*The following article contains discussion of sexual assault.
Few Hollywood falls from grace have been as rapid and precipitous as actor Armie Hammer's, who went from being the star of an Oscar-nominated film in 2017 to a pariah in just four short years amid multiple allegations of sexual assault and mental abuse.
The accusations against Hammer are nothing short of shocking, even for post-#MeToo Hollywood, including rape, physical abuse and a sexual obsession with cannibalism.
If that sounds far-fetched to you, you're certainly not alone--but a member of Hammer's family is speaking out about the allegations, and she "wasn't shocked" by them in the least.
In a new interview, Armie Hammer's aunt Casey says Armie's abuses are "learned behavior" that is typical for male members of the Hammer clan, as she reveals in the new Discovery+ series House of Hammer she developed about her family.
Casey Hammer described Armie Hammer's as part of a long family pattern.
“You don't just wake up one morning and become a monster, it’s a learned behavior."
"It's something that I believe, based on my experience, I saw it from one generation to another and it just gets worse and worse and worse. So that's why I wasn't shocked."
Casey Hammer went on to place the allegations against her nephew in the context of a family history of erratic and even criminal behavior by men vying for control and approval that began with the family's oil-baron patriarch Armand Hammer, Armie Hammer's great-grandfather.
“You had my grandfather, my father, my brother [Armie Hammer's father], all vying for control, all vying to get my grandfather's attention out in public."
"My father was in and out of mental institutions and things needed to be covered up. He murdered someone and my grandfather turned that around and made it self defense and covered it up..."
"...[M]y grandfather had a lot of money, so he could control what was reported and what wasn't... [H]e hosted parties, hosted royalty, heads of state, presidents, movie stars..."
"...[E]veryone wanted to be on that guest list, and the people that were, didn't talk about what really happened inside.”
And when it comes to women, Casey Hammer described the men in her family as having particularly troubling views.
“Women in my family were disposable, we were ornaments."
"I was told that as long as I behaved and looked pretty and said the right things and didn't embarrass my family, that I would be taken care of for the rest of my life. So that's basically how, from my grandfather down, they viewed women."
Casey says his approach toward women included sexual abuse, which she suffered at the hands of her father Julian Hammer throughout her childhood, an experience she said "almost killed me a million times."
On Twitter, many applauded Casey Hammer for speaking out.
But some were skeptical of Casey Hammer's motives, especially given her high-level involvement in House of Hammer's creation.
Armie Hammer denies the allegations against him, and insists that all sexual encounters between him and his partners have been consensual.
If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault, help is out there. You can reach the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline by calling 1-800-656-4673, use their Live Chat tool: https://www.rainn.org/get-help, or visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
In Canada, help is available through the Ending Violence Association of Canada website.International resources can be found through the Rape Crisis Network Europe website.