In his Air Mail interview, Hammer alleged that he was molested by a youth pastor who abused him when he was 13 years old. Hammer said his interest in BDSM stemmed from that abuse.
“What that did for me was it introduced sexuality into my life in a way that it was completely out of my control. I was powerless in the situation. I had no agency in the situation,” Hammer said. “Sexuality was introduced to me in a scary way where I had no control. My interests then went to: I want to have control in the situation, sexually.”
Of the alleged childhood trauma, Air Mail reported that Hammer told an older friend, who has since died, and his godmother, Candace Garvey, who confirmed the account to the publication.
As for his suicide attempt after the allegations against him surfaced, the actor explained, “I just walked out into the ocean and swam out as far as I could and hoped that either I drowned, or was hit by a boat, or eaten by a shark. Then I realized that my kids were still on shore, and that I couldn’t do that to my kids.”
Hammer’s troubles were first made public in January 2021, when numerous women came forward with allegations of misconduct and shared alleged messages from the star centered around BDSM and cannibalistic fantasies.
The actor was soon after dropped by his talent agency WME and his personal publicist, and later exited several acting projects, including Shotgun Wedding opposite Jennifer Lopez and Gaslit opposite Julia Roberts and Sean Penn, plus The Godfather-inspired Paramount+ series The Offer, as well as Taika Waititi‘s Next Goal Wins.
One of the biggest allegations against Hammer came from a woman named Effie with ties to a social media account called House of Effie, who claimed that they had been in a lengthy relationship and the actor had sexually assaulted her.
Effie previously appeared in a press conference in 2021, where she further accused Hammer of “mentally, emotionally and sexually” abusing her during their on-and-off four-year relationship. Hammer was married to Elizabeth Chambers at the time of the alleged affair.
Reporting in the Air Mailpiece disputes Effie’s claim, however, as one of the writers of the article said the publication obtained direct messages that Effie sent to Hammer’s former wife, where she allegedly detailed the affair and wrote, “I was pretty much chasing him.”
Then, days before the Hammer scandal broke, Air Mail said that Effie shared a direct message with a follower on Instagram that said the sex she had with Hammer was “consensual,” that he was “such an amazing Daddy,” and that he “is not dangerous. He didn’t rape anyone.”
When asked by another follower if she had “legal representation” the following day, the outlet said that Effie responded, “I’m not saying he raped me, no need for legal rep.”
And though Effie would go on to allege that Hammer sexually assaulted her, the actor maintained to Air Mail that the time they had sex that she referred to as rape was a “scene” planned in advance.
“She planned all of the details out, all the way down to what Starbucks I would see her at, how I would follow her home, how her front door would be open and unlocked and I would come in, and we would engage in what is called a ‘consensual non-consent scene,’ CNC,” Hammer said. “Every single thing was discussed beforehand. I have never thrust this on someone unexpectedly. Never.”
Hammer also responded to accusations from two other women he was involved with, Paige Lorenze and Courtney Vucekovich, the latter of whom appeared in the Hammer-focused Discovery+ docuseries, House of Hammer.
Acknowledging that “the power dynamics were off” and admitting that he was “one million percent” emotionally abusive towards both women, Hammer told Air Mail, “I would have these younger women in their mid-20s, and I’m in my 30s. I was a successful actor at the time. They could have been happy to just be with me and would have said yes to things that maybe they wouldn’t have said yes to on their own. That’s an imbalance of power in the situation.”
“I had a very intense and extreme lifestyle, and I would scoop up these women, bring them into it —into this whirlwind of travel and sex and drugs and big emotions flying around — and then as soon as I was done, I’d just drop them off and move on to the next woman, leaving that woman feeling abandoned or used,” he added.
Hammer also told Air Mail that he is ready to turn over a new leaf. “I’m here to own my mistakes, take accountability for the fact that I was an asshole, that I was selfish, that I used people to make me feel better, and when I was done, moved on. And treated people more poorly than they should have been treated,” he said.
According to Air Mail, Hammer entered rehab for drug and alcohol abuse at the end of May 2021. “I’m now a healthier, happier, more balanced person. I’m able to be there for my kids in a way I never was. I’m able to be there for my dad as he’s dying in a way that I would have never been able to be,” he said. (Hammer’s father, Michael Hammer, died in November 2022, three weeks after Air Mail said they interviewed the actor).
“I’m truly grateful for my life and my recovery and everything. I would not go back and undo everything that’s happened to me,” Hammer added.
The Call Me by Your Name actor also noted that he is working as a sober companion for another recovering addict out of rehab.
“I’m going to move in with him and live with him, get him on a healthy routine, get him into a good schedule of [recovery] meetings, take him to the gym, cook healthy food for him,” Hammer detailed. “It feels like my recovery has taken a turn from me being the one who needs help staying sober, to me being able to help others.”
Hammer then confirmed a Vanity Fair report that Robert Downey Jr. supported him amid his time in rehab.
“There are examples everywhere, Robert being one of them, of people who went through those things and found redemption through a new path. And that, I feel like, is what’s missing in this cancel-culture, woke-mob business,” Hammer said. “The minute anyone does anything wrong, they’re thrown away. There’s no chance for rehabilitation.”
Hammer also reflected on the chances of making a comeback in Hollywood during his chat with Air Mail, telling the publication he doesn’t see it happening anytime soon.
“No one will hire me. No one will insure me. I can’t get bonded for a project — nothing,” he said. “And no one will touch me because if they hire me, then they are the people who support abusers.”
Hammer continued, “And then they’re liable to get canceled themselves because this fire that is burning itself through town — when they throw someone like me on the fire to protect themselves, what they don’t realize is happening is all they’re doing is making the fire bigger. And that fire is now out of control and it’s going to burn everyone. And they’re just continually throwing people on it as sacrifices to protect themselves.”