Content warning: This story discusses details of sexual assault and abuse.
When Danny Masterson—and his accusers—had their day in court last year, it ended in a mistrial, the jury deadlocked on whether or not the actor was guilty of three counts of forcible rape. He had pleaded not guilty on all counts.
After prosecutors tried him again this past spring, Masterson was found guilty of two counts of rape. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the third count, the allegation that he sexually assaulted a former girlfriend, but the vote was reportedly 8-4 in favor of conviction.
Masterson didn't testify at either trial. His three accusers testified at both.
Previously free on $3.3 million bail, he was remanded to custody once he was convicted on May 31.
On Sept. 7, after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo rejected the defense's motion for a new trial, Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. But through his lawyers, he maintains that he's innocent.
The verdicts against Masterson were "not supported by the evidence," his attorney Shawn Holley told media outlets in a statement after court, noting that they plan to appeal his conviction.
"Though we have great respect for the jury in this case and for our system of justice overall, sometimes they get it wrong," she said. "And that's what happened here." Masterson "did not commit the crimes for which he has been convicted and we—and the appellate lawyers—the best and the brightest in the country—are confident that these convictions will be overturned."
The prosecution, meanwhile, considers its case closed.
"This has been a long and arduous road for the victims of Mr. Masterson," L.A. County District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement obtained by E! News after the actor's sentencing. "They not only survived his abuse, they also survived a system that is often not kind to victims. I applaud their courage for coming forward and participating in this process. My hope is that this sentence will somehow bring them peace and that their bravery will be an example to others."
Thanking everyone on the trial team, he added, "This was a very difficult case but due to their hard work, experience and commitment, justice was finally served today. One of my top priorities is to ensure that Los Angeles will no longer be a hunting ground for Hollywood elite who feel entitled to prey on women."
A civil suit filed against Masterson and the Church of Scientology by four women and one of their husbands that was due to go to trial once the criminal proceedings had concluded still looms.
The former That '70s Show star was charged in 2020 with sexually assaulting three women in separate incidents that allegedly occurred between 2001 and 2003 at his Hollywood Hills home. He has remained free on $3.3 million bail.
"Mr. Masterson is innocent," his attorney told E! News in June 2020 following his arrest, "and we're confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify." The actor said that any sexual encounters he had were consensual.
For his first trial, opening statements got underway Oct. 18, 2022, following a week of jury selection, a pool of 225 having been whittled down to 12, plus alternates, following voir dire that included questions to gauge potential jurors' familiarity with Scientology.
Masterson, who's been married to wife Bijou Phillips since 2011, remained an active member of the Church of Scientology, while his three accusers—who haven't been identified publicly by their full names—say they are now ex-Scientologists but were members when they were allegedly raped.
In response to the lawsuit filed in 2019 accusing him of sexual assault and the church of harassing his alleged victims, Masterson said in a statement, "This is beyond ridiculous. I'm not going to fight my ex-girlfriend in the media like she's been baiting me to do for more than two years. I will beat her in court—and look forward to it because the public will finally be able learn the truth and see how I've been railroaded by this woman.
"And once her lawsuit is thrown out, I intend to sue her and the others who jumped on the bandwagon for the damage they caused me and my family."
He and the church alleged that his accusers have parroted talking points from an anti-Scientology blog and that at least one of them was encouraged to report him to police by prominent ex-Scientologist Leah Remini. A church spokesperson called the lawsuit "ludicrous" and "a sham."
After Masterson was charged, Remini tweeted, "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 are going to an end!"
The three women whose accusations resulted in criminal charges testified at a preliminary hearing in 2021 that they were initially reluctant to go to police because of church pressure.
One accuser said on the stand that she was instructed not to use "the R-word" when she told Scientology officials about the alleged assault. Another testified that a church lawyer came to her home and warned her that she would be expelled from the religion if she reported Masterson to authorities.
Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw denied that there was any policy in place to dissuade members from reporting crimes committed by other members to law enforcement, telling the LA Times, "Church policy explicitly demands Scientologists abide by all laws of the land, including the reporting of crimes. This is blatantly clear in the documents we understand were put before the Court—and many others."
As jury selection began, defense attorney Phillip Cohen acknowledged in court that Scientology may be "the elephant in the room," but the religion itself was not on trial.
These were the most shocking moments from Danny Masterson's first rape trial:
Did Danny Masterson have a history of non-consensual sexual encounters?
