[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Armie Hammer is free and clear — at least when it comes to criminal charges.
Fans were shocked when the Call Me By Your Name alum was accused of sexual abuse by multiple women. Multiple ex-lovers shared their DMs with the then-married star in early 2021, showing a predilection for abusive roleplay, BDSM, and even cannibal fantasies. Over the next few months, these women came forward to say this was no game to them; they left their relationships with Armie scarred, both physically and emotionally.
The woman who leaked the messages in the first place, though, her claims were different. Effie Angelova full-on accused the Lone Ranger star of raping her. In March 2021, she hired ace attorney Gloria Allred and made her accusations official, pushing the city of LA to open a criminal sexual assault investigation.
Over two years later, that investigation is over, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has decided not to charge Armie with assault or any other crimes!
In his first post back on Instagram in months, Armie released a thankful statement regarding the news, writing:
“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.”
He added in the caption:
“I would like to say a very special thank you to all of the people who have helped me get through this time. Onwards and upwards.”
Why was he “cleared”?? Tiffiny Blacknell, the Director of Communications for LA County DA George Gascón, said in a statement to the press:
“Sexual assault cases are often difficult to prove, which is why we assign our most experienced prosecutors to review them. 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.”
Explaining the reasoning, she continued:
“As prosecutors, we have an ethical responsibility to only charge cases that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. We know that it is hard for women to report sexual assault. Even when we cannot move forward with a prosecution, our victim service representatives will be available to those who seek our victim support services. 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.
“Inability to prove a non-consensual, forcible sexual encounter.” That’s the whole issue, isn’t it? Armie has maintained his innocence throughout all this, and sources say he thought he was being “kink-shamed” writ large, that his interest in consensual BDSM was being twisted into accusations of abuse and assault. And there’s no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he’s lying.
But that’s actual court. Not the court of public opinion. That’s the court that cost him several jobs, including starring opposite Jennifer Lopez in Shotgun Wedding. How will that be affected?
Society has become more willing to listen to women’s stories over the past few years, thankfully (though not always enough obvi). And the fact multiple women are telling these stories about the man? It’s no longer even “he said, she said” it’s “he said, they said.” It may not be a slam dunk court case, but most people have the sense that where there’s smoke there’s fire. And there’s so much smoke around this man who once had the makings of a lasting screen idol.
Notably of late? Armie’s interview with Air Mail, of all places, in which he ostensibly owned up to his mistakes and took responsibility for his exploitation of women. He said he was wrong for using women sexually and casting them aside but that he’d “never” cross the line of consent. However, Effie challenged multiple statements in that interview — and brought receipts in the form of DNs he’d sent her. It really looks like he was lying to make himself look better — which makes him look even more guilty.
But hey, what do we know? Maybe some in Hollywood will look at this legal clearing as a TOTAL EXONERATION and he’ll be back on our screens, whether many of us want it or not.
What do YOU think of the DA’s decision here??
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and would like to learn more about resources, consider checking out https://www.rainn.org/resources.
[Image via Armie Hammer/Instagram/FOX11/YouTube.]