Rape Allegations Aired Against 70s Show Actor Masterson: On Tuesday, a prosecutor described three women’s alleged rape of “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson as having some of the same unsettling components.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller claimed during his opening statement in Masterson’s trial that two ladies were thrown into his hot tub after they had a few drinks and either passed out or became drowsy. One of them claimed that after dragging her to his bed, he had s*ex with her when she came to.
An ex-girlfriend of a third lady claimed that when she woke up, he was on top of her. Masterson’s attorney said that the fact that the alleged victims disregarded a detective’s order not to talk with one another and “cross-pollinated” their tales compromised their credibility and were the cause of the similarities between the allegations.
They were instructed that speaking to one another would taint the case, according to defense attorney Phillip Cohen in Los Angeles Superior Court. A case is doomed if the witnesses talk to one another and/or other witnesses.
In his Hollywood house, which served as a social hub when he was at the height of his stardom, Masterson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of forcible rape that occurred between 2001 and 2003.
While Mueller said that it helped explain why the women, who are all former members of the church, waited so long to disclose the incidents, Cohen encouraged the jurors not to take Masterson’s association with the Church of Scientology and its connection to the case into consideration.
When two of the alleged victims first went to the church to report what had happened, they were informed it wasn’t rape and that if they told anyone or reported it to the police, their closest friends and even family members would reject them.
You essentially turn become the church’s enemy, Mueller added. “You lose everything,” Cohen argued constantly when it was brought up that the matter had nothing to do with religion. Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo of the Superior Court forcefully informed the attorneys that the case will not be dominated by Scientology.
The church, which has a substantial presence in Los Angeles and has included a number of well-known individuals among its followers, is heavily represented on the witness list in the trial. One of the alleged victims’ friend and former member Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley and ex-wife of Michael Jackson, is on the list.
A longtime girlfriend of Masterson’s had been one of the ladies. The second person and his personal assistant were great friends, while the third person—an actress—was a more recent acquaintance.
Because she was dissatisfied with the way the Scientology ethics board handled her complaint, the friend of his assistant reported the incident to the police. At the time, no charges were filed.
She got in touch with her ex-girlfriend who is one of the accusers in 2016 and exchanged stories with her. Each one reported to the police that year. Masterson’s ex-girlfriend claimed that she did so after alerting her husband about the incident, who assisted her in realizing that she had been raped. In 2017, the third woman contacted the police.
The “sizzle reel of contradictions” between what the women initially claimed and how their statements evolved over time, according to Cohen, formed the foundation of the defense. Several months earlier, in comparable circumstances, a woman who claimed she was raped after collapsing after consuming part of the fruity red vodka cocktail Masterson gave her told authorities she had consensual s*ex with him.
She now claims that she was not informed. Regarding those accusations, Masterson is not charged. After Masterson invited her over, another claimed victim went to his home. As the playing about went on, she established the ground rules that she wouldn’t have s*ex with him and repeatedly told him “no s*ex,” according to Mueller.
He claimed that the alleged assault by Masterson was so severe that the victim puked in her mouth and was left “limp like a rag doll.” Cohen, however, said that the lady spent hours talking and listening to music in bed with Masterson and that, after she departed, she thought, “We’ll definitely start dating.” He claimed that when Masterson didn’t contact or text her, she was shocked.
The ex-girlfriend claimed that after their breakup, she had two more instances of consensual intercourse with Masterson. Masterson may spend as much as 45 years in jail if found guilty. The Associated Press normally does not identify anyone who claims to have been s*exually abused unless they come forward in a public setting.
One of the first Hollywood celebrities to face charges in the #MeToo era was Masterson. Around the time of the fifth anniversary of the allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, which elevated the #MeToo movement to a global reckoning, a number of high-profile s*exual assault cases went to trial. One of them is his.
Just down the hall from Masterson’s is Weinstein’s second rape and s*exual assault trial. He has already been found guilty in New York. Actor Kevin Spacey and screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, who are both being sued for s*exual assault, have opened their civil trials in New York.
As a dissident of Scientology himself, the court, in that case, is allowing Haggis to claim that the organization is responsible for the accusations made against him.
Actor Danny Masterson has been charged with three counts of rape. In a statement, his attorney said Masterson is innocent.
Here's everything we know about his case https://t.co/liCyo6NDQj
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 22, 2020
Masterson played Steven Hyde from 1998 to 2006 on Fox’s “That ’70s Show,” which made stars out of Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Topher Grace and will soon have a reboot on Netflix with “That ’90s Show.”
On the Netflix comedy “The Ranch,” Masterson and Kutcher had reconnected, but the project was canceled when an LAPD investigation was made public in December 2017.