Elizabeth Chambers on Armie Hammer, Youngsters and New Boyfriend

elizabeth chambers

Trench coat, Herno, $685. Gown, Jason Wu Assortment, $2,395. Hoop earrings, Missoma, $115.

Amy Harrity

This isn’t how Elizabeth Chambers thought it might work out. In 2020, her decade-long marriage to actor Armie Hammer ended and, nicely, let’s simply say it, six months later he was known as out for having cannibalistic fetishes, amongst a number of different allegations. “Yeah, welcome to my life,” Chambers says now.

On a cold morning in November, Chambers and I meet on the Beverly Hills Lodge Polo Lounge, the place Kim Kardashian and Ivanka Trump dined a couple of weeks earlier. Even among the many glitterati, Chambers stands out in lace-up Body heels, a cranberry Ganni minidress, and a gold initial-E Celine necklace. “Thanks, pretty!” she tells our waiter, flashing a smile as he units down a heaping plate of lemon-blueberry ricotta pancakes. Chambers appears to be like prepared for the runway in full glam, however there’s one thing else making her glow apart from the make-up. “I’m in love,” she confides.

Chambers tells me she has exited her Inform Me Lies period, referencing Hulu’s new streamer a couple of deeply poisonous relationship, and is getting into a brand new one the place “I’m not taking any bullshit from anybody,” she says. “You arise for what you deserve, for what you recognize is true.” With the desk set, it turns into more and more clear she is able to dish about, in her phrases, “the occasions.”

The person she married just isn’t who she is, and his purported appetites—true or not—actually don’t outline her. Name her by her personal title: Elizabeth Chambers. The 40-year-old bakery founder and CEO is writing a cookbook, engaged on a TV present, and relationship a brand new man who helps heal “my physique, my coronary heart, and my thoughts.”

“The very last thing I ever need to do is let another person’s actions, which don’t have anything to do with me, make me offended,” she says. “It’s not going to assist me, and it’s not going to assist anybody round me.” Chambers pours syrup on our pancakes. “These are past,” she says, taking a chew.

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Chambers would know. Within the Nineteen Eighties, her grandmother, Maureen, ran a personal catering enterprise in San Antonio, and her mom, Judy, owned one of many metropolis’s first natural-food shops. Though Chambers and her mother left the state after her mother and father divorced when she was two (transferring first to Colorado, then to California, earlier than returning to Colorado for highschool), Texas at all times felt like a “secure area.” She got here again to check journalism on the College of Texas at Austin, and helped look after Maureen on weekends after she was recognized with Parkinson’s illness.

Her Texas roots additionally helped her bond with Hammer, who lived in Highland Park, outdoors Dallas, till he was seven. After watching the 1993 Tom Cruise thriller The Agency, which options the Cayman Islands, Hammer’s father, Michael, inheritor to a multimillion-dollar oil fortune, relocated his household to the tax haven. Hammer moved again to the U.S. at age 13, later dropping out of highschool to pursue performing.

elizabeth chambers with her family

Chambers (middle) with (from left) her mom, grandmother, father, and youthful sister Catherine.

Courtesy Elizabeth Chambers

Chambers met him in 2007 by a mutual good friend in Los Angeles. On the time, she was an anchor and correspondent at Al Gore’s now-defunct Present TV, protecting immigration and environmental points. Hammer, 4 years her junior, was additionally getting display screen time thanks partly to blue-blooded wealth and attractiveness match for a Brooks Brothers catalog. Following a cameo on Arrested Growth and stints on Determined Housewives and Gossip Lady, he nailed a dream double function as each of the Winklevoss twins in 2010’s The Social Community. “Armie was beginning to get some publicity and recognition,” Chambers’s sister Catherine Chambers tells me. “My first intuition was [to tell Elizabeth to] watch out who you might be trusting.”

After a couple of months of friendship and 9 months of relationship, Hammer deliberate a really Texas proposal and pulled a diamond ring out of his cowboy boot. Their 2010 wedding ceremony passed off on the All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, with a star-studded reception at a winery in Malibu. “They had been probably the most in-love, excellent couple,” Chambers’s longtime good friend Jenna Marshall Schuler says.

actor armie hammer and elizabeth chambers attend the premiere of the social network during the 48th new york film festival at alice tully hall, lincoln center on september 24, 2010 in new york city local caption

Touring with Hammer to shoot films or go on press excursions was “fully magical,” says Chambers, pictured right here along with her ex-husband on the New York Metropolis premiere of The Social Community in 2010.

