House of Hammer, a three-part documentary that started streaming on discovery+ September 2, examines the allegations of sexual abuse against actor Armie Hammer, 36. Armie’s aunt Casey Hammer appears in the doc and draws attention to Armie’s other family members who also have troubled pasts, including Armie’s late grandfather Julian Hammer, the son of late oil tycoon Armand Hammer. Some of Julian’s deepest and darkest secrets are exposed by his daughter Casey in the documentary. Here’s everything you need to know about Julian that we learned from House of Hammer.
Julian murdered someone.
In May 1955, on the morning of his 26th birthday, Julian killed a friend at his Los Angeles home. He supposedly shot and killed the man twice over a $400 gambling debt. “The story that he told us was self-defense,” his daughter Casey said in the doc, “but my mom was very quick to tell me, ‘No, your father just murdered someone in cold blood.’ ” Julian was charged with murder, but his filthy-rich dad Armand hand-delivered $50,000 to a lawyer, and after Julian claimed self-defense, the charges were dropped.
He was left out of his father’s will.
Julian had a complicated relationship with his father Armand. When Armand died in 1990, he was worth an estimated $180 million, though very little of that amount went to his son. According to Casey’s interviews in the doc, Julian and Casey only received $250,000 of Armand’s will. Most of the money, plus Armand’s Rolls-Royce, went to Michael Hammer, who is Armand’s grandson, Julian’s son, Casey’s brother, and Armie’s father.
Julian acted out after learning he wasn’t receiving the majority of his father’s will, Casey claimed. “He slowly started deteriorating,” she said in the doc. Casey also claimed that Julian frequently pointed his gun at Casey and threatened to pull the trigger unless she proved that she was not “possessed.” She said Julian “wasn’t getting help” when he needed it.
He exposed his father as a criminal.
Edward Epstein, an investigative journalist who wrote Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer in 1996, revealed in the documentary that Julian exposed his father Armand’s business wrongdoings after his death. “He gave me all his private papers, as well as recordings of his father,” Edward said about Julian. “I think that it was because he hated what his father had done to him in cutting him out of his will. He decided he was going to expose his father as a criminal.” One of Armand’s crimes included illegal financial support of Richard Nixon‘s Watergate fund in the early 1970s.
His daughter Casey claimed Julian sexually abused her.
Casey tearfully revealed that Julian sexually abused her when she was young in the doc. It took her many years for her to remember what transpired, and she had to ask her mom to confirm it happened. But Casey admitted in the doc that she still has some good feelings towards her father, despite the abuse at his hands.
“Because maybe he’s the only person I want to see…I don’t even think he’s in heaven, or on the other side. That’s how I know it’s so deep, and I don’t know if I’ll be normal,” she said. “The fact that I still think he’ll save me or be there for me. I found out what my father was doing but I never confronted him because I never wanted to hear him say the words. There’s that hope that the person’s gonna change and they didn’t meant to hurt you.”
Julian died in 1996.
Julian passed away in March 1996, at the age of 67. He died over five years after his dad Armand’s passing. It’s unclear how Julian died. In the doc, Casey did claim that her father had a history of mental illness and substance abuse, but she didn’t confirm if those factors played a part in his passing. House of Hammer is streaming now on discovery+.