REPORTS: Alleged Rape Victims Of Danny Masterson Say They Were Harassed After Speaking Out
Editor's Note: Trigger warning for this one, guys – it's a particularly tough read.
Two weeks after news broke that That '70s Show actor Danny Masterson had been arrested and charged with three counts of rape in separate incidents allegedly occurring between 2001 and 2003, new reports have emerged stating that the Church of Scientology – of which Masterson is reportedly a "devoted" member – tried to silence the alleged victims.
According to Page Six, following Danny’s June 17 arrest, claims began swirling that four women – including three from the criminal charges – had already filed a civil suit against the 44-year-old actor and the church back in August 2019. The suit claimed that the church had harassed and tried to silence the women after they brought the alleged assaults to the attention of representatives within the Church of Scientology.
An attorney for the suit, Stewart Ryan, said: “It is alleged [in the suit] that our clients reported the sexual assaults to Scientology at the times that they happened. It is alleged in the suit that Scientology attempted to cover up the sexual assaults.”
Danny’s former partner, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, is the only victim named outright in the criminal filing, according to Page Six. She claims in the civil suit that church members stalked her, spat on her and threatened to blackmail her with underage nude photos of her after she came forward about Masterson drugging and raping her on multiple occassions.
Chrissie's claims about Masterson, which can be found in the amended civil complaint as reported by Page Six, are disturbing. The complaint reportedly reads: “On more than one occasion Plaintiff Bixler awoke in bed to find Masterson sexually assaulting her. In one specific instance, Masterson drugged . . . Bixler’s wine at dinner and anally assaulted her. The following morning, Masterson admitted that he had anal sex with her while she was unconscious.”
Danny was charged with raping a 23-year-old woman in 2001, a 28-year-old woman in early 2003 and a 23-year-old woman in late 2003. The dates suggest that the alleged attacks would've occurred during the peak of Mastersons stardom on That '70s Show, which aired from 1998–2006. The charges came after three years of investigation into the alleged attacks.
Danny’s attorney Tom Mesereau said the actor was innocent. “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,“ Mr Mesereau said in a statement. “The people who know Mr Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”
The Church of Scientology also denies all claims laid out in the August 2019 civil suit.
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