What Gianna Hammer Says Happened To Her While Filming MTV’s ‘Are You The One?’

Photo: @giannahammer / Instagram
Gianna Hammer

Production on MTV’s reality dating show "Are You The One?" (AYTO?) has been paused indefinitely and its fifth season erased from streaming services after former contestant Gianna Hammer came forward with serious accusations against members of the show’s cast and crew.

Hammer entered the public eye in 2017 during season five of AYTO, a reality competition show that uses a matchmaking algorithm to secretly pair contestants, promising cash prizes if everyone in the group finds their "perfect matches."

The fifth season cast is the only one that has failed thus far, but according to Hammer, the disappointing finale wasn’t the worst thing that happened during the show's filming.

What happened to Gianna Hammer during the filming of AYTO?

Over the past few weeks, Hammer has made public claims that producers on the show "drugged" her into a dangerous stupor and allowed a fellow cast member to sexually assault her.

She further alleges that the production team went on to intimidate and gaslight her, all while conspiring to cover up the entire ordeal.

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The reality star, who is now 25 and was 21 at the time, first went public with her story on TikTok in late March.

In a ten-part series that begins with the caption, “The time I got drugged and sexually assaulted while filming a reality show,” Hammer describes the events she says occurred while shooting season 5 of AYTO.

"I'm going to talk about something I have never, like, publicly talked about," she begins. "Four years ago while filming 'Are You The One?' I was drugged and sexually assaulted."

Hammer explains that she had been treating her depression and anxiety with Zoloft, an SSRI that is known to have potentially dangerous effects if mixed with alcohol.

One night, after heavy drinking and an altercation with a male cast member, she says that the show’s producers pulled her aside and pressured her into taking a second dose of the medication.

“I remember clearly telling them ‘No,’ that I was so drunk and I'm not supposed to take my medication on alcohol” Hammer says, "And I also remember them saying 'It'll be OK. Just take it."

“Now, that’s the last thing I remember of that night,” she says.

From there, Hammer says things get "fuzzy," as she doesn't remember the rest of the evening and has had to rely on others to fill her in on their versions of what happened.

She says producers approached her the next morning and asked if she remember anything from the previous night.

Upon learning from Hammer that she had blacked out and the only thing she could recall was them "giving her a pill" when she was "super drunk," she says the show’s producers denied having done so and then filled her in on the rest of the night's disturbing developments.

They told Hammer that she had been “seen in bed with” an unidentified male cast member and was heard saying no before some fellow castmates physically pulled her out of the bed.

Hammer alleges the producers downplayed the incident before asking a shaken Hammer to decide if she wanted the cast member who had attempted to assault her to be kicked off of the show.

“I sat there, not even answering right away," Hammer told The Daily Beast. "I was staring at them, like, you just told me that this happened and I don’t remember it, now you want me to make this decision?”

In response, she says “They made this comment, saying, ‘He flew all the way out here, we did all this testing for him, he has a perfect match in this house, it would be a lot to send him back, he'd have to spend the rest of the time in a hotel by himself.’”

Rather than kick him off the show, AYTO’s management banned the offender from sleeping in the communal bedroom with the rest of the cast, relegating him to the couch instead.

Hammer says production also jointly forbid both her and the alleged attacker from consuming alcohol for the remainder of filming, saying neither could "handle their alcohol," which Hammer says felt like a punishment.

Additionally, she says they asked her and the rest of the cast members to sign NDAs agreeing not to talk about the situation while filming and promised that no footage from the night would be aired.

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Cast members who were there have supported Hammer’s story.

Fellow contestants Hayden Weaver and Tyranny Todd have both attested to knowing about Hammer receiving the dangerous extra dose of her medication, with Weaver saying he was there and saw it happen.

According to Todd, Hammer became so intoxicated after taking the pill that she was “in and out of consciousness.”

Weaver, who went on to date Hammer for over two years after the show, told reporters that his then-future partner was essentially “unconscious with her eyes open.”

Both observed that Hammer was clearly in no state to consent to sexual activity.

