A woman publicly accused actor Armie Hammer of raping her in 2017, and police confirmed Thursday that an investigation has been opened.
The woman, who identified herself as Effie, gave a statement Thursday with her attorney, Gloria Allred, in which she claimed that she began an affair with Hammer, who was married at the time, in 2016, when she was 20, after having spoken to him on Facebook. Effie alleged that Hammer abused her physically and emotionally and that he employed "manipulation tactics in order to exert control" over her.
Andrew Brettler, an attorney for Hammer, on Thursday denied the allegations of sexual assault but did not deny that Hammer had had a relationship with Effie.
"On April 24th, 2017, Armie Hammer violently raped me for over four hours in Los Angeles, during which he repeatedly slammed my head against a wall, bruising my face," Effie said. "He also committed other acts of violence against me to which I did not consent. I thought that he was going to kill me."
The affair lasted about four years and ended last year, Effie said. She said that during that time she "tried to dismiss his actions towards me as a twisted form of love" and that she has been in emotional distress.
"I couldn't comprehend and overcome what he had done to me," Effie said. "Over the years since the assault, on many occasions the invasive flashbacks were so excruciating they made me feel there was no way out but to take my own life. I just wanted the pain to stop."
In a statement, Brettler said Hammer's relationships with Effie and all other sexual partners "have been completely consensual, discussed and agreed upon in advance, and mutually participatory."
The statement said that Effie's public accusations were an "attention seeking and ill-advised legal bid" and that they "will only make it more difficult for real victims of sexual violence to get the justice they deserve."
Brettler also provided a screenshot of a sexually explicit message that he alleged Effie sent to Hammer, which he claimed "refutes her outrageous allegations."
Allred pushed back against Brettler's claims, saying that even though someone might consent to some sexual activity, that does not mean "there is consent to any and all sexual conduct with her."
"It is important to emphasize that even if a sexual partner agrees to certain sexual activity, she still has a right at any point to withdraw her consent," Allred said. "If she does withdraw her consent and asks her partner to stop for any reason, he is legally and morally obligated to stop. If he does not stop, he is then at risk of committing a crime against her."
Allred said Effie "has provided her evidence to law enforcement and she encourages others to also provide evidence to them if they believe that their evidence might assist in an investigation of Mr. Hammer."
"I challenge Armie Hammer to present all, not some, of his communications with Effie to the Los Angeles Police Department and answer all of their questions directly rather than through his lawyers," Allred said.
In response to a question about the rape allegation, the Los Angeles Police Department said an attorney contacted police about an allegation of assault on a female community member on Feb. 3 and that an investigation was opened following a conversation with the woman.
The department's Operations West Bureau is handling the investigation. Historically, high-profile cases such as these were handled by the Sex Crimes Unit in the Robbery-Homicide Division, but the unit was eliminated because of a $150 million hit to the police department's budget last year.
Hammer's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment about a criminal investigation.