussed and agreed upon in advance, and mutually participatory. [Effie’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.”
Shortly after the press conference, Variety confirmed that Hammer is being investigated by the LAPD.
“We can confirm that Armie Hammer is the main suspect in an alleged sexual assault investigation that was initiated Feb. 3 of this year,” an LAPD spokesperson said.
Effie, who is 24 and lives in Europe, did not disclose her full legal name during the press conference. Up until now, it is believed she has been the woman behind the Instagram account “House of Effie,” which first surfaced claims against Hammer. (During the press conference, Allred would not comment on whether her client was behind the social media account.)
Effie says she was 20 when she met Hammer via Facebook in 2016. She says she “fell in love with him instantly,” and the relationship progressed rapidly with emotions running high. Looking back, she now sees “clear manipulation tactics” used by Hammer, explaining to reporters that throughout the years, as the relationship continued, she “tried to dismiss his actions as a twisted form of love.”
“He would often test my devotion to him,” Effie said, adding that Hammer became increasingly violent. “He abused me mentally, emotionally and sexually,” she said.
During the press conference, Allred spoke at length about the issue of consent.
Ever since the House of Effie account first began posting screenshots in January of unverified messages between Hammer and multiple women, Hammer’s legal team has maintained that all sexual relationships were “completely consensual.”
Allred said that her client was “very upset to read that Hammer’s lawyers said that all of his sexual activities were ‘completely consensual,’” while noting that “many” of their encounters were consensual and that they were “together and intimate” a number of times.
“Even if a sexual partner agrees to certain sexual activity, she still has a right at any point to withdraw her consent,” Allred said. “If she does withdraw her consent … he is legally and morally obligated to stop. If he does not stop, he is then at risk of committing a crime against her.”
Allred said Hammer’s celebrity could have played a factor into his coercion of her client.
“Often, famous men select vulnerable women, particularly some of their fans, to use and abuse. Celebrities often make that choice because they may feel that they can more easily use the power of their celebrity to seduce and manipulate fans who admire or idolize them,” Allred said. “They may also count on the fear that many women have of speaking out against a celebrity.”
Effie has been contacted by many others who allege that they have also been victimized by Hammer during their sexual relationships with him, according to Allred, who said her client decided to speak out in order to warn women of Hammer’s alleged abuse. Another one of Hammer’s former girlfriends, Paige Lorenze, has also said in media interviews that she met Hammer on Instagram when she was 20, seemingly establishing a pattern for Hammer.
Though Hammer’s attorney provided Effie’s full name, Variety is choosing not to publish her last name, as she stated she did not want to release her full legal name during her press conference.
In response to Brettler’s statement, Allred tells Variety, “I challenge Armie Hammer to present all, not some, of his communications with Effie to the Los Angeles Police Department and answer all of their questions directly rather than through his lawyers.”
During the Thursday press conference, Allred would not disclose whether her client had filed a police report in 2017 regarding the alleged rape. Allred also declined to answer a reporter’s question about whether her client will press charges. But she did say that her client had provided law enforcement with evidence, and “then it is for law enforcement and a prosecutor to decide if there is sufficient evidence to pursue it.”
Ever since the House of Effie Instagram account opened the floodgates by posting alleged screenshots of DMs from Hammer, his career has been in freefall. The actor was dropped by his agency, WME, and has been fired from three high-profile projects, including a romantic comedy with Jennifer Lopez and a television series about the making of “The Godfather.”
When the DMs first leaked online, the controversy was widely considered salacious, given the outlandish nature of the allegations, which first began as accusations of cannibalistic fetishes. But as more information and allegations began to surface, the women accusing Hammer said there was much more to the salacious claims — Hammer’s exes say the actor was using his sexual proclivities as a smokescreen. They are accusing him of emotional abuse, manipulation and coercion.
Effie’s assault allegations made during the Thursday press conference mark the first time one of Hammer’s former partners has accused him of rape in a public forum with the legal protection of an attorney.
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