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Two years later, Chambers adopted in her household’s foodie footsteps and opened Chook bakery in San Antonio, one block from Circle Avenue the place she was born. “All of it felt very full circle,” she says. Nostalgic locals who remembered her grandmother’s catering lined as much as attempt Chook’s signature Monster cookies (peanut butter oatmeal cookies crammed with M&Ms and chocolate chips) and sea salt caramel cupcakes. The shabby-chic area, which Chambers proudly designed herself, is harking back to a Joanna Gaines rework, with distressed teal wainscoting and cutesy chalkboard menus with sayings like “You’re the cup to my cake.” “I actually wished it to be homey,” Chambers explains.

Their daughter, Harper, was born in 2014, and son Ford adopted simply over two years later. Whereas Chambers oversaw the opening of a second Chook location in Dallas, the household break up time between Texas and California. When Hammer left to shoot a film or go on press excursions, Chambers got here alongside. “It was fully magical,” she remembers fondly. As she basked within the sweetness of Chook’s success, Hammer’s up-and-down profession hit a brand new excessive in 2017 with Name Me by Your Title. After Hammer picked up a 2018 Golden Globe nomination for his horny function, the couple purchased a $4.7 million mansion in L.A.’s historic Hancock Park to lift Harper and Ford.

the oscarsr the 90th oscarsr broadcasts live on oscarr sunday, march 4, 2018, at the dolby theatre® at hollywood highland center® in hollywood, on the disney general entertainment content via getty images television network rick rowell via getty images timothee chalamet, nicole flender, elizabeth chambers, armie hammer

Chambers and Hammer pose together with his Name Me by Your Title costar Timothée Chalamet and Chalamet’s mother on the Oscars in 2018.

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It’s laborious to pinpoint when—or precisely why—the glamour of it began to fade. “Marriage is at all times going to be tough, and, as with all relationship, you undergo a course of,” Chambers says. “Particularly in the event you throw success and fame into the combination; it simply turns into extra magnified.” In 2017, media retailers identified that Hammer was liking memes on Twitter about Shibari, a recent time period for the traditional and inventive type of Japanese rope bondage. Chambers doesn’t speak about her ex’s proclivities or their very own intercourse life. She does inform me that “boundaries are all the things” in a relationship. “[Over time] your associate is studying issues about themselves,” she says. “They’re rising, you’re rising; you hope that you simply’re rising collectively.”

As an alternative, the pair was rising aside. Wanting again now, Schuler says they spent much less time collectively, and at one banquet “didn’t even speak [to each other].” By his personal admission, Hammer was having an affair with a girl he met on social media in 2016. In a brand new interview with Air Mail, his first in over two years, Hammer says his sexual relationship along with her concerned “consensual non-consent” function play. (Consensual non-consent or CNC is a sexual fantasy that entails intercourse scenes that may generally contain mimicking types of rape.) In the identical interview, Hammer says he confessed the affair to Chambers after the girl threatened to inform her about them—and even requested his spouse for assist. “I don’t like who I’m turning into,” Hammer says he advised Chambers. “I’m fucked up each single day, all day. I’m depressing, I’m sad, and I’m having an affair. And I don’t know easy methods to cease any of this stuff, and I can’t do that alone.”

Chambers declined to touch upon the Air Mail piece. She did reveal in our interview that for many of their marriage, the couple noticed famed psychotherapist and relationship specialist Esther Perel, host of the favored podcast The place Ought to We Start?, which explores intercourse and intimacy points. “[Esther] at all times mentioned heartbreak is actually worse than a heroin habit, and I take into consideration that loads,” Chambers says.

elizabeth chambers

Gown, Silvia Tcherassi, $1,150. Hoop earrings, $115, ring, $136, Missoma. Sandals, Jimmy Choo, $875.

