WASHINGTON: American actor Armie Hammer has departed the Broadway play ‘The Minutes’ amid an investigation being conducted by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
The actor, who is currently being investigated in a sexual assault case, shared a statement on Friday explaining his exit from the Tracy Letts play, which was set to resume production in the 2021-22 season after being interrupted during previews by the novel coronavirus pandemic, reported Variety.
“I have loved every single second of working on The Minutes with the family I made from Steppenwolf,” his statement said.
He added, “But right now I need to focus on myself and my health for the sake of my family. Consequently, I will not be returning to Broadway with the production.”
“Armie remains a valued colleague to all of us who have worked with him onstage and offstage on The Minutes. We wish only the best for him and respect his decision,” the play’s production team added in a statement.
Directed by Anna D. Shapiro, ‘The Minutes’ first premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2017. The play takes a look at the inner workings of a city council meeting and the hypocrisy, greed and ambition that bubble to the surface when a newcomer to the small town of Big Cherry starts to ask the wrong questions.
Hammer’s career began to implode in January when the actor became the subject of a social media controversy after screenshots that seemed to show the actor describing sexual fantasies involving rape and cannibalism surfaced online.
Since the scandal, multiple women have come forward and accused Hammer of emotional abuse, manipulation, violence, and, most recently, rape.
Earlier this week, Hammer was dropped from his last film project, the upcoming thriller ‘Billion Dollar Spy’.
Hammer has also bowed out of ‘The Offer’, Paramount+’s drama series about the making of The Godfather. He was replaced by Josh Duhamel in ‘Shotgun Wedding’, the romantic comedy he was set to star in opposite Jennifer Lopez. Hammer has also been dropped by his agency, WME and his personal publicist.
However, Hammer has a major role in Disney’s upcoming ‘Death on the Nile’, which will be released in 2022 and was shot long before the scandal.
After months of swirling accusations about Hammer, a woman named Effie, who has not publicly revealed her last name, came forward publicly to accuse the actor of rape last month.
Appearing in a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred on March 18, Effie, the woman behind the Instagram account House of Effie that first anonymously shared allegations against Hammer, accused him of sexual assault in a four-hour incident that she said occurred in 2017.
Effie also accused Hammer of “mentally, emotionally and sexually” abusing her during their on-and-off four-year relationship. At the time of their romance, Hammer was married to Elizabeth Chambers, who filed for divorce from Hammer in July of last year.
Hours after the press conference, a spokesperson for the LAPD confirmed Hammer is the suspect in an investigation opened on February 3.
In a statement previously provided to People magazine, Hammer’s lawyer Andrew Brettler denied the rape allegation and maintained that the actor’s relationship with Effie was “completely consensual, discussed and agreed upon in advance, and mutually participatory.”