In his opening statement Oct. 18, Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller detailed an alleged September 2002 encounter between Jen B. (as she's being identified in court) and Masterson that preceded the incident she reported to police: Jen said she had planned to meet up one night with her then-best friend Brie Shaffer, Masterson's personal assistant at the time, and other friends, but Shaffer didn't end up going out. While they were at a bar, Masterson ordered Jen a greyhound—her only drink so far that night, she said—and told her she could stay over at his house. Once there, she felt intoxicated, she said, and didn't vocally object to kissing and sex—during which, Jen alleges, Masterson flipped her onto her stomach and penetrated her anally. She "injured her back a bit" fighting him off, Mueller said.
She did not go to police, the DA explained, because at the time she thought that since she had consented to some sexual activity, what happened wasn't rape.
Jen did tell some friends, including Shaffer and Lisa Marie Presley, a fellow Scientologist, what happened with Masterson, Mueller said. (E! News has confirmed that Presley is on the list of witnesses set to testify.)
What do the rape charges against Danny Masterson accuse him of doing?
The assault Jen ultimately reported, Mueller said, occurred in April 2003: Jen B. was at a club with friends one evening and after previous plans for a ride home and a place to stay overnight went awry, she and others ended up at Masterson's house. He gave her a red-colored beverage—her first alcoholic drink that night, she said—and within 20 or 30 minutes of drinking only part of it, she recalled becoming disoriented.
Mueller said that Jen's recollections of that night included Masterson pulling her, still partially dressed, into the hot tub; then seeing that she could barely stand up, bringing her upstairs to a bathroom. He stuck his finger down her throat, causing her to vomit, and then he pulled her, against her protestations, into the shower, where he rubbed soap on her breasts and she punched him in the chest in anger. Fading in and out of consciousness by then, she recalled waking up on the bed as Masterson was having sex with her. She took the pillow from under her head and shoved it in his face, but he in turn pushed it in her face and she passed out again.
At one point, Mueller said in recounting Jen's story, Masterson heard someone coming up the stairs and grabbed a gun from his nightstand. He pointed it at Jen, saying, "Don't f--king move." When it was over, Jen said she crawled into the closet and passed out.
Mueller recounted that when Jen told her Church of Scientology "ethics officer" that Masterson had raped her, he allegedly told her, "If you're going to tell me this was rape, it's not rape. In fact, you're not even allowed to say" that word. If she went to police, she was allegedly told, she could be considered a suppressive person and end up separated from her family in the church.
During the defense's opening statement, Philip Cohen said neither the initial police report detailing Jen's account nor the draft complaint sent by her attorney to Masterson's lawyers mentioned anything about the actor pulling a gun. (She testified during last year's preliminary hearing that he threatened her with a gun.)
How has the Church of Scientology factored into the charges against Danny Masterson?
Accuser and ex-girlfriend Christina B. (as she's being identified at trial) joined the Church of Scientology at Masterson's insistence a few months into their relationship, Mueller explained in his opening statement, and had dated him for about a year before he became "very controlling" and "aggressive sexually." She said she woke up on more than one occasion to find Masterson having sex with her. During one such instance in November 2001, she started screaming and tried to fight him off, then resorted to grabbing his hair—which was against a rule she said Masterson had about not touching his hair or face during sex—and he hit her in the face. When he climbed off her, she recalled he spit on her and called her "white trash."
Christina said she ultimately reported Masterson after a 2001 evening out that ended with her not remembering a thing until she woke up the next morning, at Masterson's house, in pain and bleeding from what felt to her like tearing in her rectal area. "She's alone, she's naked, she's confused," Mueller said. Christina said that when she asked Masterson what happened, he laughed and told her he'd had anal sex with her while she was unconscious.
"She was really traumatized by this," Mueller said, and reported it to her ethics officer at the Church of Scientology. The officer's husband was also a church chaplain, and he told Christina that she couldn't be raped by her "2D"—or "second dynamic," a term referring to a woman's husband or partner that Mueller promised would come up again later on.
Christina accepted that for a long time, Mueller said. She and Masterson broke up in March 2002, the DA continued, but still saw each other occasionally and had consensual sex on two occasions. She ultimately reported him to police in 2016 at the encouragement of her husband—who, after hearing his wife recount her experience, told her that what happened was rape.
A rep for Masterson told E! News in 2017, when the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed they were investigating sexual assault allegations (including a rape accusation by an unnamed ex-girlfriend) against him, that the Church of Scientology had said that the only demand the accuser made of the Church was to seek their help "to intervene so the breakup would not be permanent."
