From PEOPLE: Jon Hamm accused of violent fraternity hazing
Jon Hamm has been accused of violent fraternity hazing, including allegedly setting a pledge on fire.
According to a 1991 lawsuit that surfaced this week and was obtained by the Associated Press, the Mad Men star was one of a number of Sigma Nu frat members who participated in a violent college hazing incident that took place in November 1990 at the University of Texas-Austin.
The suit claimed that Hamm became “mad, I mean really mad,” when the new pledge, identified in the papers as Mark Allen Sanders, could not recite things he was supposed to memorize. Sanders alleged that Hamm hit him and shoved his face in the dirt. “He rears back and hits me left-handed, and he hit me right over my right kidney, I mean square over it,” he said in the lawsuit. “Good solid hit and that, that stood me right up.”
The case was widely reported on at the time, though Hamm was not yet famous then. Identified as Jonathan Hamm of St. Louis in a 1991 story in the San Antonio Light, the paper reported that Sanders was beaten with a paddle and broom and led around the frat house “with the claw of a hammer beneath his genitals.” Sanders also claimed that Hamm set his pants on fire, the AP reports.
An arrest warrant was eventually issued for Hamm and several of his fellow frat members in 1993. He was charged with hazing and received probation.
University records show that Hamm left school the same semester as the alleged hazing occurred, the AP reports, though the actor has said he dropped out following his father’s death in 1991.
“I dropped out of school, moved into the basement of my older half-sister Julie’s house, enrolled in a local college and sank into depression,” he told the Daily Mail in 2012.
Reps for Hamm did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
This article originally appeared on People.com.
Jon Hamm stars as Don Draper in the Emmy-winning ’60s-set drama