Amy Harrity

By 2020, their circle of belief had all however damaged. When COVID instances began spiking within the U.S., Chambers and Hammer modified their plans to return house to L.A. from a ship journey in St. Barts and as a substitute headed to the Cayman Islands, the place Hammer’s father and stepmother, Misty, nonetheless lived. All of them quarantined along with the children, which Hammer described to British GQ as a “very difficult, intense state of affairs, with huge personalities all locked in somewhat tiny place,” likening himself to a wolf “caught in a snare” that desires to “chew his personal foot off.” To Chambers, his conduct was much less caged animal and extra irritating. “He was the worst,” she says.

The wedding had been examined earlier than—by distance, by fame, and by infidelity. The nail within the coffin was Hammer’s resolution early within the pandemic to go away Chambers and the children within the Caymans and head again to California, the place he helped a good friend restore an outdated motel outdoors Joshua Tree Nationwide Park. “My coronary heart was damaged in 9 million items, and I nonetheless drove him to the airport,” Chambers says.

She takes a deep breath to regular her voice and says, “You may give, you may love, you may be there for somebody, however you additionally want to carry individuals accountable for his or her actions.” In line with a Los Angeles Superior Court docket docket obtained by ELLE, Chambers filed for divorce in July 2020, citing irreconcilable variations; the divorce hasn’t been finalized. “The dissolution of my household was actually my greatest worry of my entire life,” she says. “You’re constructing one thing, proper? You’re weaving a ravishing tapestry, and the very last thing you need is for a knife to come back and rip the tapestry in half.”

Chambers continued to run Chook remotely from the Caymans, the place the COVID case rely was low and Harper and Ford attended faculty in individual. The island was additionally a “lovely, secure cocoon” the place the children may course of the separation. “After I filed and it grew to become very public, no one there cared or, for that matter, even knew [about the divorce],” Chambers says. “The opposite children of their class didn’t have mother and father who had been leisure attorneys or had been even within the business.” In the meantime, Hammer reportedly dove headfirst into singledom with 5 new tattoos and a string of girlfriends.

Some media linked him to an obvious finsta account and liking extra bondage memes. Then, in January 2021, an Instagram account with the deal with “Home of Effie” leaked what it claimed had been texts with Hammer about a way more twisted, and extremely disturbing, fetish. Within the messages, which haven’t been verified, Hammer purportedly wrote that he’s “100% a cannibal,” and that he needs to “lower off” a toe and “drink blood.”

At first, the general public response was tittering, however as extra allegations surfaced, it appeared like this wasn’t only a case of superstar kink-shaming. Hammer was being accused by a number of girls of emotional manipulation. “I used to be studying issues as the general public was,” Chambers says. “I used to be like, ‘There are not any phrases. What the fuck?’ ”

As Chambers tried to piece collectively her ex’s secret intercourse life in realtime, her sister Catherine says his accusers had been in her DMs asking questions she didn’t have solutions to. “It was all nonetheless so new to her,” Catherine says. “She placed on her assist hat to be there for these girls who had gone by horrible, horrible conditions that had been introduced on by her former husband, however Elizabeth selected to be there for them reasonably than for herself first. She listened to horrible, deep, darkish particulars no matter what it meant for her personal life.”

Particulars of investigations into Hammer’s alleged conduct are murky. In 2021, the Los Angeles Police Division disclosed an investigation after a girl got here ahead in a press convention claiming Hammer raped her for greater than 4 hours again in 2017. The girl alleged that he repeatedly bashed her head in opposition to a wall, bruised her face, and beat her ft with a crop. In line with some information retailers, that investigation ended with out expenses.

When reached for remark, LAPD mentioned it opened an investigation “to start with months of 2021 for sexual assault allegations made in opposition to Armie Hammer,” which is presently “nonetheless being investigated by detectives.” A spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Legal professional’s Workplace confirmed {that a} “specifically assigned prosecutor” is working with legislation enforcement as they proceed to analyze the allegations, and that “legislation enforcement has not but offered a case in opposition to Mr. Hammer to our workplace.” On the time of publication, police have mentioned no expenses have been filed in reference to the investigation. Andrew Brettler, an legal professional who has issued statements to the media on Hammer’s behalf prior to now, beforehand mentioned in an announcement that “all interactions between Mr. Hammer and his former companions had been consensual. They had been totally mentioned, agreed upon prematurely together with his companions and mutually participatory.” Brettler didn’t return ELLE’s request for remark; neither did Hammer’s former agent or publicist.