The third accuser, aka Jane Doe # 2 and identified at trial as N. Trout, said that she was invited back to Masterson's house after a night out with friends in Hollywood. They were having drinks, Mueller said in relaying her account of events, and N. said Masterson persuaded her to get into the hot tub. She agreed, but told him she wasn't going to have sex with him.
She was feeling fuzzy, her account continued, and Masterson brought her upstairs into the shower, where he started kissing her and first initiated penetration. She was startled and said no. Then they were back on the bed and, though she told him "no" multiple times, she said he kept going until she "felt like a limp rag doll." N. also said she vomited in her mouth while it was happening.
What did Danny Masterson's attorney say in his opening statement?
Defense attorney Cohen said in his opening statement that he, in turn, would explain why these women aren't credible and that, despite being instructed by law enforcement not to speak or otherwise consult with each other about their cases, they all ended up talking to one another.
Court broke for lunch, after which Cohen resumed his opener.
"This case, as you're going to hear, is about three women who are going to tell you about three nights about 17, 18, 20 years ago," he said. "This case is about what you believe...regarding those three nights, period."
There was nothing wrong with waiting a long time to talk to police, Cohen continued. But, he added, what the women in this case first told police was "wholly inconsistent with what they're going to tell you in court."
What did accuser Jen B. testify about Scientology and Danny Masterson?
Witness testimony began with Jen B. taking the stand for the prosecution. She testified about being a Scientologist her whole life, her parents already members of the church when she was born, and her closest friends all being from that circle. Because, she said, "growing up in Scientology, there's policies about non-Scientologists."
She met Masterson when she was about 24 and her fiancé was playing on an amateur softball team with the actor, the now-48-year-old recalled.
On the September 2002 night that she said resulted in Masterson initiating non-consensual anal sex, Jen testified that there was a lot of drunken laughter on her part when he started kissing her. She remembered him ordering her a greyhound at the bar and then giving her a clear beverage once they got to the house.
"I'm looking at his face and I'm like, What are we doing, this is stupid," she said. "I'd sort of get tired… I was so confused… and then I thought it was the funniest thing and I just kept laughing. I don't know why I kept laughing. It was ridiculous." Then, Jen continued, "Next thing I remember was him moving my body… and then I was on my stomach and I felt this really sharp pain in my rear side."
Kissing him "almost felt incestuous," Jen explained. "We're such a tight group of friends. He was my best friend's boss…'more like a brother is what it felt like—sometimes like a mean brother, but it kind of varied depending if he was drinking." She said that when she felt his penis inside her vagina, she became more alert, but then when he turned her around she felt "disoriented." She at first didn't realize she was being penetrated anally, she continued, but then "I literally was like such in pain… I just screamed 'no' out loud."
The next morning, Jen said, she had a terrible headache and was nauseous. She didn't know if he had ejaculated or not, and she went into the bathroom, she explained, mainly to check for evidence of whether he had used a condom. She said she didn't find any sign of one. Masterson wasn't home when she woke up, and she left.
What is Jen B.'s account of events from the night of April 25, 2003?
In emotional testimony starting Oct. 18 that saw her break down in tears multiple times, Jen B. (aka Jane Doe 1) told the court that she went to Masterson's house on April 25, 2003, to pick up a set of Shaffer's keys from Watson. When she arrived, she recalled, there were 20 or 30 people there hanging out.
She said Masterson gave her a sweet-tasting, red-colored drink in a tumbler, which she sipped. Jen was mostly talking to Watson outside and enjoying herself, she said, but eventually Masterson started pulling her toward the jacuzzi, warning "15 seconds!"—as in, that's how long you have to get ready before you have to go in, clothed or not.
Jen recalled him throwing her in while she was still wearing her pants and shirt. Thirty or 40 minutes after she had the red drink she started to feel woozy, and was having trouble staying upright, she said. "I wasn't able to balance myself well and [Luke] leans in and helps me get out," Jen said. "I just looked at him and said, 'Something's wrong.'"
By then, she said, she was wearing her underwear and a tank-top, unsure of when she removed her pants.
Slumped against Luke, Jen testified, "I wasn't able to sit and then I couldn't see and I felt like I couldn't breathe, and then I wanted to vomit everywhere and I felt I've never been so nauseous in my life."
Masterson came over and told Watson he was going to take her away to throw up. Watson resisted, telling Masterson he would help her, Jen said, but Masterson insisted and carried her upstairs. They went into the bathroom, he positioned her in front of the toilet and stuck his fingers down her throat, causing her to vomit, Jen said, recalling that it got in her hair.
