Warning: The following article contains details that may disturb some readers.
Armie Hammer has denounced a series of shocking leaked private messages allegedly sent by him to various women as "bullshit claims" and a "vicious online attack".
The Call Me By Your Name star has been the centre of a social media scandal since the messages emerged, in which Hammer appears to admit to being a cannibal, discusses rape fantasies, and talks about having "slaves", among other disturbing topics.
In a statement to TMZ, Hammer said that he would not be responding to what he called "bullshit claims," but announced he would be stepping down from his role in the upcoming Jennifer Lopez film Shotgun Wedding.
"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," Hammer's statement read.
"Lionsgate [the film's production company] is supporting me in this and I’m grateful to them for that."
The messages shared on social media - in which Hammer seemingly refers to women as his "kittens" and demands to "drink their blood" and cut off one of their toes to keep in his pocket - have not been verified. The anonymous Instagram account House of Effie, which shared the first screenshots, attempted to prove their authenticity by sharing private photos alleged to be sent by Hammer. In one of the images, Hammer poses with his hand around his own neck. In another, a man's hand with the same finger tattoo as the actor is shown placed over a script.
Meanwhile, one of Hammer's ex-girlfriends, Jessica Ciencin Henriquez, tweeted that she believed the messages shared online were real.
"If you are still questioning whether or not those Armie Hammer DMs are real (and they are) maybe you should start questioning why we live in a culture willing to give abusers the benefit of the doubt instead of victims," she wrote.
Henriquez later wrote on Insatgram: "It takes an army to hide a predator. Behind every abuser is a team of people working hard to cover up the trail."
Where to find help and support:
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584