“I used to be studying issues as the general public was. I used to be like, ‘There are not any phrases. What the fuck?’”

For some, the disturbing particulars didn’t come as a complete shock. “You don’t simply get up and develop into this darkish controller, [this] abuser; there needs to be a seed that’s planted,” Hammer’s estranged aunt, Casey Hammer, says within the Discovery+ docuseries Home of Hammer. Casey seems as a central determine within the sequence, which covers the allegations in opposition to Hammer and his household’s difficult legacy, although Hammer says in Air Mail that he hasn’t spoken to his aunt in 15 years. (Chambers, who’s talking for the primary time about her marriage in intimate element right here, declined to take part in Home of Hammer.)

Expertise company WME dropped Hammer as a consumer, and he backed out of two upcoming films, together with the Jennifer Lopez rom-com Shotgun Marriage ceremony. He has adamantly denied all the allegations, telling Air Mail that in relation to his sexual relationships, “each single factor was mentioned beforehand.”

Chambers addressed the allegations on Instagram in February 2021, providing assist for “any sufferer of assault or abuse.” Her publish opened the floodgates, and a few commenters started to query how a lot she knew—or why she didn’t say one thing sooner. “Lots of people solely noticed her as Armie Hammer’s spouse, and he or she’s at all times been [more than that],” Catherine Chambers says about her sister.

today pictured dylan dreyer, elizabeth chambers hammer, craig melvin and sheinelle jones on monday, september 30, 2019 photo by nathan congletonnbcu photo banknbcuniversal via getty images via getty images

“The times of placing all of your eggs in his basket after which being left holding nothing are gone,” says Chambers, pictured right here on the Immediately present in 2019.

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To remind the world who she is, Chambers continued reserving cooking segments on the Immediately present, appeared as a visitor decide on the Meals Community, and sat for interviews about her model as a businesswoman. Different girls who really feel overshadowed by males have reached out to her asking for recommendation on easy methods to retain their very own identities. “The times of placing all of your eggs in his basket after which being left holding nothing are gone,” Chambers says. “No, no. There are such a lot of issues you are able to do: Advocate for your self. Study. Begin an Etsy, I don’t care. Begin doing no matter it’s that fulfills you.”

Her personal journey to success started after studying easy methods to heal herself. “You’re actually on this triage state after a automotive accident,” she says. “Ultimately you’re delivered to the emergency room and hooked as much as an IV—and after I say ultimately, this isn’t in sooner or later, that is weeks after which months—and then you definitely begin bodily remedy. Daily is transferring towards that final purpose of with the ability to stroll once more.” She discovered her footing on the shores of Grand Cayman, the place she nonetheless lives full-time with Harper and Ford—principally, she says, as a result of “paparazzi are unlawful there.”

On the roof of Palm Heights, her good friend’s five-star lodge, Chambers practices sound therapeutic and meditation. “It’s all about setting intentions,” she says. “I ask myself, ‘How are you feeling? What are we going to let go? What are we accepting? What are we receiving?’” Chambers, who’s Episcopalian, prays to God “to not give me something greater than what I may deal with.” When issues “don’t serve” her, she jots them down and burns the paper. For her, there may be “magnificence within the technique of restoration.”

elizabeth chambers with her children

“All you need is in your kids to have two stable mother and father, proper? That’s at all times the purpose, so something I can do to assist that, I’ll,” says Chambers, pictured right here with Harper and Ford.

Courtesy Elizabeth Chambers

“I’ve develop into extra grounded in being one with the earth and being vocal about what I need and what I don’t like,” she says. “How will you actually let one thing go in the event you don’t verbalize it?” Chambers plans to maneuver again to L.A. with the children for a contemporary begin. She nonetheless spends time with Hammer in a non-romantic manner, whereas determining easy methods to co-parent Harper and Ford. Hammer spent almost six months at a Florida rehab facility in 2021 identified for treating drug, alcohol, and intercourse points; afterward, his lawyer confirmed in an announcement to Individuals that he’d left and was “doing nice.”