Then, she said, starting to cry on the stand, "I laid down on that floor… my face was on the tile… it felt nice because it was cold and I wasn't moving and it felt safe. I just wanted to stay there."
She didn't know how much time passed, she said, before she heard Masterson say that all the vomit was "f--king disgusting" and he "dragged" her into the shower. "I remember him pulling me up by my underarms," Jen continued, "handing me soap."
"'Grab the f--king soap,'" he told her, per her recollection, but she couldn't. "He grabbed my hair," she continued, "and pulled me up because I kept trying to sit back down...I don't remember soaping myself." She mainly remembered being slumped on the floor of the shower, then the water turning off, after which, she said, "I guess I went unconscious or something, I don't remember."
Jen said she's not sure how she made it out of the bathroom, but then Masterson "kind of picked me up and pushed me onto the bed." Once again, she continued, "I was asleep or passed out or unconscious." She admitted that her memory of the sequence of events was hazy.
But, she continued, "To the best of my knowledge, when I first woke up on that bed he was on top of me and his penis was inside of me, and that's when I came to. Immediately my first realization was that, that's what I awoke to."
She tried to put a pillow between them, she recalled, but he grabbed it and held it over her face, causing her to lose consciousness again. When she came to, she said, she grabbed at his throat. Then he put his hand around her throat, Jen said, and "squeezed really hard." Mueller asked what she thought at that moment. "That I was going to die," she replied. "He's going to kill me."
Jen B. says Danny Masterson pulled a gun on her
Someone knocked on the bedroom door, and Jen recalled Masterson reaching for the nightstand and pulling out a gun. He never aimed it directly at her, she said, but while he was holding it "he told me to shut the f--k up."
She passed out again and when she woke up, Jen said, she was alone. Thinking she was leaving the room, she recalled, she accidentally ended up in the closet, where she curled up behind a rack of shirts and blacked out. Masterson was in the bedroom when she ventured out of the closet at what looked like an early-dawn hour, she said, and he pulled her to the bed and told her, "'Go the f--k to sleep.'"
Jen testified that she woke up much later in the day, went downstairs and only saw Watson, who told her she had to go straight to the office of the Scientology Celebrity Centre president—his mom, Susan Watson. Instead, Jen said, she went straight to her parents' house.
Why did the defense ask for a mistrial?
Asked and denied, but Masterson's attorney reiterated in moving for a mistrial just hours into witness testimony that Mueller had violated the judge's prior ruling in which she allowed mentions of Scientology as they pertained to the accusers being reluctant to go to police or otherwise report alleged crimes committed by fellow church members.
During an Oct. 3 pre-trial hearing, the defense sought to bar any mention of Scientology during the proceedings, Cohen telling the judge it was "disingenuous to say the government is not placing Scientology on trial." Mueller countered that he should have free rein to bring it up.
"It's about their entire life being wrapped up in this church," the prosecutor said. "If [members] don't follow certain policies...they lose that entire life.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Almedo reminded Mueller Oct. 19, "If you're bringing in Scientology evidence, do it in a manner that makes sense" to the testimony. "This is a rape case. Go to the incidents."
But, she noted, the court wouldn't be limiting testimony about ways in which the church might have disdain for the criminal justice system, a topic the women previously testified about at pre-trial.
What happened after Jen B.'s first sexual encounter with Danny Masterson?
Jen B. resumed her testimony Oct. 19. She recalled—after what she has concluded in hindsight was not a consensual sexual encounter with Masterson in September 2002—telling friends in their social circle, including Lisa Marie Presley, Paige Dorian and the actor's assistant Brie Shaffer and good friend Luke Watson, about what happened and feeling blamed for upsetting the dynamic of the group.
Some church members drew up "knowledge reports" about her, Jen said, explaining, "My understanding was that we, in our group, would write reports when we had relevant info about something that was not ideal in our group." Counselors "would then call us in, perhaps have us address why, talking about it and taking steps to fix what we did wrong or stop us from doing it again."
Jen's church "ethics officer," Julian Swartz, summoned her to work on "self-induced" issues, which she then spent several weeks doing, she recalled.
Jen recalled feeling responsible for what happened at the time—and she still feels that way now, to an extent, "because I put myself in that situation. I drank. I didn't have a safe plan, Brie wasn't there. I didn't stop it, you know, I went through all of this, what could've happened."
