The woman who allegedly spearheaded the tidal wave of sexual assault claims against Armie Hammer has now come forward to detail how she thought she was going to die during an alleged encounter in April 2017 in Los Angeles, where she claims she was violently raped by the actor over the course of four hours.
The woman, who is only being identified as Effie, said during a press conference that Hammer “repeatedly slammed my head against the wall, bruising my face. He also committed other acts of violence against me, to which I did not consent.”
Through tears, Effie, who was 20 at the time, claimed Hammer “beat my feet with a crop so they would hurt whenever I took a step for the next week.”
“During those four hours, I tried to get away, but he wouldn’t let me. I thought that he was going to kill me. He then left with no concern for my well-being. I was completely in shock, and I couldn’t believe that someone I loved did that to me.”
Following the press conference, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed it had launched a sexual assault investigation into Hammer. An LAPD spokesperson noted to The Daily Beast the investigation was initiated on Feb. 3.
Early this year, screenshots of unverified text exchanges between Hammer and extra-marital romantic partners began to surface on social media. The messages encompassed slave fantasies, cannibalism fantasies, blood sucking, and mutilation. A sample: “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: “I am 100% a cannibal. I want to eat you.”
At the time, Hammer issued a statement saying he would not address the “bullshit” claims. He stepped away from the Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding and the upcoming TV series The Offer, and weeks later his talent agency, WME, gave him the boot.
Effie came forward in a Zoom press conference with her lawyer Gloria Allred on Thursday afternoon. Allred would not confirm whether Effie was behind the Instagram account HouseofEffie, which began making similar claims against the actor in January. However, all indications suggest that she is.
Allred said that Effie had provided evidence to law enforcement of the alleged rape, including photos of her injuries. She would not comment on whether Effie was pursuing a civil case against Hammer.
In her statement, Effie said she met the father-of-two on Facebook in 2016.
“I fell in love with him instantly,” she said. “The relationship progressed rapidly, and the emotions from both sides became really intense. Looking back, it is now clear to me, he was employing manipulation tactics in order to exert control over me until I started to lose myself.”
“He would often test my devotion to him, removing and crossing my boundaries, as he became increasingly more violent. He abused me mentally, emotionally, and sexually,” Effie said through tears. “I tried so hard to justify his actions, even to the point of responding to him in a way that did not reflect my true feelings. During and since this attack, I have lived in fear of him. For a long time, I tried to dismiss his actions towards me as a twisted form of love.”
“Now that he no longer has any power over me, I have come to understand that the immense mental hold he held over me was incredibly damaging on many levels,” she continued. “His abuse traumatized me to the point where, for months, I was unable to stop crying. I couldn’t sleep or I’d have night terrors. I was constantly emotionally distressed, and I lost interest in living. I couldn't comprehend and overcome what he had done to me. Over the years since the assault, on many occasions, the invasive flashbacks were so excruciating that they made me feel there was no way out but to take my own life.”
Effie concluded her statement by saying that by speaking out she hopes that Hammer “will be held accountable.” “I feel immense guilt for not speaking out sooner because I feel that I might have been able to save others from becoming victims,” she said. “By speaking out today. I hope to prevent others from falling victim to him in the future. I want other survivors of sexual assault around the world to feel empowered and know that they are heard, believed, understood, and loved.”
In a statement, Hammer’s attorney Andrew Brettler refuted Effie’s allegations, describing them as “outrageous” and “attention seeking.” He included sexually explicit texts allegedly sent by Effie, which he claims “undermine” her accusations.
“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,” the statement reads in part. It echoed the comment the attorney gave Vanity Fair ahead of the magazine’s Hammer exposé, which published last week.
Perhaps anticipating this, Allred pre-empted Effie’s statement by telling reporters, “It is important to emphasize that even if a sexual partner agrees to certain sex activity, she still has a right at any point to withdraw her consent... Even if a partner consents to some sexual acts, that does not mean that there is consent to any and all sexual conduct with her. It should also not be interpreted as consent to sexual abuse or criminal violence against her.”
In a statement after the presser, Allred rebutted Brettler’s comment: “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.”