Hammer has been noticed visiting the Caymans, although he was rumored to have been crashing on the California house of Robert Downey Jr. “I assist Armie by his journey and I at all times will,” Chambers says. “All I’ve ever wished is for him to be sober, wholesome, and blissful. And he’s that. He’s actually current when he’s with the children, and that’s all I can hope for. All you need is in your kids to have two stable mother and father, proper? That’s at all times the purpose, so something I can do to assist that, I’ll.”

There was a time when Chambers liked the concept of her kids being an ideal mixture of their mother and father. Now she is doing all the things in her energy to make sure they escape the final couple of years trauma-free. “Do I need my son to develop into this? Would I need my daughter to remain in a relationship like this?” she says. Classes with family-separation therapists have helped, however “clearly that is all manner an excessive amount of for 2 kids underneath eight,” she says. “In the future, I need them to have the ability to say, ‘I’m unbiased of no matter has occurred in generations earlier than. I’m conscious of it, however I’m the individual I’m not due to the place I got here from.’”

Via all of it, Chambers has discovered extra concerning the individual she is. “A extremely attention-grabbing reset second,” she calls it. Combing by outdated household recipe books impressed her to start out work on her first cookbook, which can pay homage to her grandmother and mom. She additionally talks about an unnamed TV venture that’s meant to assist individuals of their on a regular basis lives.

“Our mother and father and grandparents, and possibly generations earlier than that, taught us to brush issues underneath the rug and faux like all the things is ideal,” she says. “However that’s so uninteresting, and it’s so damaging. Like, no, we’re going to speak about it. Nothing is ideal. And I’m actually responsible of that. I at all times wished the proper Christmas card. I’m such a standard individual. I like household, and I like religion. However on the identical time, what I feel is basically lovely is that we’re all imperfect.”

elizabeth chambers with her children

Chambers with Harper and Ford within the Cayman Islands

Courtesy Elizabeth Chambers

In 2021, she opened a 3rd Chook bakery in Denver, and is now scouting a fourth location abroad. “We’re on this planet for a really quick time period,” she says. “I need to love everybody I’m going to like and do the perfect job I can.” Enterprise has by no means been higher, however today Chambers finds herself happiest behind a mixer. “It’s at all times been therapeutic for me,” she says. Harper and Ford get selfmade pancakes and breakfast tacos most mornings, and on weekends they host “Cinnamon Roll Sundays” for neighborhood children within the Caymans.

When Chambers just isn’t within the kitchen, she’s along with her 26-year-old European boyfriend, who works as a bodily therapist within the Cayman Islands. They’ve been collectively for over a yr, and he or she calls him “a extremely understanding” individual. “With my life, you need to be,” Chambers says. “It’s a shit present!” They’re “so in love,” she provides, however act “fully platonic if the children ever see us collectively, as a result of I don’t assume it’s of their finest curiosity to see their mother relationship somebody whereas they’re nonetheless processing divorce.”

For almost two years, Chambers averted talking publicly about Hammer. She says opening up has helped her come to phrases with what occurred—and to maneuver ahead. “Do I feel she’s totally healed? No,” her sister Catherine says. “However I do assume she has a greater understanding of herself and easy methods to converse along with her children about these tough subjects [when the time is right]. She is basically blissful—blissfully blissful, in some ways—however it will at all times be one thing she’ll have to deal with. She’s obtained this darkness that’s principally tagging alongside and tapping her on the shoulder each from time to time. It’s like, ‘Oh, wait. We’ve obtained to remind everyone that this occurred to you and brought about harm in your life.’ ”

elizabeth chambers for elle

Gown, Brandon Maxwell, $1,995. Hoop earrings, Jennifer Fisher, $750.

Amy Harrity

Hair by Ted Gibson for Starring by Ted Gibson; makeup by Olivia Madorma for PRTNRS company.

This text seems within the March 2023 difficulty of ELLE.


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Senior Editor

Rose is a Senior Editor at ELLE overseeing options and initiatives about girls’s points. She is an completed and compassionate storyteller and editor who excels in acquiring unique interviews and unearthing compelling options.

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