Armie Hammer is stepping down from his role in the movie Shotgun Wedding, opposite Jennifer Lopez amid "vicious and spurious online attacks" against him. The actor revealed Wednesday that he would no longer appear in the romantic comedy, which was announced in October after graphic private messages allegedly written by him went viral.
"I'm not responding to these bulls— 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," Hammer said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. "Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I’m grateful to them for that."
A production spokesperson also told the outlet after Hammer's announcement, "Given the imminent start date of Shotgun Wedding, Armie has requested to step away from the film and we support him in his decision." The role played by the Call Me By Your Name actor will be recast, although there has not been another actor named as a successor.
The Social Network actor's name was trending on Twitter earlier this week after DMs purported to be from him were leaked, showing what the recipient said were messages authored by Hammer discussing graphic sexual fantasies. There has been no confirmation that Hammer wrote the DMs, and the actor has not directly addressed the viral messages' content.
Hammer's name made headlines for the messages just a week after he reunited with his children, Harper, 6, and Ford, 3, in the Cayman Islands after a 14-day quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic. Hammer has been separated from his children for months as they stayed with their mother, the actor's estranged wife, Elizabeth Chambers. Chamber and Hammer announced in July they were splitting after 13 years together. The pair shared a joint message on Instagram that their marriage was coming to an end.
"Thirteen years as best friends, soulmates, partners and then parents. It has been an incredible journey, but together, we’ve decided to turn the page and move on from our marriage. As we enter into this next chapter, our children and relationship as co-parents and dear friends will remain our priority," the pair said alongside a photo from their early days together. "We understand this news lends itself to public dialogue, but in the interest of our children and our family, we’re asking for privacy, compassion and love during this time."