Danny Masterson: 5 Facts About The ‘That 70’s Show’ Actor Charged With Raping 3 Women
*TW: This article contains descriptions of assault. Readers discretion is advised.*
The star of That ’70s Show made headlines when an ex-girlfriend reported him in 2016 and 2017 for abuse, and four other women accused him of rape and sexual assault. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office on June 17 announced that actor Danny Masterson has been charged with three counts of rape “by force or fear” in connection with incidents that occurred in 2001 and 2003.
1. Danny Masterson’s major roles include those alongside Ashton Kutcher in “That 70’s Show” and Netflix’s “The Ranch”.
From 1998-2006, Danny Masterson Steven Hyde on the period teen sitcom “That ’70s Show”. In the 8 seasons of the iconic show, Masterson became close friends with co-stars Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon and Wilmer Valderrama. Then in 2016, Masterson joined forces with Ashton Kutcher once more to co-star in Netflix’s “The Ranch”. Masterson played the character of Rooster Bennett while being the executive producer of the show.
However, when the rape allegations against the 44-year-old star came up, Netflix decided to cut ties with him. They wrote off Masterson’s character by having him die in a freak motorcycle accident in Dec 2018.
2. Danny Masterson is a Scientologist.
He has practised the religion based on late founder and science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard‘s books since he was a teen. In a 2015 interview with Paper magazine, Masterson explained,
In Scientology, there’s no belief system or anyone who’s worshipped or whatnot; it’s all sort of like college of the mind. And so I grew up not having to go and pray to anyone. I grew up just sort of like, ‘Oh, if you’re thirsty, drink water.’”
He went on to explain how he grew up with Scientology but didn’t notice any difference until he was in junior high. He talked about how, growing up in New York, a lot of kids would lie and cheat their parents but he had a good friendship with his. He attributes the easy communication and community he found with other kids of Scientologists. Other famous celebrity Scientologists include Tom Cruise, Elisabeth Moss, John Travolta and Bijou Phillips.
3. Danny Masterson has a family.
Masterson met Bijou Phillips at a poker tournament in Las Vegas in 2004 and began dating publicly in 2005. Phillips, who is also a Scientologist, is a model, singer, actress and the daughter of the late The Mamas and the Papas musician/songwriter John Phillips and actress Geneviève Waïteis. The couple announced their engagement four years later, in March 2009 and tied the knot on October 18, 2011. They then welcomed a daughter, Fiona on the 14th of February 2014. The 40-year-old “Almost Famous” and “The Bridge to Now” actress has stood by her husband throughout the allegations. She has, however, deactivated her Instagram account following the District Attorney’s charges against Masterson.
4. The victims are also Scientologists.
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The Underground Bunker, run by Tony Ortega, which primarily covers Scientology news first broke the story of the assaults. In his blog entry, Ortega mentions how three different women accused the “That 70’s Show” star of raping and sodomizing them in the early 2000s. It also mentions how the victims’ accounts of what happened afterwards pointed to the Church of Scientology wanting to cover up their assaults. The blog reads,
Victims complain of being pressured by the Church of Scientology to keep quiet about their claims, and were punished for being victimized.”
However, it was thanks to actress Leah Remini’s recent A&E series, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” that these women came forward again. The actress was the one who encouraged “Victim A” from Mastersons’s case to come forwards and file a police report. As a result, more women came forward when they realised that their claims were finally being taken seriously.
5. Amongst the claims, are those that Danny Masterson raped and choked them.
Finally, victims are being heard when it comes to Scientology! Praise the lord! This is just the beginning Scientology, your days of getting away with it is coming to an end! #justice #scientologytheaftermath https://t.co/oAFlIoWFYd
— Leah Remini (@LeahRemini) June 17, 2020
Victim A described the background of her case: She had been in a relationship with Danny Masterson for 6 years. However, during their relationship, he allegedly anally raped and injured her while she was unconscious. While she had never gone to the police, she told the Church of Scientology who then advised her not to go to the police. She said,
They threatened me that if I ever told anyone or reported him to the police that I would be declared a ‘suppressive person’ and lose everything and everyone. Then they put me on a massive ethics program as punishment. My rapist was not punished at all. They didn’t even call him to talk about it. I ended up breaking up with him two months later.
The Underground Bunker managed to talk to a witness that attended the party at Danny Masterson’s house where Victim B claims she was attacked. The witness said that Masterson was DJing at the party where Victim B showed up. The witness goes on to say that Victim B was sober and only drank when Masterson made her. Not long after, the witness heard Masterson say, “[Victim B]’s going in the pool!” before throwing her in, fully clothed. Victim B then came out of the pool and curled up on a chair before someone gave her a towel. Masterson then said he would take her upstairs and reassured the witness he wouldn’t do anything to her. However, there then was a commotion coming from upstairs. The witness recounts,
“I saw [Victim B], she was coming toward me, her hair was still drying. She looked terrified. And she said, ‘Oh my God, Danny just raped me.’ She was freaking out and crying.”
According to the police report, Victim B also said that Masterson choked her when she objected to being sexually assaulted by him.
If convicted, Masterson faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison. In a statement to HollywoodLife, Masterson’s attorney said,
Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify. Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out. The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”
*If you find yourself in a similar position, please reach out to your loved ones or to the following organisations (regardless of if you are a man or woman):
1. Women’s Aid Organization – +60 37957 5636 (Their website has an easy exit option & will not show up in browsing history should you need it)
2. Malaysian Police – 999
3. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) – +603 7877 0224
4. Sisters In Islam (Telenisa Helpline) – +603 7960 8802
5.Talian Kasih Hotline – 15999 (24h)