“The 70s Show” Star Danny Masterson on Trial for Rape Case; All You Need To Know
On Tuesday, a prosecutor said that the alleged rapes of actor Danny Masterson from “That ’70s Show” by three women had some of the same disturbing parts.
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 sex 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 lawyer said that the similarities between the allegations were caused by the fact that the alleged victims ignored a detective’s order not to talk to each other and “cross-pollinated” their stories. This hurt their credibility and led to the similarities.
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.
Masterson, 46, pleaded not guilty to three counts of forcible rape that happened between 2001 and 2003 in his Hollywood home, which was a social hub when he was at the height of his fame.
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 that 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 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 would 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. On the list is a friend of one of the alleged victims and former member, Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley and ex-wife of Michael Jackson.
Masterson had dated one of the women for a very long period. His personal assistant and another person were close pals, and the third person, an actress, was a more recent acquaintance.
His assistant’s friend complained to the police after being dissatisfied with the way the Scientology ethics board handled her complaint. At the time, no accusations were made.
In 2016, she made contact with her ex-girlfriend who is the subject of one of the accusations, and exchanged stories with her. In that year, each made a police report. After notifying her husband about the incident, who assisted her in realizing she had been raped, Masterson’s former girlfriend said she made the decision. 2017 saw the third woman approach the police.
Cohen said that the defense was based on the “sizzle reel of contradictions” between what the women said at first and how their stories changed over time.
Police were informed by a lady who claimed she was raped by Masterson after collapsing after consuming some of the fruity red vodka cocktails he provided her that she had previously engaged in consensual intercourse with him under similar circumstances several months prior. She now claims she wasn’t given her consent. In connection with such accusations, Masterson is not charged.
Then, Masterson invited another claimed victim over, and she went to his home. As the playing around continued, she repeatedly told him “no sex” and established ground rules that she wouldn’t have sex with him. He said the alleged assault by Masterson was so violent that the victim “limped like a rag doll” and puked in her mouth.
Cohen, however, claimed that after she left, the lady remained in bed with Masterson for hours while they chatted and listened to music, thinking “we’ll definitely start dating.” He claimed that she was shocked when Masterson didn’t text or phone her.
After she broke up with Masterson, his ex-girlfriend said they had two more times when they both agreed to it.
If found guilty, Masterson could spend up to 45 years in jail.
Unless they come out publicly, The Associated Press normally does not name those who claim to have been sexually abused.
One of the first celebrities in Hollywood to face charges during the #MeToo era was Masterson. Around the fifth anniversary of the allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement became a global wake-up call. This led to the reporting of a number of high-profile sexual assault cases that went to trial.
Next door to Masterson’s, Weinstein’s second trial for rape and sexual assault is taking place. He has already been found guilty in New York. Civil trials for sexual assault claims against actor Kevin Spacey and screenwriter and director Paul Haggis have started in New York.
As a fellow dissident of Scientology, Haggis is permitted to claim that the organization is to blame for the accusations made against him by the court in that case.
From 1998 to 2006, Masterson played Steven Hyde from 1998 to 2006 on Fox’s “That ’70s Show,” which launched the careers of Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Topher Grace and will soon receive a “That ’90s Show” revival on Netflix.
When an LAPD inquiry was made public in December 2017, Masterson’s appearance on the Netflix comedy “The Ranch” with Kutcher was canceled.