Armie Hammer won't face sex assault charges in LA case

 

by IANS |

Los Angeles, June 1 (IANS) The Los Angeles County District Attorney's (DA) office has decided not to file sexual assault charges against actor Armie Hammer, following a lengthy investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

In a statement, the DA's office said it could not prove rape allegations beyond a reasonable doubt, in part due to the "complexity of the relationship" between Hammer and the accuser, reports 'Variety'.

According to 'Variety', the accuser, who was previously identified as Effie, reported Hammer to the police in February 2021.

She claimed that Hammer had been physically abusive during an on-and-off relationship that spanned four years, and said that he had violently raped her in 2017.

Hammer has vehemently denied her allegations.

The DA's office said that it assigns experienced prosecutors to review sexual assault investigations.

"In this case, those prosecutors conducted an extremely thorough review, but determined that at this time, there is insufficient evidence to charge Mr. Hammer with a crime," the office said.

"As prosecutors, we have an ethical responsibility to only charge cases that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubta Due to the complexity of the relationship and inability to prove a non-consensual, forcible sexual encounter we are unable to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt."

Following Effie's accusation and those of other women, Hammer's career has been severely damaged.

Hammer, who starred in 'The Social Network' and 'Call Me by Your Name', has not worked in Hollywood since allegations surfaced in early 2021.

Allegations against Hammer first exploded on social media via an Instagram account run by Effie. Other women soon joined with their own allegations on social media, creating a flurry of viral headlines, including accusations of cannibalistic and BDSM fetishes that women said were used as a smokescreen for emotional and physical abuse.

Hammer was dropped by his agency, WME, and was fired from all of his TV and film projects on deck. He has not acted since the allegations hit, and has only been featured in one movie, Disney's 'Death on the Nile', which would have been too expensive to re-shoot, though Hammer did not participate in any press for the February 2022 film.

Hammer has continuously denied any wrongdoing, and has maintained that all sexual relationships were consensual. He gave his first interview this February where he said contemplated suicide after the scandal erupted.

He denied criminal wrongdoing, but admitted to being "an a*****e" and "selfish" and living a "very intense and extreme lifestyle".

"Every single thing was discussed beforehand. I have never thrust this on someone unexpectedly. Never," Hammer said to Air Mail.

"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."

In that interview, Hammer said he has improved through his recovery, and has been working as a sober companion to a fellow recovering addict out of rehab. He said Robert Downey Jr. had been supporting him through rehab.

He also spoke against "cancel culture" in the Air Mail interview, saying: "The minute anyone does anything wrong, they're thrown away. There's no chance for rehabilitation."

After Effie had reported Hammer to the police, she retained attorney Gloria Allred, who appeared with her during a March 2021 press conference in which Effie claimed she had been the victim of mental, emotional and sexual abuse.

Allred confirmed to Variety in September 2022 that she no longer represents Effie, commenting: "I have no additional comment, except to say that the allegation that she fired me is absolutely false."

The disgraced actor was the subject of a three-part documentary, 'House of Hammer' on Discovery+, which delved deeply into accusations raised by two other women. The docuseries also covered Hammer's family history; he is the great-grandson of oil tycoon Armand Hammer. (Allred appeared as a talking head in 'House of Hammer', and Effie condemned her on-camera appearance afterword.)

Hammer's lawyers have adamantly denied the allegations as "outrageous" from the beginning, stating that the actor's relationship with Effie was entirely consensual. They also released text messages from Hammer to Effie, in which he appeared to reject her sexual requests: "I am not going to be able to engage in you in that specific way right now," he wrote in one of the messages. Hammer's attorney, Andrew Brettler, said that Effie continued to send "graphic texts to Mr. Hammer telling him what she wanted him to do to her" after she alleges she was raped.

"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," Brettler previously said in a statement to 'Variety'.

The DA's office said that it recognizes that it is difficult for women to report sexual assault, and said that victim support services are available even when charges are not filed.

Hammer released a statement on Instagram, saying "I am very grateful to the District Attorney for conducting a thorough investigation and coming to the conclusion that I have stood by this entire time, that no crime was committed. I look forward to beginning what will be a long difficult process of putting my life back together now that my name is cleared."

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