Not so long ago, Armie Hammer’s name elicited little reaction. He was another conventionally handsome actor whose greatest offense was perhaps snagging a role that could have gone to a gay man. That all changed early last year when an outpouring of women emerged to allege the actor had abused them, physically and emotionally. While much of the focus was aimed at Hammer’s alleged cannibal fantasies and penchant for sending odd texts and voice memos, one woman alleged Hammer had raped her for four hours, prompting an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.
In the wake of the allegations, Hammer’s aunt, Casey Hammer, emerged as an unlikely narrator in the saga, even helping to develop a three-part docuseries about her nephew and their family, House of Hammer, that begins streaming on Discovery+ this Friday. Casey says witnessing and experiencing abuse at the hands of male family members in the Hammer clan left her “unsurprised” by revelations about Armie, who is named after his great-grandfather, the late oil tycoon Armand Hammer.
“Based on my experiences in my family, I suffered from abuse. It was just a way of life,” she told the Daily Beast in a Wednesday interview. Of Armie, she said, “You don’t wake up one day and become a monster—it’s learned behavior. Once [the allegations] started unfolding, I was like, here we go, another Hammer man and something that’s being said about them.”
In House of Hammer, allegations against Armie—including powerful interviews with some of the women who say he harmed them—will be a launching point into the twisted Hammer family lineage. The twisted family stories Casey provides are seemingly endless: Growing up, Casey says, she bore witness to many of her male family members entertaining underage mistresses, regularly consuming illegal drugs including meth, and frequent violence and gun use. She says her own father, Julian—Armie’s great-uncle—was violent and abusive.
“I couldn’t watch Succession because I was getting triggered, and I’m here to tell you that I’m the real-life Succession—and I’m still standing,” Casey told the outlet of the popular dark comedy about a dysfunctional, power-hungry family that runs a corrupt media empire. “I’m not Hollywood’s version. I wasn’t written or scripted. And the Hammer family is a million times worse than Succession.”
In a trailer for House of Hammer, she accuses her family of “making deals with the devil,” stating, “I know my grandfather had a dark side, but I saw my father’s dark side first hand. And I’ve seen my brother’s dark side. It was like a monster unleashed. Now it’s Armie Hammer.”
The tales she’s divulged thus far in media interviews ahead of the docuseries’s release are chilling. “As a little girl, holding a phone book and being shot at—most people are horrified by that. But to me, it was a normal thing that happened in my family,” she recalled to the Daily Beast. Gun violence by male family members was practically an everyday activity in her household. In 1955, a few years before Casey was born, she says her father quite literally “got away with murder,” shooting and killing a man to whom he owed $400 and suspected of trying to seduce his wife. According to family lore, Armand, her grandfather, paid off a lawyer, Julian claimed self-defense, and charges were dropped.
Casey called her childhood “quite exhilarating and terrifying,” not unlike a secret society—but as a woman and, once, a little girl, she herself was victimized by her family. In her 2015 memoir, Casey recalls being sexually abused by Julian as a child. In the later years of her father’s life, she says she was forced to “baby-sit” him so he didn’t kill himself in a drug-induced, delusional state: “I let him hold a .357 Magnum to my temple every hour and make me open my eyes to see if I was possessed by aliens, and if I was, he was going to shoot me,” she said. “People focus on the physical and sexual abuse, but mental abuse can go a lot farther in terms of the brainwashing and the controlling.”
As recently as 2021, Casey, who inherited $1.4 million from her grandfather’s nearly $800 million estate, told Vanity Fair she had $100 in her bank account, and that she’d never expected she “would end up financially challenged, single, and working at Home Depot, I would have bet you a million dollars that wouldn’t have happened.” Still, she expressed gratitude that she’d “[gotten] away from the Hammer genetic trail.”
Casey says she was inspired to help make House of Hammer to lift up the “bright, intelligent women” who have been harmed and disempowered by Hammer men—from herself to the numerous women who say they were abused by her nephew. She told Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, “They’re very smart and intelligent and successful women that just got sucked into that vacuum of being brainwashed and manipulated and controlled, and all of sudden they’re stuck in this and they don’t know how to get out.”
In a recent trailer for House of Hammer, Armie’s ex-girlfriends Courtney Vucekovich and Julia Morrison recount unsettling memories from their relationships, with screenshots and voice recordings to back up their claims. First, they recall “perfect” relationships with Armie. “But then things changed. He pushes your boundaries a little bit at a time,” Vucekovich said. “You’re his, completely. I mean, he said, ‘I’m 100 percent a cannibal.’” He allegedly told both women he would control what they eat, “when you cum,” and every aspect of their lives. Morrison told the docu-crew that cannibalism “was all [Armie] wanted to ever talk about.” Another woman, Paige Lorenze, who dated Armie in 2020 while she was in college, has accused him of branding her and talking to her about removing and eating one of her ribs.
Armie has previously denied that any aspects of his sexual relationships were nonconsensual, and he unilaterally denied the rape allegation. Last we heard from Armie, he was (pretty much) confirmed to be selling timeshares in the Cayman Islands.