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Armie Hammer under investigation following accusation of rape in 2017

The actor Armie Hammer is under investigation for sexual assault, Los Angeles police said Thursday.

Hammer is the main suspect in a sexual assault that was reported to police on 3 February, an LAPD spokesperson said. Police did not give further details.

The accuser, known as Effie, was 20 at the time of the alleged rape in 2017. After meeting the Call Me by Your Name star via Facebook months prior, she claims, they briefly dated while he was married.

Speaking at a press conference earlier in the day, Effie claimed that Hammer had raped her for four hours, during which he “repeatedly slammed” her face against a wall along with other “violent acts”. “I thought he was going to kill me,” she said.

Her attorney, Gloria Allred, hosted the press conference on Thursday, during which Effie spoke to journalists. Allred has passed all details, including an alleged picture of Effie’s injuries, to the police. During the Zoom conference, Allred also showed a picture of Effie and Hammer together.

When asked if they planned to file a lawsuit against the actor, Allred stated: “We have no plan or intention to do that at this time.”

In response, Hammer’s lawyer sent the Guardian an undated screengrab of text messages purporting to come from the accuser implying that she had been suggesting a form of extreme sex with the actor in July 2020.

“From day one, Mr Hammer has maintained that all of his interactions with [the accuser] – and every other sexual partner of his for that matter – have been completely consensual, discussed and agreed upon in advance, and mutually participatory. [Her] attention-seeking and ill-advised legal bid will only make it more difficult for real victims of sexual violence to get the justice they deserve.”

The allegation comes after months of alleged messages from Hammer being disseminated online concerning his sexual interests and after an ex-girlfriend, Paige Lorenze, spoke to Vanity Fair about an extreme relationship the pair shared. “You never know what you’re going to get with him – he’s kind of a scary person,” Lorenze said. “He would say things to me … weird stuff … like, ‘I want to eat your ribs.’”

In response to the original article, Hammer’s lawyer issued the following statement: “All interactions between Mr Hammer and his former partners were consensual. They were fully discussed, agreed upon in advance with his partners, and mutually participatory. The stories perpetuated on social media were designed to be salacious in an effort to harm Mr Hammer, but that does not make them true.”

Hammer and his ex-wife, Elizabeth Chambers, announced their divorce in July 2020.

In January, the actor stepped away from starring alongside Jennifer Lopez in the romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding. “I’m not responding to these bullshit claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for four months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic,” he said at the time.

He has since left the miniseries The Offer, set to tell the behind-the-scenes tale of how The Godfather was made.