Television

‘House of Hammer’: 7 Major Reveals Made in Discovery+ Docuseries


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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for House of Hammer.]

Discovery+‘s new docuseries House of Hammer pulls back the curtain on Armie Hammer and his family’s dark legacy in the wake of sexual assault allegations.

The three-parter profiles some of the actor’s alleged victims, his own aunt, Casey Hammer, and others from his family’s orbit. In a very revealing examination, the title reflects on the events which led to Armie Hammer’s exile from the Hollywood spotlight and the family secrets that began to trickle into the public’s consciousness because of it. As Casey Hammer says in the opening episode, “every generation of my family has been involved in dark misdeeds and it just gets worse and worse and worse.”

Below, we’re breaking down some of the biggest revelations made during the docuseries, so beware of spoilers ahead.

Armie’s Hollywood Reputation

house of hammer seth abramovitch

(Credit: discovery+)

Abuse and assault allegations against Armie Hammer revealed the actor’s reported fascination with a BDSM practice known as Shibari. While his alleged victims corroborated this, one interesting detail that arose in the first episode came from The Hollywood Reporter journalist Seth Abramovitch who interviewed the actor amid Call Me By You Name buzz. Abramovitch noted that in the industry, it was well-known that Hammer was supposedly into BDSM. When the reporter tried asking Hammer about it though, the actor shut him down.

Internet Kindling

house of hammer lauren skae

(Credit: discovery+)

While the docuseries profiles a couple of the women who came forward with allegations against Hammer, it was primarily internet investigators who helped bring the story to the forefront. Candice Cronkhite who was scrolling on Twitter one January morning in 2021 under her profile @bbfbravo happened across screenshots of DMs posted by an account under the name @houseofeffie.

The DMs revealed dark comments shared between Hammer and the woman behind the social media account. The language included talk of rape and power, and it disgusted Cronkhite who decided to investigate further. As she looked at interviews from Hammer, she found one in which he tied rope during a late-night bit and comments from a Playboy feature to be the most concerning. She came to the conclusion that the actor’s tastes didn’t actually align with BDSM since there was no safety measures in place while Hammer allegedly engaged in these sexual acts involving @houseofeffie.

Similar to Cronkhite, Lauren Skae, who is on social media as @thezenblonde, she was upset that the alleged victims weren’t being shown the proper consideration. This led her to do some investigating of her own during which she discovered Casey Hammer’s book, Surviving My Birthright. Using her social media to share details from the book, Skae’s coverage helped bring the full story of Armie Hammer and his family’s dark legacy to the spotlight.

It was later uncovered that @houseofeffie was a 24-year-old woman from Europe who had become engaged with Hammer online in 2016 when she was just 20. Her allegations against Hammer pulled in superstar lawyer Gloria Allred who explained in the docuseries that since Effie never reportedly consented to have certain acts done, Hammer’s supposed BDSM practices weren’t actually permissible, making room for a case.

Casey’s Childhood Unveiled

house of hammer casey hammer

(Credit: discovery+)

Speaking candidly about her family who has all but disowned her, Casey Hammer offered insight into the broken dynamics she witnessed and was involved in herself. Starting with her childhood, Casey recalled her father Julian Hammer’s abusive and unpredictable behavior. She recalled one instance of seeing her father beat her mother on Christmas Eve and being upset as she saw blood running down the front of her mother’s nightgown as a result.

She explained that her father’s volatile nature would lead her mother to pack her and brother Michael up to stay at a motel down the road quite often. They’d return home later once Julian had cooled down. Unhappy in the relationship, Casey’s mother tried divorcing Julian, but his father Armand Hammer, CEO of Occidental Petroleum, threatened he’d make her life hell if she did. Eventually, the threat wasn’t enough to keep her in the marriage and Armand made sure to follow through on his promise. Casey said her mother never saw more than $200 per month in child support despite the Hammers being multi-millionaires.

