Actor Danny Masterson has been accused of sexual assault by members of the Church of Scientology who also say they have been silenced by the church.
Former Village Voice Editor-in-Chief Tony Ortega broke the news Friday on his Scientology blog The Underground Bunker, claiming to have documents showing that the Los Angeles police department has been investigating Masterson, a lifelong Scientologist who starred on That 70s Show, on rape and sodomy charges brought by three women. Masterson has not been charged with any crimes at this time.
According to The Underground Bunker, a former girlfriend of Masterson’s told actress and outspoken ex-Scientologist Leah Remini about an alleged sexual assault, and Remini encouraged her to contact the police. Since then, two other alleged victims have come forward — and one of them is said to have previously filed a police report in 2004 about a sexual assault that allegedly took place in 2003, but her case was closed when witnesses, also Scientologists, contradicted her claims. Her case has since been re-opened.
The first alleged victim to reach out to Remini was reportedly in a relationship with Masterson at the time of the alleged assault in 2001, when she says he sodomized her while she was unconscious. She says she did not report the incident to the police under pressure from the church. The woman — who has since left the church and no longer lives in California — says she filed a police report in November 2016 in the city where she now lives, and the case was referred to the LAPD’s Hollywood station before being reassigned to Detective Esther Reyes of the Robbery-Homicide division.
That alleged victim wrote a letter to LAPD on February 22, detailing the background of her case and expressing frustration with the investigation. It read, in part:
I was told that my report was transferred out of the Wilcox [Hollywood] location into downtown due to known leaks within the Hollywood division when I received a phone call from Detective Reyes later that day…She warned me that I am not to speak to any other officer or anyone claiming to be an officer.
She told me that she has taken our police reports out of the LAPD computers so that no one could see them. She said she had them in a vault that only she and her captain could access. She told me this was done to safeguard the case as she agreed that their [sic] are leaks in the LAPD and that some LAPD officers are very friendly with the church of Scientology.
In the same letter, the woman accused the Church of Scientology of trying to silence her when she first spoke of the alleged assault.
[The church] 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 alleged victim said in the letter that she was instructed to try and get Masterson to discuss the case on the phone, which she has been unable to do, but that she did speak to his publicist and gave the publicist an ultimatum that she and another alleged victim would go public if Masterson did not apologize. The woman said that Reyes criticized her for doing that.
“She blamed me for ruining this part of the case,” the woman said in the letter.
The Underground Bunker spoke to a man who said he was a witness to the alleged 2003 sexual assault involving a second victim. According to that witness, the woman was at a party at Masterson’s house, when he gave her a drink and then threw her in the pool. After that, the witness said the alleged victim was curled up on a patio chair when Masterson offered to take her upstairs. Later, the witness said he was in the living room of the home when the victim came downstairs, “freaking out and crying.”
“She looked terrified,” the witness said. “And she said, ‘Oh my God, Danny just raped me.’”
The Underground Bunker obtained a copy of that alleged victim’s police report, in which she claims that she woke up to find Masterson having sex with her, and when she struggled, he choked her until she passed out.
An alleged third victim has reportedly also filed a police report, but details of those allegations are not yet known.
Masterson has been married to actress Bijou Phillips since 2011. The couple revealed earlier this month that she has kidney disease and is in need of a transplant.
Photo: Associated Press