Todd said she was in the bedroom at the time of the assault and heard Hammer telling him to stop before looking over to see him on top of her. It was then that they quickly pulled Hammer from the bed and asked producers for help.

“We knew that Gianna was taken advantage of,” Todd declared, conveying her outrage over her bunkmate’s abuse.

Todd, Weaver and other cast members maintain that AYTO’s producers were obligated to intervene in the attempted assault, yet they did nothing.

While Weaver did not directly witness the assault, he later came to the unsettling realization that it had been filmed.

“I remember at one point looking at the room and there was a camera pointed where Gianna was laying,” Weaver said. “I couldn’t see what exactly they were filming, I just assumed they were getting some shots of people sleeping that they can edit into stuff for the show. I came to realize later that [the male cast member] was basically starting to touch her and they were filming it as if it was like a hookup.”

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What happened leading up to and during the season 5 AYTO reunion?

Some time around January 2017, then-couple Hammer and Weaver say they were pressured into attending an AYTO reunion despite first declining to participate and informing MTV representative Lauren Zins, currently Vice President of Talent and Casting at MTV, that both wanted no further involvement with the show.

“This is personal for us,” Weaver says he wrote in an email to Zins. “Not one apology, ever. They just wanted us to forget it ever happened. And that’s now what we are trying to do."

“I am not a magician, I can’t erase the past,” Zin replied. “What I can do (and what I’ve done already) is make the higher ups at MTV aware of the situation and put in place a call to action to make sure these serious issues do not happen again."

"That said," she continued, "after you and Gianna had mapped out everything that had happened, you assured me that you would participate. I’m past the point of hashing this out. Unless there are new details, I should be made privy to, this doesn’t affect the reunion or the fact that you’re now going back on your word."

In closing, Zins stated, "You may feel that this reunion is a reminder of all the negative experiences, but I’m more of a glass half full person who would take the opportunity to remember that if it weren’t for this show, you never would have met Gianna.”

At the event, Hammer and Weaver say an unauthorized video of her was shown to other contestants, depicting her in an inebriated state and a situation that she doesn't remember on the night she alleges she was drugged and assaulted.

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Hammer demanded to see the footage for herself, but says she was denied.

Why Hammer is Telling Her Story Now, Four Years Later

Though Lighthearted Entertainment continues to deny that any of AYTO’s contestants signed an NDA or reported abuse, Hammer says that in the summer of 2020, she was contacted by an attorney for Viacom who said she had seen her posts on social media and wanted to investigate the matter further.

That further inquiry concluded at the beginning of 2021, with the lawyer informing Hammer that although the production company did admit "some details," all they would be able to do now is ban the unnamed assailant.

Hammer was affronted by the company’s refusal to acknowledge her trauma or offer her an apology.

RELATED: Why It Took Me 25 Years To Admit I Was Raped

Earlier today, Hammer posted a new TikTok updating her followers on the situation.

"To update everyone," she says, "I have not heard personally from MTV or Lighthearted. I know they put out a statement denying my allegations and I think that's just a huge reason why people who go through traumatic sexual assaults don't come forward."

"I've looked into the next steps I can take with this, but for now, I'm just really happy that I can start to take my power backand help people who have gone through similar experiences," she continued.

"Staying strong and hopeful. We'll see how that goes."

Hammer still doesn’t want to officially name her attacker.

The AYTO alum has expressed mixed feelings about the unnamed castmate, who was reportedly also extremely drunk on the night of the assault.

Reflecting on the events in hindsight, Hammer has said, “I didn’t know how to feel about it and there’s still a part of me that I still don’t know how to feel about it. I do have anger for him, but I guess I just won’t ever feel like he had a malicious intention. I don’t think this was something he planned to do.”

Hammer and her fellow cast members who have come forward prefer to hold MTV and Lighthearted Entertainment accountable for facilitating the attempted assault, denying its fallout, and continuing to refusing to help.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual harassment, assault and/or abuse, you are not alone. Visit RAINN.org for resources or call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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Allie McGlone is a writer who covers a variety of topics for YourTango, including pop culture and entertainment.