The Los Angeles Police Department on Thursday said it launched a sexual assault investigation after a woman accused actor Armie Hammer of raping her in 2017.
The accuser, identified only as 24-year-old “Effie” by her attorney Gloria Allred, said she was in an on-and-off relationship with the “Call Me By Your Name” actor until 2020.
Effie said she met him online in 2016 and their relationship “progressed rapidly” and “he became increasingly more violent.”
“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. He also committed other acts of violence against me to which I did not consent,” Effie said in a virtual news conference with her attorney.
“I thought that he was going to kill me,” she added.
LAPD said investigators were contacted on Feb. 3 by an attorney representing a female community member.
“After speaking with the community member, the Department initiated a Sexual Assault Investigation which is being investigated by the Special Assault Section,” LAPD told KTLA in a statement. Police released no further details on the ongoing investigation.
While LAPD didn’t name the victim in the case, an unnamed source told the Los Angeles Times that the report was filed by Effie.
Effie said she was left traumatized after the alleged assault and is now speaking out in hopes that it wouldn’t happen to anyone else.
“Looking back, it is now clear to me he was employing manipulation tactics in order to exert control over me,” she said.
Hammer’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, strongly refuted Effie’s claims in a statement Friday and said all of Hammer’s sexual encounters have been consensual. He shared screenshots of graphic sexual messages he alleges Effie sent the actor last year.
“Effie Angelova’s own correspondence with Mr. Hammer undermines and refutes her outrageous allegations,” the attorney’s statement said in part.
Allred urged against victim blaming in the briefing Thursday.
“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 shared a photo of Effie and Hammer together after the news briefing.
Hammer has been embroiled in controversy after an anonymous Instagram account leaked disturbing messages he allegedly sent. Since then, he has dropped out of multiple projects, the Los Angeles Times reported.