A rotten apple doesn't fall far from the tree, according to Discovery+'s "House of Hammer."
The three-part docuseries (now streaming) details the allegations of abuse and sexual assault against actor Armie Hammer, known for roles such as "The Social Network" and "Call Me by Your Name," including an alleged rape currently under investigation by the Los Angeles police.
Courtney Vucekovich, who says she dated Hammer for several months in 2020, shares the dark moments of their relationship in "House of Hammer." Artist Julia Morrison, who says she never met Hammer in person, reveals his disturbing messages.
Hammer, who strongly denied all accounts of his alleged crimes and unconventional sexual practices, declined to be interviewed for "House of Hammer," according to directors Elli Hakami and Julian P. Hobbs. A rep for Hammer, 36, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the documentary.
Hammer's aunt, Casey Hammer, tells the filmmakers the alleged behavior is in line with the Hammers who came before him, men who supposedly relied on flushed wallets and weak moral compasses to evade the law.
Here are the most shocking claims about Hammer and his family from "House of Hammer":
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Vucekovich says she first spotted Hammer in her hometown of Dallas in late 2019, but the two didn't speak. They followed each other on Instagram, and the actor sent her a direct message in June 2020. Hammer said he and his then-wife, Bird Bakery founder Elizabeth Chambers, had separated.
Vucekovich says she and Hammer were in "constant communication." From "the second he woke up to we'd fall asleep on the phone together." She says Hammer quickly spilled "intimate details about his parents (and) family secrets" making her believe he felt "really safe" with her. Hammer also showered her with compliments on her looks, intelligence and sense of humor.
"He's like, 'I feel such an intense connection with you. Is that crazy? Are we being crazy?'" Vucekovich remembers. "Between the love bombing and the attention, I felt this was all perfect, this was amazing, this was what we're all taught to think is a fairytale when we're little."
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'Armie wanted total control of me'
Vucekovich and Hammer finally met in person when she flew to Los Angeles in August 2020. They spent a mostly dreamy three weeks together at Twentynine Palms, a city about 140 miles east of LA. But there were times Hammer's true intentions cracked his leading-man veneer. He shopped for ropes at a tractor supply store and did something to Vucekovich that she did not consent to. She deemed the act, which she refused to discuss further, "very degrading, very belittling."
On another road trip, which took them to Sedona, Arizona, Hammer tied Vucekovich with ropes. "The ropes were around your neck, your wrists, your ankles, behind your back," she says. "I had bruises. I hated it… It didn’t feel safe. I didn't feel loved. It was just horrible… I'm just closing my eyes until it ended, and he just went to sleep like it was nothing.”
Vucekovich documented the evening in her journal, writing that "Armie wanted total control of me and absolute compliance, destroying any sense of bodily autonomy, (which was) his ultimate fantasy."
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Armie Hammer 'used BDSM as a smokescreen, ultimately to hurt women'
Hammer's violent sexual fantasies are addressed in the docuseries. It opens with a chilling voice message from Hammer talking about his "bag of goodies,” including Shibari rope for bondage. “My bet was going to involve showing up at your place and completely tying you up and incapacitating you and then being able to do whatever I wanted to every single hole in your body until I was done with you,” he said.
To Morrison, he wrote of “a fantasy about having someone prove their love and devotion and tying them up in a public place at night and making their body free use.” In footage from a February 2021 appearance on "The Dr. Oz Show," Hammer's ex Paige Lorenze says the actor would initiate evenings "built around inflicting pain on the submissive one in the relationship, which was me." On one occasion, she says he carved his first initial into her flesh.
Damiana Chi, a professional dominatrix and bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism, or BDSM, educator interviewed in "House of Hammer," explains: "The traditional motto for BDSM is 'safe, sane and consensual.' Most commonly in the dom/sub relationship, the scenes are all centered around the (submissives') fantasies. Safety and trust are right there. It's the foundation of the BDSM relationship."
Lorenze told Mehmet Oz she believes Hammer "used BDSM as a smokescreen, ultimately to hurt women and inflict pain on women, which is the scariest part."
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Hammer family behavior 'deep-rooted'
Casey, the sister of Armie's dad, businessman Michael Hammer, says allegations about her nephew weren't shocking. "This behavior is deep-rooted.”
Armand, Armie's great-grandfatherindustrialist, allegedly made bribes, according to the documentary, and pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to Richard Nixon's Committee for the Re-election of the President. (Armand was pardoned by George H. W. Bush in 1989.)
Armand's son, Julian Armand Hammer, was charged with the shooting death of his friend Bruce Whitlock in 1955. According to the docuseries, Armand escaped prosecution by throwing money at it. According to Casey, her family believed “you could get away with murder; you could do anything. There was no accountability.”
Casey, who penned a tell-all she self-published in 2015, entitled "Surviving My Birthright," says her father, Julian, sexually abused her.
Vucekovich says Armie even boasted about his family's misdeeds. “Armie talked a lot about the evilness of the men in his family – his dad, his grandpa, his great-grandpa," she says. "But he didn’t sound like he was ashamed of it. It’s almost like it was a badge of honor.”
Contributing: Naledi Ushe
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Discovery+ House of Hammer documentary: Shocking claims of Armie, clan
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