News & Opinion | June 9, 2021 7:20 pm

What Should We Make of Armie Hammer Checking Into Rehab?

Is it a PR move, a genuine attempt to seek help or a little bit of both?

Armie Hammer
Armie Hammer attends the Go Campaign's 13th Annual Go Gala at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
WireImage

At the beginning of the year, actor Armie Hammer found himself in hot water when screenshots of sexually explicit messages he sent to several women — including some involving rape and cannibalism fantasies — leaked online. Then on March 18, a woman named Effie (who chose not to disclose her last name) held a press conference accusing Hammer of “violently raping” and physically abusing her.

“He repeatedly slammed my head against a wall, bruising my face,” Effie said during the press conference. “He also committed other acts of violence against me to which I did not consent. For example, he beat my feet with a crop so they would hurt with every step I took for the next week. During those four hours I tried to get away, but he wouldn’t let me. I thought that he was going to kill me.”

As a result of those allegations, which Hammer categorically denies, he was removed from several upcoming high-profile film projects and dropped by his agency, WME. Now, several months later, Vanity Fair reports that the actor has checked into an in-patient rehab facility in Florida for “drug, alcohol and sex issues.”

“Everyone looks at Armie thinking that he’s had some sort of privileged life — and that must mean there were no problems in his youth and everything was peachy keen,” an anonymous “close friend” of Hammer told the publication. “But that’s not necessarily the way things go. Just because you come from an upbringing where financial resources are plentiful doesn’t mean life isn’t without problems.”

“This is a clear sign that he is taking back control [of] his life and knows that this [is] a step towards his overall well being,” the friend added.

It’s true that being handsome and obscenely wealthy doesn’t mean your life will be free of trauma, and obviously if Hammer is struggling with addiction and other issues, he should absolutely seek treatment. But given the severity of the allegations against him, it’s hard not to wonder whether he’s sincere about getting help or just looking to rehab his image.

Effie released a statement via her lawyer Gloria Allred about Hammer checking into rehab: “While I am glad that Armie is finally getting the help I begged him to get for so long, this does not take away all of the immense pain and suffering he has caused me.”

She’s got a point. Rehab can’t undo rape or assault, and Hammer still has a lot to reckon with when he returns; the Los Angeles Police Department is currently in the process of investigating the allegations against him.