Content warning: This story discusses sexual violence and abuse.
Celebrities face online scrutiny for a whole range of things, but cannibalism is truly a new one. If you've seen 'Armie Hammer' or 'cannibalism' trending on Twitter lately, it's because the actor has been embroiled in some serious claims of emotional abuse and also, wanting to eat people.
The story about the Call Me By Your Name actor has taken many horrific twists and turns over the past week, so we wanted to track the whole story from the off. It may have kicked off with a bunch of cannibalism memes, but things are getting more serious as increasingly harrowing details emerge.
So, what is actually going on here?
2013: A Potentially Damning Playboy Interview
This happened years before the cannibalism claims, but has started circulating in the news again, as it allegedly points to a pattern of behaviour. In an interview conducted in 2013, Hammer was more than candid about his sexual preferences. He stated he was into rough sex, but that getting married changed that.
"I liked the grabbing of the neck and the hair and all that. But then you get married and your sexual appetites change," he said. "And I mean that for the better — it's not like I'm suffering in any way. But you can't really pull your wife's hair."
As long as it's completely consensual, a celebrity being into rough sex isn't a huge deal. But the resurfaced interview has raised eyebrows in light of some of the recent claims made against him, which we'll explain in a moment...
January 10, 2021: Move Over, Hannibal Lecter
In news that none of us were expecting to wake up to, Armie Hammer starts trending online after allegedly exchanging messages with a fan that detail sexual assault and cannibalism fantasies.
An Instagram account called House of Effie shared screenshots on January 10 allegedly sent between Hammer and an anonymous woman. The screenshots track their reportedly years-long relationship and discuss drinking blood, sexual control, slavery, eating a warm deer's heart (what?) and cannibalism.
In one DM, Hammer allegedly describes himself as "100% a cannibal," telling the woman he wants to eat her. Another reads, "If I wanted to cut off one of your toes and keep it with me in my pocket so I always had a piece of you in my possession?" Another says, "I need to drink your blood. Why the distance?" (which makes some of the cooked messages I've received on Tinder look pretty tame).
A Moment Later: The Plot Thickens
Doubts start to pour in over the authenticity of the screenshots. Another set of DMs start circulating that apparently show the person behind House of Effie admitting to faking the whole thing.
The message they allegedly sent said, "it's all fake… but it was funny, wasn't it?" But House of Effie hits back, claiming that those DMs were fabricated by Hammer's "crazy fans".
The 'Evidence' Against Hammer
As the internet tries to piece together what's real and what's fake, more women come forward with similar claims. Some are shared again by House of Effie, but one woman going by the name Dominastya comes forward separately. She shares screenshots of conversations she'd had with the actor on Tumblr that follow creepily similar patterns.
One of the messages that House of Effie alleged was sent by Hammer included a man's hand lying on a script. The hand featured a small tattoo on the ring finger, which was strikingly similar to one that Hammer got a few years after his engagement to ex-wife Elizabeth Chamber.
Social media ties itself in knots trying to decipher what the fuck is going on. Then a writer named Jessica Ciencin Henriquez, who apparently once went on a date with Hammer, chimes in.
Shared from her private Twitter, she wrote, "If you are still questioning whether or not those Armie Hammer DMs are real (and they are) maybe you should start questioning why we live in a culture willing to give abusers the benefit of the doubt instead of victims." She then took to her Instagram stories to state it "takes an army to hide a predator." True.
13 January: Finally, He Speaks
After a few days of silence, Hammer finally comes forward to announce two things: he's dropping out of his upcoming film Shotgun Wedding with Jennifer Lopez, and he will not be commenting on the abuse claims.
In a statement to E! News, he said:
"I'm not responding to these bulls--t claims, but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot, in good conscience now, leave my children for four months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic. Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I'm grateful to them for that."
14 January: Yet More Abuse Claims
Often with abuse claims, it takes the courage of one accuser to prompt others to come forward. This was the case here, as Hammer's ex Courtney Vucekovich spoke to Page Six yesterday detailing harrowing aspects of their relationship.
The part of the story that most captured people's attention was when she stated Hammer had once said he wanted to break her rib, barbecue and eat it.
"F–k that was weird," she reportedly said upon reflection. "He says, 'I want to take a bite out of you.' If I had a little cut on my hand, he'd like suck it or lick it. That's about as weird as we got." Yikes.
Vucekovich went on to describe the horrific abuse she suffered in the relationship, which ended shortly before she checked herself into a 30-day partial hospitalisation program for PTSD and trauma. She spoke about therapy being key to healing from the toxic relationship.
Since this has all come out, someone claiming to be a close friend of Hammer's ex-wife has spoken to the media. According to the source, Elizabeth Chambers stated that she was "shocked and sickened" by the allegations, but "believes" the women coming forward.
So, There You Have It
The story initially made waves on Twitter, with countless memes and jokes about cannibalism doing the rounds. While the authentication of certain DMs were questioned, it's fair to say that some of these allegations are extremely serious.
Whether we choose to believe he's actually eaten people, some of these claims describe seriously heinous actions. The fact that he's already losing work is not insignificant.
We think icon Dionne Warwick (who has been entertaining fans with her new Twitter obsession) said it best:
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