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Armie Hammer, under investigation, leaves cast of Broadway play

Armie Hammer has left the cast of the

Armie Hammer has left the cast of the Broadway play "The Minutes." Credit: Getty Images / Jon Kopaloff

Facing a Los Angeles police investigation into an alleged sexual assault, actor Armie Hammer has left the upcoming Broadway play "The Minutes," which had been scheduled to open last March just as the pandemic lockdown began.

"I have loved every single second of working on 'The Minutes' with the family I made from Steppenwolf," the Chicago theater company where the play originated, Hammer said Friday in a statement to media. "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."

In a joint statement, the play's various production entities said through a representative: "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."

Hammer, 34, who has starred in films including "Call Me By Your Name" (2017), "The Lone Ranger" (2013) and "The Social Network" (2010), has denied the allegation.

The LAPD on March 18 announced its investigation, saying it had been contacted the previous month by a lawyer for the alleged victim. The same day as the announcement, attorney Gloria Allred held a news conference in which a woman identified only as Effie accused Hammer of a four-hour imprisonment and sexual assault in 2017.

Under the Instagram account House of Effie, the woman had posted now-deleted screenshots and audio of sexual and cannibalistic messages allegedly by Hammer, according to The New York Times. While the House of Effie Twitter account, which has since gone private, later said those messages were fake, multiple women came forward afterward alleging sexual abuse by the actor. Hammer has said any sexual acts were by mutual consent.

Since the allegations became public, Hammer has withdrawn from the Jennifer Lopez movie "Shotgun Wedding" and other projects.

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