‘Mad Men’ star was ac­cused in vi­o­lent col­lege haz­ing case

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE - BY PAUL J. WE­BER

“Mad Men” star Jon Hamm took part in a vi­o­lent uni­ver­sity haz­ing in 1990 at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas that led to crim­i­nal charges, ac­cord­ing to court and school records ob­tained Thurs­day.

The Emmy- nom­i­nated ac­tor had not pre­vi­ously been pub­licly linked to a law­suit filed by a mem­ber of a fra­ter­nal so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tion who said he was se­verely beaten, dragged by a ham­mer and had his pants lit on fire. In the 1991 law­suit, the pledge said Hamm par­tic­i­pated “till the very end.”

Crim­i­nal records show Hamm, now 44, was charged with haz­ing and re­ceived de­ferred ad­ju­di­ca­tion, which un­der Texas law means he had to suc­cess­fully com­plete pro­ba­tion but was never con­victed. A sep­a­rate charge of as­sault was dis­missed.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives for Hamm and “Mad Men” cre­ator Matthew Weiner did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment Thurs­day.

None of the records were sealed, but Hamm was not fa­mous when the in­ci­dent hap­pened and his con­nec­tion to the case didn’t come to light un­til Star mag­a­zine re­ported on it this week.

The case resur­faced just as the crit­i­cally ac­claimed “Mad Men” be­gins air­ing its fi­nal sea­son on AMC.

Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, Hamm be­came “mad, I mean re­ally mad” af­ter the 20-yearold stu­dent join­ing the fra­ter­nity failed to re­cite things he was sup­posed to mem­o­rize about Hamm and other fra­ter­nity mem­bers. For Hamm, his list in­cluded “Young Bobby,” “MC Ham­mer” and “UT Foot­ball Punch­ing Bag.”

The pledge, Mark Allen San­ders, said Hamm went on to set his jeans on fire, shove his face in dirt and strike him with a pad­dle.

“He rears back and hits me left-handed, and he hit me right over my right kid­ney, I mean square over it,” San­ders said in the law­suit. “Good solid hit and that, that stood me right up.”

San­ders said he needed med­i­cal care and with­drew from the school. Court records show the law­suit was dis­missed in 1993. At­tempts to reach San­ders were un­suc­cess­ful Thurs­day, and his for­mer at­tor­ney did not re­turn a mes­sage.

Four other fra­ter­nity mem­bers were charged and pleaded no con­test to mis­de­meanor haz­ing charges. The Sigma Nu chap­ter was shut down and never re­opened on cam­pus.

Uni­ver­sity records show Hamm ar­rived on cam­pus in the au­tumn of 1989 and left af­ter the same se­mes­ter in which the haz­ing took place. In a 2008 in­ter­view with W Mag­a­zine, Hamm said he left school his sec­ond year af­ter his fa­ther died and he re­turned to his home state of Mis­souri.

In March, Hamm com­pleted a stint in re­hab for what his rep­re­sen­ta­tives said was treat­ment for al­co­hol ad­dic­tion.

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