Two years after Armie Hammer was first accused of sexual assault and sending NSFW messages to multiple women, the actor is speaking out for the first time.
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“Every single thing was discussed beforehand. I have never thrust this on someone unexpectedly. Never,” the Call Me By Your Name star, 36, told Air Mail in a rare interview published on Saturday, February 4. “That’s a very important part of the BDSM world. The consent. Because you’re doing things that are pushing envelopes.”
He continued: “You’re doing things that are beyond the [realm of] ‘Let’s have missionary sex with the lights off.’ You have to have that trust. You have to have that vulnerability with someone. You have to have that aspect of ‘I am willingly giving my control over to this person.’ You know, the sub [the submissive partner] is the one who actually has all the power. Always. They’re the ones who can say ‘stop’ at any moment. They’re the ones who set the boundaries.”
Hammer further revealed in the Friday interview that his BDSM interests first began after he was allegedly sexually abused at the age of 13 by a youth pastor at his family’s church.
“What that did for me was it introduced sexuality into my life in a way that it was completely out of my control,” the Rebecca actor said. “I was powerless in the situation. I had no agency in the situation. My interests then went to: I want to have control in the situation, sexually.”
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The California native, who previously never publicly discussed the alleged childhood assault, explained that the incident “set a dangerous precedent in my life” as he sought ways to be in control with romantic partners.
“Being out of control was very dangerous for me and very uncomfortable,” Hammer claimed, denying the accusations that he has ever engaged in non-consensual sex. “The whole point of this is mutual pleasure. If you’re engaged in some sort of sexual act with someone and they’re not enjoying themselves, for me, I’m not enjoying myself. When two people are engaged in something, especially an intense scene, the symbiosis of it is what makes it magical.”
News broke in January 2021 that Hammer had allegedly sent multiple women explicit messages about his sexual fantasies, including rape, mutilation and cannibalism. At the time, several alleged victims also accused the Social Network star of sexual assault, which he has since denied.
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“I’m here to own my mistakes, take accountability for the fact that I was an asshole, that I was selfish, that I used people to make me feel better, and when I was done, moved on. And treated people more poorly than they should have been treated,” the Mirror, Mirror actor told Air Mail.
In his Friday sit-down, the actor also confessed that he had cheated on then-wife Elizabeth Chambers in 2017 during a time when he was “miserable” and “unhappy.” Hammer confirmed that he had an affair with Effie Angelova, one of the women who accused him of assault, though he has maintained that their relationship was consensual.
The Gossip Girl alum and the 40-year-old Bird Box founder— who has since moved on with boyfriend Ricardas Kazinec — announced their separation in July 2020 after 13 years together.
“Our divorce is not finalized,” the bakery owner, who shares daughter Harper and son Ford with Hammer, later told E! News in September 2022. “But we are in a really great place. We talk all the time. We’re committed fully and wholly to our children, and to being together as much as possible in a non-romantic way for our kids. Kids need their mom; kids need their dad. So there’s nothing we won’t do.”
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As the pair continue coparenting their 6-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter, Hammer has also admittedly worked on himself.
“If someone came up to me and gave me a magic lamp and said, ‘There’s a genie in here, but it only gives you one wish. If you rub this lamp, the genie will come out and take you back two years in the past, and you could undo all of this,’ I wouldn’t do it,” the On the Basis of Sex actor said in the Friday profile. “I’m now grateful for everything that’s happened to me, because, as it says in the ‘Twelve and Twelve’ [Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, the guidebook of Alcoholics Anonymous], pain is the touchstone of spiritual progress.”
He continued: “I’m now a healthier, happier, more balanced person. I’m able to be there for my kids in a way I never was. I’m able to be there for my dad as he’s dying in a way that I would have never been able to be [before his November 2022 passing]. I’m truly grateful for my life and my recovery and everything. I would not go back and undo everything that’s happened to me.”
If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support. If you have experienced sexual assault, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for confidential support. To report child abuse, consult the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Welfare Information Gateway for state-specific reporting phone numbers.
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