When did Jen. B first report her alleged rape to police?
Jen testified that she went to the LAPD's Hollywood Station to file a report in June 2004, a year after the alleged attack, explaining that she was reluctant to go to police "because I was a Scientologist and Mr. Masterson is a Scientologist, and you cannot report another Scientologist in good standing to the authorities."
(A church spokeswoman has denied any policy preventing its members from reporting crimes, including ones potentially committed by fellow members.)
"My understanding was I would immediately be guilty of a high crime," Jen continued. "A high crime comes with a penalty of expulsion from Scientology…You cannot speak or have contact or anything at all with a person who has been expelled or declared a suppressive person…That would have major ramifications."
Asked what sort of ramifications, she said, "My life would be over. My parents [both Scientologists] would have to disconnect with me. My daughter [7 or 8 at the time] couldn't go to her school… My parents wouldn't talk to me. I wouldn't have anywhere to work or live. I wouldn't have anywhere to go." Jen said she wasn't convinced that her parents would choose her over the church if she left.
Before going to police, Jen said, she sent a letter seeking permission to Mike Ellis, the church's International Justice Chief, and asking him for assurance that she wouldn't be declared. He did not give permission, she recalled.
She testified she gave the police photos she taken in the days immediately following her April 25, 2003, encounter with Masterson of bruises on her body, as well as copies of knowledge reports written up about her and the actor and a "non-interpolation order" (a paper that's circulated within a group of people about things you are doing or have done that have "created much chaos in a group," Jen explained, "and it says if we receive one more report of anybody being upset…this person will be...declared a suppressive person").
What happened after Jen B. reported Danny Masterson to police?
According to her testimony, a lawyer from the church came to her father's house in July 2004 and informed them there was already a "declare issue" waiting on Swartz's desk to have her labeled a suppressive. Swartz, whose information she gave to police as one of the first three people she told about being raped, also called her and demanded to know how they got his number, Jen said. When she explained, Jen continued, Swartz said, "'Yeah, you're f--ked, you have no idea how f--ked you are.'"
She said she subsequently signed a nondisclosure agreement, which included her being paid $400,000 over the course of a year.
"I could enter into the NDA agreement or just end my existence however I wanted to do it, go get a declare order or whatever," Jen said.
She testified that a detective got in touch with her in 2016, explaining she was trying to locate Jen's 2004 report, and police interviewed her again in the course of their wider investigation into accusations again Masterson.
According to Jen, she remembered her fellow accuser who's being identified in court as Christina B. from when she dated Masterson in the 1990s, and she first spoke to accuser N. Trout in the summer of 2017. Jen said she and Christina got in touch in 2016 and talked multiple times after.
Asked if she feared any retaliation from her testimony, Jen answered, "Half this courtroom."
Did Jen B. change her story over the years?
On cross-examination, Jen acknowledged not telling police "the whole truth" in 2004, but maintained that whatever she did tell them she believed to be true.
Questioned about initially telling police her 2002 sexual encounter with Masterson was consensual, she said it wasn't until 2018 that she came to the conclusion that it was something that maybe she wouldn't call rape but rather, as defense attorney Cohen put it, "something in the middle."
On the stand Oct. 20, Jen also maintained that she did tell the LAPD about Masterson having a gun in 2004. She admitted forgetting some things, such as that Masterson had still been home and woke her up the morning after the alleged assault, but insisted she remembered the most pertinent facts.
"It's almost 20 years," she told Cohen. "I'm really trying."
(Also on Oct. 20, the judge agreed to allow a juror to step down due to "anxiety." An alternate was swiftly sworn in to replace the departing juror.)
Was Danny Masterson accuser Jen B. injured?
On Oct. 24, Jen's cousin Rachel Dejneka testified that she did see bruises on Jen's body during a family trip to Clearwater, Fla., they embarked on barely a day after the alleged rape in April 2003.
Dejneka said Jen knew she "was in a hot tub and handed a drink" but "didn't remember exactly" what happened next.
Danny Masterson's ex-girlfriend describes an abusive relationship
Taking the stand for the first time Oct. 24, Masterson accuser Christina B (aka Jane Doe 3) testified that she and the actor had been going out for more than four years, starting in 1997, when she woke up on one occasion in 2001 at his Hollywood Hills home (where she lived at the time) to find him having sex with her.
"I told him I didn't want to have sex, and he wouldn't stop," she said. He pinned her arms, she continued, making her feel "trapped...I was screaming at him to get off of me."
