Danny Masterson Accused of Sexual Assault By Three Women
Actor Danny Masterson faces sexual assault accusations from three different women who were fellow Church of Scientology Members, the LAPD announced on March 3. Those accusations stem from incidents that allegedly occurred in the early 2000s which the women claim were covered up by Scientology officials, and one of Masterson's accusers first brought her claims to the police 14 years ago.
Masterson, who formerly played Steven Hyde on That '70s Show and currently stars in Netflix series The Ranch, has not been charged with a crime. In a statement via Variety, his reps disputes the allegations, particularly that of one woman who they claim dated Masterson for six years:
When Danny ended the relationship she continued to pursue him, even making threats to beat up his current wife Bijou Phillips unless she left him. In fact, we are informed by the Church that the only demand [the alleged victim] made of the Church after Danny broke up with her was asking for their help to intervene so the breakup would not be permanent.
We are aware also that approximately 14 years ago a woman referred to in the blog made allegations of sexual assault and that the LADP interviewed numerous witnesses and determined the claim had no merit. Based on reading the anti-Scientology blog that posted this story, these false allegations appear to be motivated to boost Leah Remini’s anti-Scientology television series since [the alleged victim] only came forward after connecting with Leah Remini.”
The show the statement refers to is Remini's investigative A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. The actress, who was raised in the Church of Scientology and left it in 2013, examines stories of abuse and exploitation within the secretive institution — reports that have been echoed in author Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear and the Emmy-winning HBO documentary based on it.
Meanwhile, journalist Tony Ortega, who maintains a blog called the Underground Bunker that investigates the Church of Scientology, spoke to Remini about the accusations. Ortega's report on the women's accusations against Masterson, which includes Remini's account of the claims, differs substantially from that of Masterson and his reps. It also reaffirms that "One of those women, Victim B, had filed a report with the LAPD in 2004 after her rape had occurred in 2003. But that investigation was closed when witnesses — who were Scientologists — contradicted the victim’s testimony."
According to reporting from Ortega, which includes police documents, Masterson's onetime girlfriend alleges that she was anally raped by Masterson while she was sleeping in bed in 2001. Ortega also writes that "Victim A" cited Masterson's publicist Jenni Weinman, who sent out the statement of Masterson's denial, as a witness to events surrounding her alleged sexual assault.
Remini maintains that the LAPD is unresponsive to claims of abuse against the Church of Scientology, given their power within the community.
"I met with the LAPD. I met with Detective Reyes, and I told her these victims deserve to be heard," Remini told Tony Ortega. "I pointed out to her that there was a framed picture of a Scientologist on their wall, actor Michael Peña. Do you know what that says to a young Scientologist who comes here to seek justice? My experience with the LAPD has not been good. I asked her to do the right thing by these girls, and I told her that the world is watching."
Masterson has been married to actress Bijou Phillips since 2011.
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