Warning: This post contains graphic language and descriptions of sexual violence.
Abusive relationships are designed to be difficult to leave. Abusers are known for isolating their victims from support and community, slowly eroding their boundaries, and downplaying their own violations, all of which makes it incredibly difficult for someone to pinpoint the exact moment when their relationship has crossed over into territory that feels uncomfortable, and thus, harder to even realize you want to leave before you’re in over your head. All of this is to say: when Armie Hammer’s ex-girlfriend Paige Lorenze comes forward to Page Six and claims that Hammer was emotionally manipulative, had violent tendencies, coerced her into situations to which she didn’t consent, she shouldn’t have to self-deprecatingly describe herself as “sad” for going along with what Hammer wanted at first because she “wanted him to like [her].” Don’t we all, in our dating ventures, let alone those with admired celebrities, hope to be liked? But even Lorenze, age 22, knows that some people will read her account and ask themselves why she stayed. And so she honestly answers.
Hammer’s scandal began well before Lorenze’s account with a series of unverified screenshots of DMs appearing to show the actor describing cannibal fantasies, sexually violent acts including drinking blood and eating flesh, and apologizing for violating one woman’s consent in what began as a consensual BDSM encounter and turned into sexual assault when he declined to use a safe word or comply with her requests to stop.
Lorenze’s story of her own relationship with Hammer mirrors the accounts of the other women who have come forward so far. She claims he initially introduced the concept of BDSM and certain fantasies about her being submissive in a way that made her curious to explore it, but once she’d agreed to explore, he took it far further than she was comfortable with and seemed to specifically enjoy violating her boundaries.
Sending strength to all of Armie Hammer’s victims right now. This is not a joke. Stop victim blaming, stop making cannibalism jokes. This is a REAL serial abuser and a frightening person and I can’t even fathom the trauma these women have been/are going thru. https://t.co/kOAMRwy8fQ
— Sophie Ross (@SophRossss) January 24, 2021
“He would cut off underwear or bras and use the knife and put it all over my body,” she told Page Six, alleging that he once carved the letter “A” near her vulva. “I kind of sat back and let it happen. I didn’t really know what to do or say… As sad as that is, I wanted him to like me and feel like I was down for what he wanted.”
“He would always tell me when he got back from the gym that he was bragging to his friends about carving an ‘A’ into me,” she adds.
The “A” was just one way that Hammer allegedly tried to mark her. Lorenze further claims that he would bruise her so she wouldn’t be able to see other people.
“He wanted me to show them off and be proud of them,” she said. “I think it was a part of marking and branding…He wanted me to be his sex slave. He was like, ‘You are so trainable.'”
Lorenze alleges that Hammer’s first requests, like asking her to “call him ‘Sir’ or ‘Daddy’” or showing her the movie Secretary about BDSM, felt “different” but didn’t ring any alarm bells.
“This could be fun and an adventure,'” she claims to have thought at the time. “And I liked him.”
But soon, she alleges that Hammer took advantage of that and began doing things that crossed the line of her consent.
“I have gotten a DM saying Armie had sent me photos of me tied up that I didn’t know about,” she tells Page Six. “I didn’t even know the photos existed or what they look like. I don’t know if I was blindfolded.”
AH sharing photos of me I didn’t even know existed with people online, without my permission or knowledge. Disgusting, violating and quite frankly unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/CTaIrvHfJr
Lorenze broke it off with Hammer just as she was starting to “feel what he had done and what he was doing to me.” The haze of his alleged manipulation was beginning to lift, and Lorenze began to see clearly how he had built up her trust by starting with small requests out of her comfort zone.
“[He] knew what he was doing and knew how to get me to do these things. He was smart about it,” she says, adding: “It takes a long time to really understand what happened and how someone manipulated you.”
Lorenze is coming forward now, like Hammer’s other alleged victims, in the hopes of safeguarding further women from experiencing further abuse at his hands. But already, others who have come forward have been bullied into silence or worse by responses blaming them for their own abuse, questioning their intentions because they didn’t immediately leave an abusive environment. Lorenze’s account is repeatedly, heartbreakingly candid on this point: “I liked him.” And wouldn’t you, a college student suddenly on the receiving end of Armie Hammer’s romantic interest, want him to like you too?
In response to these allegations, Hammer’s representative gave the following statement to Page Six: “These assertions about Mr. Hammer are patently untrue. Any interactions with this person, or any partner of his, were completely consensual in that they were fully discussed, agreed upon, and mutually participatory. The stories being perpetuated in the media are a misguided attempt to present a one-sided narrative with the goal of tarnishing Mr. Hammer’s reputation, and communications from the individuals involved prove that.”
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, harassment or violence, you can get help. To speak with someone who is trained to help with these situations, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.
Before you go, click here to see celebrities who have opened up about surviving sexual assault.