Robert Downey Jr. Has Supported Armie Hammer Through Crisis
When Armie Hammer found himself at the center of a dark crisis last year involving shocking allegations of emotional abuse, manipulation, and violence, it was Robert Downey Jr. who stepped in to steer the actor toward rehab, a source close to Hammer tells Vanity Fair.
In fact, Downey, who has battled his own highly publicized Hollywood scandals and addictions, paid for the actor to spend nearly six months in the Florida rehabilitation facility the Guest House, the source confirms.
The treatment center, situated on a secluded 52-acre estate in Silver Springs, “cater[s] in particular to clients who have high-stress or high-visibility lifestyles such as business executives, politicians and entertainment professionals,” according to the facility’s website.
Multiple people speaking to Vanity Fair last year alluded to unresolved trauma in Hammer’s past, as well as ongoing substance abuse 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,” said a close friend of the actor’s. “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.”
Since completing his stay in rehab last December, Hammer had been enjoying a low profile in the Caymans, working on his recovery, and spending time with his family, says the source. The actor’s estranged wife Elizabeth Chambers, the founder of Bird Bakery who has reportedly signed her own entertainment deal, has supported Hammer throughout the process, telling friends she wants what’s best for their family.
Last week, Hammer’s discreet recovery in the Caymans was interrupted suddenly when a viral tweet returned the actor to headlines.
Desus & Mero producer Muna Mire posted a photo of a pamphlet for the family-owned vacation club Morritt’s Resort that featured a snapshot of Hammer and identified him as a “personal concierge” to incoming guests.
“My friends’ parents went on vacation in the Cayman Islands and Armie Hammer was their concierge I’m still not over it,” Mire wrote, before deleting the tweet.
Since the surprising social media claim, both TMZ and Variety have reported that the actor is working as a timeshare salesman.
An attorney for Hammer told V.F. Wednesday, “I can’t confirm or deny the report because Armie hasn’t addressed it. I just think it’s shitty that, if he is selling timeshares, the media is shaming him for having a ‘normal job.’”
Hammer was so besieged by press in the Caymans that, on Friday, he flew with Chambers and their two young children to Los Angeles to escape the scrutiny. While in town, Hammer has been staying at a home owned by Downey and has attended an A.A. meeting in Malibu, according to the source.
In addition to providing Hammer a temporary place to stay, Downey has been providing Hammer financial assistance until he gets back on his feet, according to the same person. (Representatives for Downey have not yet responded to Vanity Fair’s request for comment.)
Hammer was named for his oil-tycoon grandfather Armand, who died in 1990 and was estimated by Forbes to be worth about $180 million. But Armand’s death incited an epic battle over the estate that still simmers three decades later.
Throughout his film career, Hammer prided himself on his financial independence from his family. “I’m really proud of that,” he said. But the actor confessed in 2017 that his finances were so tight that he couldn’t pay out a bet he had made to Call Me by Your Name filmmaker Luca Guadagnino. “It would literally bankrupt me, and I need to buy diapers tomorrow.”
Last year, Hammer was dropped by his talent agency WME after several women took to social media to accuse the actor of emotional abuse, manipulation, and sexual violence. (No charges were ever filed, and Hammer has denied all allegations.) The actor, who is in the process of divorcing Chambers, retains Andrew Brettler, a Hollywood lawyer who now also represents Prince Andrew.
On Wednesday, Variety reported that Hammer was employed by the resort and selling timeshares.
“He is working at a cubicle,” a source told the trade. “The reality is he’s totally broke, and is trying to fill the days and earn money to support his family.”
While Hammer has no current intention of permanently returning to Los Angeles, according to V.F.’s source, a Hollywood comeback may not be out of the realm of possibility. The person points to Downey’s own epic Hollywood redemption story as an example.
In 1996, the Oscar-nominated actor was stopped for speeding by police who found heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and an unloaded .357 Magnum in his car. In the aftermath, Downey checked into a series of rehabs only to break out. “It’s like I have a shotgun in my mouth and I’ve got my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gunmetal,” the actor told a judge in 1999.
After just under a year in prison and another arrest in 2001, the actor checked himself into rehab. At his lowest point, according to The Guardian, Downey was “homeless, nearly bankrupt and virtually unemployable.”
Downey’s career might have flatlined had it not been for another actor, who stepped up to support him in his hour of need: Mel Gibson.
“Everybody was set to write the guy off, and it was hard to watch, because he’s so fucking talented,” Gibson told V.F. in 2014. “And so you think, What’s happening there? And you know he’s his own worst enemy. He’s flawed. We’re all flawed. My God, I’m more flawed than he is! It’s something you recognize and have empathy with, but the guy made this amazing bid for life that’s nothing short of astounding.”
Thanks to a lucrative deal with Marvel, Downey earned $50 million from The Avengers alone and another $75 million for 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. As he told G.Q. in 2019, “I’m what’s known as ‘a strategic cost.’”