Armie Hammer is stepping down from Jennifer Lopez's new movie Shotgun Wedding, amid an ongoing scandal surrounding alleged leaked direct messages about the actor's sex life.

The Social Network star has asked producers to let him exit the project, telling TMZ he cannot justify spending time away from his young son and daughter while reports surrounding leaked DMs he allegedly sent continue to make news. The messages that have been leaked, supposedly from Armie's account, describe fantasies of rape and cannibalism, and were posted by an anonymous social media source.

"I'm not responding to these bulls**t claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for four months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic," Armie said.

"Lionsgate (film studio) is supporting me in this and I’m grateful to them for that."

A production spokesperson told the New York Post's Page Six: "Given the imminent start date of Shotgun Wedding, Armie has requested to step away from the film and we support him in his decision."

Hammer was the second star to take on the role in director Jason Moore's film - Ryan Reynolds was originally cast as the groom-to-be of a destination wedding, who is taken hostage.