In January of this year, 34-year-old American actor Armie Hammer was accused by several women of disrupting sexual behavior in connection with a fetish of cannibalism. Although no evidence has been presented, the actor came from a film in which he would star alongside Jennifer Lopez.
Armie is known for films like “Call Me By Your Name” or “The Social Network” and has denied all charges. Even so, his agents stopped working with him and left the cast of several other films and series, which quickly became a persona non grata in Hollywood.
Two months later, in March, Los Angeles police announced that they were investigating the allegation of a 24-year-old woman who alleged she was raped by Armie Hammer in April 2017. The alleged victim said she was mistreated more than four hours in Los Angeles and that gavel committed several violent and inconsistent acts during that time.
Hammer defended himself again through his attorney, who claimed the charge was outrageous and that all relationships between the actor had always been amicable. The case is being investigated and no conclusions have been drawn, but Armie Hammer’s promising career has been profoundly affected.
In the past few days, Deadline has reported that Armie Hammer’s aunt, Casey Hammer, is developing a documentary miniseries about family secrets. The production will be presented to multiple streaming platforms and television channels. Armie and Casey haven’t had a close relationship or talked to each other in over a decade, but her aunt commented on her nephew’s situation in a recent interview on the Juicy Scoop podcast.
“When this all started with Armie, I always said whoever went to them … It was the environment we grew up in – it was very violent, abusive and toxic,” said Casey Hammer.
“The story of the Hammer family is like that of ‘Succession’, but with steroids”, described two of the producers of the future series, Elli Hakami and Julian P. Hobbs, “Deadline”. Casey Hammer herself had previously said that she couldn’t fully watch the HBO series about a New York millionaire family and their power games because she got too close to her family’s trauma.
“It’s a dysfunctional dynasty where male characters show all the devastating consequences of privilege going wild,” added Hakami and Hobbs. “Now, for the first time, Casey Hammer will tell not only his story, but the ultimate family story as well, without telling anything.” Armie Hammer’s aunt had already written a memoir in 2015 called “Surviving My Birthright” in which she told many of these stories.
Julius, Armand and Julian Hammer
Julius Hammer, the great grandfather convicted of murder
Julius Hammer, the great-great-grandfather of Armie Hammer, was a Russian immigrant who moved to the Bronx neighborhood in New York, United States, in the early 20th century. He was a doctor and was convicted of murder in 1919 after he had the wife of a Russian diplomat who died a few days after the procedure had an abortion.
Armand Hammer, the influential oil and art mogul
However, the Hammer family’s millionaire fortune begins with Armand Hammer, the son of Julius and Armie’s great-grandmother (who is actually also called Armand). Born in the Bronx, he made his first million dollars buying large quantities of whiskey before the US banned the sale of alcohol.
In 1921 he traveled to Russia, the home of his parents, which was in the midst of a revolutionary process. He ended up spending about nine years in Europe, negotiating animal skins and other products, buying tsarist art at cheap prices, and developing a friendly relationship with Vladimir Lenin. In the decades that followed, when the US and Soviet Union became enemies and the Cold War began, Armand Hammer often served as the unofficial ambassador between the two countries.
He continued to make a fortune in America, particularly as an art dealer, and decided to change his life at 58 into some sort of early retirement in the mid-1950s when he moved to California. She invested in two oil wells owned by a company called Occidental Petroleum. The goal was primarily to have tax benefits rather than act as an investment, but oil gave so much money that it only added to the hammer millionaire’s fortune. The empire grew and grew.
However, the company has always been embroiled in various types of controversy. She has been accused on several occasions of using money to make illegal donations for political campaigns, including crimes of this kind. At the same time, Armand Hammer was known for donating millions of dollars to scientific research related to cancer and was a patron of the arts – although he did not escape the controversy in this area either.
Armand Hammer abandoned his collection at the LA County Art Museum after the institution refused to give in to demands from Hammer, who wanted the names of other donors removed, and next a huge portrait of himself and his wife on permanent display wanted to see the works of art.
Armand Hammer with Prince Carlos.
Armand Hammer, who was also friends with personalities like Prince Charles of Great Britain or the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, is described by his granddaughter Casey Hammer (Armie’s aunt) as the patriarch who controlled everything in the family. “It was like a chessboard and he controlled all the moves,” describes Casey Hammer.
Just before he died in 1990, Armand Casey had promised to leave him a sizable portion of the fortune, but the large part – $ 180 million – went to his brother Michael, Armie’s father.
Julian Hammer, the murderous grandfather and suspected sex offender
Casey Hammer’s disturbing accounts are mostly about his father Julian, the son of Armand Hammer. Casey remembers being a kid and waking up with a gunshot on Christmas Eve. His father was holding a loaded gun as he argued with his mother, who was beaten later that day (although she was not shot with a bullet). The next day, Natal, they acted as if nothing had happened when giving presents to the children. Casey Hammer points out that the family environment was utterly disturbed and toxic.
Casey says her father was a meth-addicted alcoholic – and claims he violently sexually abused her (and other family members) over the years. In the book he wrote, he recalls how many times her mother would wake her up in the middle of the night to flee to a hotel and escape her father’s drunken wrath. “My mother was always very afraid that he would kill us,” he writes in the book.
The problems weren’t over when Casey’s mother decided to leave her father and move to another town – and at the custody court hearing, Armand Hammer was adamant and verbally annihilated Casey’s mother, causing Julian to only get a pension with food to pay for about $ 200 a month.
When he came to California on the weekends, which it often did, Casey played in his room while orgies and drug use took place in the adjoining rooms. He found pornographic photos of his father and girlfriends several times and recalls that he was chased around the house once by his father’s ex-girlfriend, who was drugged and wielding a knife.
In addition, Julian Hammer had even committed a murder in the past. In 1955, on the morning of his 26th birthday, Julian killed a man in his home. The incident was triggered by a gambling fault. Julian was arrested at the time, but the charges were later dismissed.
Michael Hammer is now 65 years old.
The art gallery scandal – with Michael Hammer, Armie’s father
Unlike his ancestors, Michael Hammer, Armie’s father, doesn’t have such rocky stories about violence. However, he was the great heir to the family fortune and also inherited the Knoedler Art Gallery, one of New York’s most famous art galleries.
In 2009, the gallery’s president, Ann Freedman, resigned after learning of the mysterious origins of many of the paintings the gallery sold to millionaire collectors. Two years later the gallery collapsed.
An FBI investigation found that between 1994 and 2009 several paintings by well-known artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko or Willem de Kooning, which had sold for millions of dollars, were in fact copies. In total, Knödler was accused of deliberately selling 63 counterfeit paintings.
All damaged collectors reached agreements with the gallery owners through financial compensation. In the only case that went to court (which was later settled with a settlement), Michael Hammer was accused of using the gallery’s credit cards in support of his luxury lifestyle.