Under Surveillance

armie hammer

(Credit: David Livingston/Getty Images)

It was a known tactic among the Hammers that patriarch Armand and his son Julian would utilize recordings and phone bugs to capture conversations held by family members or between major sources of power. Casey remembers hearing a click when you’d pick up the phone and there was always this sense of “Big Brother is watching.”

Edward Epstein, an author and investigative journalist who profiled Armand Hammer in his works, traveling around with the uber-rich figure confirmed Casey’s words, saying that Armand was a master of bribery and that he and Julian would record the crimes being committed as a means of having leverage. When Armand died, Julian gave Epstein many of Armand’s recordings and paperwork among which he discovered Armand bribing the President of Venezuela.

Control Over Women

house of hammer edward epstein

(Credit: discovery+)

One of the recurring themes brought up throughout the docuseries is Armie Hammer’s alleged fascination with power and control over the women he was engaging with, one of whom is Courtney Vucekovich. As one of Hammer’s alleged victims, Courtney repeatedly found herself trying to distance herself from Armie, but he would become possessive and she’d misread his actions as romantic, instead of what it really was: stalking and control.

According to Epstein, Armand also engaged in affairs that became built on possessive control. While he reportedly had several extramarital affairs, Armand’s third wife Frances, to whom he was married for over 30 years, asked him to end one he was having with a woman named Martha Kaufman. Instead of being willing to part from his mistress, Armand forced Martha to transform her appearance and change her name in order for him to continue engaging in a relationship with her. Armand supposedly bragged that Frances never realized what he’d done.

Magic Money

Armand Hammer

(Credit: Keystone Features/Getty Images)

While the Hammers were able to keep a lid on their misdeeds in public, there were slip-ups every now and then. Coming forward decades after her experience, Cathe Boal remembered meeting Julian Hammer in the mid-1970s when he offered her a job cleaning his house. The first time she went to work, there was a gambling party going on and she was charmed by the charismatic man who hosted the event in silk pajamas.

Cathe remembers Julian trying to convince her to leave her husband after a six-month affair and she ultimately did. His power over Cathe led to their engagement. But when she asked to go out together publicly, she noticed a change in Julian as he took her out to a bar. She noticed him flirting with men and it took a moment for her to register that they were at a gay bar. Upset over the situation, she left him there and hitchhiked back to his house.

When she pulled up, Julian exited the home and threatened to shoot the man who gave her a ride. The situation led to the police being called, and although Julian didn’t face any real consequences. A few days later Cathe fled following a scuffle with Julian where he shot a gun in the same room as her then-nine-month-old son. Cathe made a comment about how Julian could get away with murder and that he essentially did. In 1955, Julian shot and killed one of his friends who sought a gambling debt he was owed. Armand paid off authorities though, to keep the family image clean, showing no remorse or accountability for their actions.

Patterns of Behavior

house of hammer courtney

(Credit: discovery+)

The Hammer men’s activities often mirrored each other, while Casey recalled finding lewd Polaroids the next morning after a raging party at her father’s house, she remembers finding similar photos, cash, and drugs in her brother’s closet. Armie had patterns of his own as he implemented the same tactics of seduction with his alleged victims.

Courtney and Paige Lorenze found that their experience of taking a trip to Sedona with Armie was nearly identical as they both watched his favorite film The Secretary, enjoyed the desert, stayed at his friend’s motel, and experienced trauma. They were also both introduced to Armie’s mother Dru despite not having known the actor for long.

Royal Ties

Prince Charles Princess Diana

(Credit: Steve Wood/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Armand Hammer would hold galas that had some of the most exclusive guest lists, among which had included Princess Diana and Prince Charles. It was also revealed that Prince Charles received major donations from Armand in the past, tying the two together in a financial way.

These are just a few of the big revelations made in the docuseries full of jaw-dropping bombshells. Watch House of Hammer to get the full picture on discovery+.

House of Hammer, Streaming now, discovery+

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