Vanity Fair just published a new Armie Hammer exposé entitled: The Fall of Armie Hammer: A Family Saga of Sex, Money, Drugs, and Betrayal. There’s not a ton of new information about Armie’s penchant for cannibalism or the abuse allegations (although there are loads of online rumors suggesting a bigger article is on the horizon); the article mainly explores how five generations of Armie’s family have been embroiled in “drugs, sex, dysfunction, and betrayal.”
The scandals start over a hundred years ago. Armie’s great-great-grandfather, Dr. Julius Hammer, was sent to Sing Sing for first-degree manslaughter after accidentally killing a Russian diplomat’s wife by performing an illegal abortion. His son, Armand Hammer became a wealthy oil tycoon who rubbed elbows with Prince Charles, Al Gore, and other VIPs. He was also an asshole, philanderer, bribed his way into the oil biz, and likely funded Soviet espionage and the Watergate cover-up.
Armand’s only child, Julian Hammer (Armie’s grandfather) murdered a man over a gambling debt in 1955, and the patriarch made it go away with money. Julian’s daughter/Armie’s aunt, Casey Hammer, says her family was like the real-life Succession. And in her 2015 biography, Surviving My Birthright, she wrote that her father Julian was sexually abusive to her and others in the family. Armand decided to skipped over Julian and leave his business empire to Julian’s son, Michael Hammer (Armie’s father), who was “more interested in a playboy lifestyle than world domination.” Michael married Dru, a devout Christian, and they had Armie in 1986. Armand died when Armie was 4 and left his finances in a shit state. The family was torn apart by 100 claims and lawsuits against his estate.
Julian died in 1996, and Michael moved his wife, Dru, Armie, and his other son to Grand Cayman. They returned to America ten years later, and Michael soon became embroiled in legal trouble over a fake painting conspiracy and using his company as his “personal piggy bank.” But his reputation didn’t really suffer:
“We call these guys the lucky sperm club here,” said a person with ties to the family. “Never accomplished anything. They know a whole lot about spending other people’s money.” If there is another skill Michael appears to have, it is hiring good lawyers. Various sources who wanted to speak about the specifics of Michael’s business and personal tactics—many of them women—say they are frightened to speak on record, or have signed paperwork prohibiting them from doing so.
According to multiple sources, Michael loved to boast about a sex throne or “naughty chair” that he kept in a warehouse where he lived for years after his divorce from Armie’s mother. So it would seem Armie got it from his papa. And his grandpa. And his great-grandpa. And his great-great-grandpa.
When Armie became famous, he tried to present himself as more than just a privileged pretty boy actor who’d been raised in the “fucking paradise” of the Cayman Islands. He’d joke about being a teenage bad boy, getting arrested for marijuana, and said his mother wouldn’t allow him “to be raised like we were wealthy.” But there were signs that he was a creep. He’d talk about his experiences with violence and kink in interviews (admissions which were apparently alcohol-fuelled), and fans could see he “liked” social media posts about bondage. His wife, Elizabeth Chambers, was aware of his cheating on her shortly after their son’s birth. Years later she discovered Armie was having another affair with a co-star. And last summer, after Armie chose to leave his family in the Cayman Islands during the pandemic, he mistakenly sent Elizabeth a sext meant for someone else. She filed for divorce soon after.
That’s when Armie’s public mask started to slip. Vanity Fair spoke to ex Courtney Vucekovich, who says Armie manipulate his victims into feeling sorry for him by bringing up his horrible childhood. 22-year-old Paige Lorenze, who dated Armie after Courtney, said the same thing:
She, too, got an immediate barrage of sordid family secrets. “A lot of really dark stuff,” Lorenze said. “I felt confused why he was telling me this stuff so instantly…It was stuff I would never share off the bat…He said his grandfather was this kind of very scary person who had these crazy sex parties where there would be guns.” But, said Lorenze, there was an unmistakable tone of awe. “He thought it was cool and was proud of him in a way.”
They both say he was manipulative and obsessive. Courtney claims Armie pressured her into a bondage situation she wasn’t comfortable with, and she ended up going to treatment for trauma after their relationship ended. Paige started feeling “really unsafe” after he started making rules for her. She ended their relationship over text, “because you never know what you’re going to get with him—he’s kind of a scary person.”
Paige says she planned to never speak about Armie again, but then she saw all his texts and messages posted on the anonymous @houseofeffie account:
“I saw these screenshots and my stomach just dropped, like, Holy fuck,” said Lorenze. “Because he would say things to me…weird stuff…like, ‘I want to eat your ribs,’” she said. “The scariest part of it is that I did love him in a way,” said Lorenze. “I would’ve let him kind of do anything. He had a certain hold over me.”
Paige says she decided to speak up to support the other women coming forward, hold Armie accountable, and start a dialogue on consent:
“Consent is really complicated—even if it’s consenting to something in vanilla sex that you don’t really want to do, and say yes to…it can be really traumatizing.” Lorenze said that she hopes to “start an organization that can advocate for safe sex and women learning how to say no.”
There have been no lawsuits of charges filed against Armie, and his team blames the scandal on the Instagram gossip account @deuxmoi (eye roll):
“You used to have to verify facts before making allegations like this,” said one friend, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “He’s being attacked from all different angles on unverified claims…It’s hard for people around him to watch this.
The friend says Armie’s only guilty of “super-kinky sex.” Another friend says Armie’s a really down-to-earth guy with a “very dry sense of humor.” That friend blames everyone for being super-sensitive in the #MeToo era. And Armie’s lawyer says his client’s “primary concern now is seeing his kids.” Um, sure. Sounds like a great dad.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s friends worry about her upcoming custody battle with the Hammers and want her to leave the Caymans. Elizabeth has apparently told friends that, yes, she is scared, but she’s trying to find humor in the darkness:
She’s been joking to friends that the only thing that makes sense to her, looking back on her marriage since the allegations surfaced, is the Netflix movie starring Zac Efron as Ted Bundy—Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.
Casey Hammer, the only family member who’s come forward with the truth about her family, says she received a text from a woman who knows three generations of Hammer men:
“Don’t go out after dark,” the woman texted her. “If you do, go in a group. Park under a light and near a store entrance. Valet as much as you can. Be ‘aware’ and ‘beware.’ Always check to make sure you’re not being followed…Watch your surroundings for a stranger’s face that appears more than once.”
Well, this Vanity Fair piece had a little too much Armie-defending for my liking, but at least it ended with a comparison to Ted Bundy. And a reminder to readers that the Hammer men have killed before. Don’t go out after dark, infuckingdeed.