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Armie Hammer laughs about cannibalism allegations but says he’s ‘grateful’ for them

Armie Hammer looking serious in a blue suit, light shirt and maroon tie
Armie Hammer said his exile from Hollywood has allowed him to get sober, work on himself, mend his relationship with his father and grow closer to his kids.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)
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An introspective Armie Hammer laughed about the cannibalism allegations that were leveled against him during his precipitous fall from grace after he faced a brutalizing series of sexual misconduct allegations.

The “Call Me By Your Name” star on Sunday addressed his downfall, some of the “outlandish” accusations he faced and how the latest “happy and well-balanced” version of himself is “grateful” for everything that came his way. Citing 3? years of painful lessons about acceptance and having to deal with his issues without causing more “wreckage,” Hammer explained that his exile from Hollywood has allowed him to get sober, work on himself, mend his relationship with his ailing father and grow closer to his kids, of whom he lost partial custody during the sex scandal and his 2020 divorce from Elizabeth Chambers.

“There were things that people were saying about me that felt so outlandish — that I was a cannibal — now I’m able to look at it with a sense of distance and perspective and be like, that’s hilarious,” Hammer, 37, said Sunday on his friend Tyler Ramsey’s “Painful Lessons” podcast. “People called me a cannibal and everyone believed them. They’re like, yup, that guy ate people. Like, what? What are you talking about? Do you know what you have to do to be a cannibal? You have to eat people! How am I going to be a cannibal?! It was bizarre.”

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But “The Social Network” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” star said that he is now “grateful for every single bit of it.”

“I’m actually now at a place where I’m really grateful for it because where I was in my life before all of that stuff happened to me, I didn’t feel good. I never felt satisfied. I never had enough. I never was in a place where I was happy with myself, where I had self-esteem. I never knew how to give myself love. I never knew how to give myself self-validation but I had this job where I was able to get it from so many people that I never had to learn how to give it to myself.”

In a new interview with AirMail, the actor continues to deny any claims of nonconsensual sexual activity, while calling his behavior ‘selfish.’

Feb. 4, 2023

If ever he was feeling bad about himself, Hammer said he would go on Instagram and look at the comments on a selfie that he posted and that would make him feel good. Some of the allegations — including alleged text messages or voice notes delineating fantasies about him drinking blood, sexual domination and cannibalism — surfaced on the social media platform, with the stories eventually snowballing into a rape accusation and allegations that he coerced others to engage in aggressive sexual activities. )(Hammer has denied any nonconsensual sexual activity, and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said last year that it would not press charges against him.)

“No matter how much compliments, no matter how much adoration — whatever people were throwing my way — as soon as it went past the event horizon and into me, it was a black hole where it just disappeared. Nothing stuck and I didn’t feel good about myself,” Hammer said on the podcast. “But I had this tap that I could turn and get all of that and when that tap ran dry — it didn’t just run dry, it started running with hate on a global scale — it was a crisis, a spiritual crisis, an emotional crisis.”

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Sept. 2, 2022

The actor said he ultimately realized he had two options: He could let the hate destroy him, or he could use it as a lesson. He said he hit rock bottom and sought treatment for his addictions.

“In my case, it was an ego death, a career death. All of these deaths I experienced. That becomes part of what [writer] Joseph Campbell called the hero’s journey. I’m not saying that I’m a hero — I’m using Joseph Campbell’s words — the hero must die so the hero can be born again,” Hammer said.

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“The path I was on before, I was burning the candle pretty hard on both ends and there’s only a couple of different ways that that story ends. And I’m really grateful, it’s almost like a neutron bomb went off in my life. It killed all the people. It killed me. It killed my ego. It killed all the people around me that I thought were my friends that weren’t. All of those people [gone] in a flash. It went away, but the buildings are still standing. I’m still here. I still have my health and I’m really grateful for that,” he explained.

Hammer said he felt resentment and anger throughout that time but realized — through the work he’s done on himself — that “those aren’t going to do me any good anyway.”

“Whatever was said, whatever happened, whoever was involved, they were all, sort of in a grand cosmic sense, elements of me learning the lessons that I had to learn anyway. Instead of being resentful toward these people, maybe there’s a way I can be grateful for it,” he said.

The actor, who said he was suicidal during the ordeal, went to rehab in 2021 amid the sex scandal.

“There were a lot of times when I thought, I can’t take this anymore. Like, this is too much, this is more stress than a human being has ever been evolved to deal with. ... I was getting hate. I was getting hate before I knew how to give myself love … So it just went right in. … there was a time when I was standing at the shore and I swam out really far and just laying there ... a half-assed suicide attempt ... and it seemed like it was the only option for me. … But I thought I couldn’t do that to my kids, so I swam back. This is right when I had gotten sober,” he added. “I had to come to terms with the fact that sometimes you’re just going to feel like s—. “

‘Putting my life back together’ is what Armie Hammer said he’d be doing after the Los Angeles County D.A.’s office confirmed there would be no charges against the actor.

May 31, 2023

He said he sought out a dual diagnosis treatment center that dealt with addiction issues he has dealt with his entire life. The center, which he did not name, also helped him unpack the emotional and psychological aspects of his “multiple addictive behaviors,” specifically what he cited as his “maladaptive coping mechanisms,” why he has them and the “core wound” that led to them.

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The “tap root” of his addictive behaviors, he said, was sexual abuse he experienced as a child and certain ways he was raised.

“You can only connect the dots looking backwards. So, everything in my life falls apart. I lose all my representation. I lose all of my work. I lose everything, right? At the time I think this is the worst thing that ever happened to me,” he said.

In retrospect, and from “a much healthier perspective,” Hammer said that he was able to use his time away from the film and TV industry to spend quality time with his kids and being a caregiver for his father, businessman Michael Armand Hammer, who died in November 2022 of brain cancer.

“I was able to, for the last year of his life, take care of him. I changed his diapers. I cooked food for him. I took him to doctor appointments. I showed up as a son, as I should have showed up for my father,” the actor said. “If I had been working for those 3? years like I was working before, I would have been gone for 10 months a year. I would have missed the entire thing. Instead I got to sit there with my dad until the point that he cognitively declined where we couldn’t do this anymore.

“I would have never done that if I was still working. I was too self-involved,” he said. “That one year did so much to repair our relationship in so many different ways. When he passed there was obviously sadness that he passed, but there was no regret about how I spent that time.”

Hammer acknowledged that his once-thriving acting career is “nowhere now” but said he is hoping to get back into the industry by creating his “own sandbox” and writing a screenplay.

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