Actor Armie Hammer has broken his silence about the social media scandal swirling around him this week, as various unverified Instagram messages that appeared to be written by him circulated online.
The graphic messages include fantasies about rape, cannibalism and BDSM.
In a statement published by Variety, Hammer, 34, called the claims against him "bulls**t" and said he was now dropping out of his current movie project.
"I'm not responding to these bulls**t 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. Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I'm grateful to them for that," he said.
The film Hammer has dropped out of, Shotgun Wedding, would have seen him star alongside Jennifer Lopez. His role will now be recast.
His name began trending on social media this week as screenshots of various private direct messages (DMs) which appeared to be sent from his official Instagram account circulated on Twitter.
"I need to drink your blood. Why the distance?" Hammer allegedly wrote in one shared DM.
Another saw the star allegedly write, "I've cut the heart out of a living animal before and eaten it while still warm."
Other messages show Hammer allegedly claim he's "100 per cent a cannibal … I want to eat you. That's so scary to admit. I've never admitted that before".
"You just live to obey me and be my slave," another message allegedly sent from Hammer's account reads. "I will own you. That's my soul. My brain. My spirit. My body. Would you come and be my property till you die? If I wanted to cut off one of your toes and keep it with me in my pocket so I always had a piece of you in my possession?"
Other messages allegedly sent by Hammer are too graphic to repeat here.
Hammer's response comes amid reports his ex-wife Elizabeth Chambers is "shocked and sickened" by the contents of the DMs.
"Armie appears to be a monster. A lot of these women have reached out to Elizabeth and although she didn't want to admit it to herself at first, she knows now they are speaking the truth," an insider told the Daily Mail.
"Armie had a whole other side to him that she wasn't aware of."
Hammer and Chambers were married for 10 years before announcing their split last July. The messages were allegedly sent between 2016 and February 2020, when the two were still married.
Writer and ex-wife to actor Josh Lucas, Jessica Ciencin Henriquez – who was photographed on a date with Armie in September – also weighed in on the scandal on Twitter, insisting the DMs were in fact real.
"If you are still questioning whether or not those Armie Hammer DMs are real (and they are)," Henriquez tweeted in response to the scandal, "maybe you should start questioning why we live in a culture willing to give abusers the benefit of the doubt instead of victims".
She has since locked her Twitter account.
In 2017, Hammer found himself embroiled in another social media scandal when he liked a series of graphic tweets about BDSM and bondage practices, apparently unaware that his Twitter likes were publicly visible.
Hammer opened up about his sexual appetites in a very candid 2013 interview with Playboy magazine, telling the outlet: "Well, if you're married to a feminist as I am, then it's … I don't know how much we can put here without my parents being embarrassed, but I used to like to be a dominant lover.
"I liked the grabbing of the neck and the hair and all that. But then you get married and your sexual appetites change. And I mean that for the better – it's not like I'm suffering in any way. But you can't really pull your wife's hair. It gets to a point where you say, 'I respect you too much to do these things that I kind of want to do.'"
He later expressed regret at having shared so much in his Playboy interview, telling E! News: "Let's just say hindsight is 20/20. Don't drink during an interview."