When she pulled on his hair, which was against a rule he had against touching his face or hair, he struck her on the left side of her face, the witness said, then spit on her and called her "white trash" as he got up.
About a year into their ultimately six-year relationship, Christina said, "He became very aggressive sexually...I remember coming back from Paris [in 1998] and I was really really tired and jet-lagged and sick and he wanted to have sex and I didn't. And it resulted in a fight where he dragged me by my hair along the floor. He called me fat and other insults. That's the first that I remember."
Whether she wanted to have sex when he did or not, she continued, "most of the time I let it happen. It would get to the point where if I made it an issue, he would ignore me for a day or two where I would go groveling to him."
And if she didn't apologize to him, she said, "there would be no communication."
What role did Scientology play in Danny Masterson accuser Christina B's life?
Christina testified that she joined the church at Masterson's insistence, resulting in her "disconnecting" from her family, as her parents, she was told, were "suppressive persons."
On Oct. 25, her second day on the stand, Christina recalled telling a church "ethics officer "in late 2003 that she had been raped by her by-then-former boyfriend, and the exec's response was to tell her not to use that word. "She explained to me that you can't rape someone you are in a relationship with," the witness said. Moreover, she said the officer told her, "I had done something to cause it...We're all responsible for the condition we're in."
At the time, she never considered going to police first, she said.
Danny Masterson's ex testifies about alleged rape
The rape allegation stems from a December 2003 morning on which Christina says she woke up in pain and bleeding after a night out at a Los Angeles restaurant.
"When I first woke up I felt very confused and I noticed that my whole body hurt," she said. "I noticed that I was injured...my bottom. It was red. It was not normal. It was torn and it had a little bleeding. I was in a lot of pain. I couldn't sit down, it hurt to go to the restroom."
When she asked Masterson what happened, she said, "He laughed at me and said he had sex with me there [indicating her rear end]. I asked him if I was unconscious the whole time and he said yes. It broke my heart because I really trusted him."
Their relationship was for all intents and purposes over by the end of 2001, Christina said. But she did seem him "a couple times" in 2002, and while she started crying on the first occasion and he "stopped," she recalled, they had an intimate encounter the next time.
Christina testified that she first told her husband about being assaulted by Masterson in 2011 and reached out to a sexual assault hotline, as well as Austin police, in 2016.
Danny Masterson's attorney offers the possibility that the actor was "a really bad lover"
Retracing accuser Christina B's testimony about her unpleasant experiences with Masterson over the course of their relationship, Cohen inquired during cross-examination on Oct. 27 if their sex life was never "intimate."
"I would say it was not loving, it was very rough, and forceful," she replied, "and didn't understand that a woman needs to be prepared and not just jump on someone and do it their way."
Cohen suggested that perhaps Masterson was just "a really bad lover," as opposed to a cruel person.
"At the time I didn't have much to compare it to what a healthy relationship would be like," the witness replied.
Third Danny Masterson accuser testifies, describes feeling like a "rag doll" during alleged 2003 rape
After court was dark for two days, the trial resumed Nov. 2 with Jane Doe 2 taking the stand. She testified that she was invited to Masterson's house one night in late 2003, where she drank a glass of wine and he demanded that she strip and get in the jacuzzi. She felt "heavy," she recalled, and then the actor started kissing her.
"I didn't want any of what was happening," she testified. "I did start saying to him, 'We cannot have sex, Danny. We cannot have sex.'"
She said that Masterson brought her up to the bathroom to take a shower, and that's where he first initiated sex. Then he took her into the bedroom and, despite her protestations, he flipped her onto her stomach and "started pounding me from behind." She almost threw up on the bed, she continued, and she felt "like a rag doll, not totally in charge of my faculties."
Afterward, too worried about Masterson's status in the church of Scientology, Jane Doe 2 said, she tried to talk herself out of thinking of what had just happened to her as a rape. She called the actor a week later and asked why he hadn't called, that she liked him and she thought he liked her. He told her he'd been busy, she said, and they only talked a couple more times after that.
"He was like a predator," she said of Masterson. "And as an adult woman, you have plenty of time to see these distinctions between someone having affinity for you and someone targeting you as a piece of meat."
What do Leah Remini's tweets have to do with Danny Masterson's rape trial?
With the jury out of the courtroom, defense attorney Karen Goldstein raised concerns regarding ex-Scientologist and known church critic Leah Remini's tweets about Masterson to Judge Olmedo, suggesting that Remini's running commentary could be preventing her client from getting a fair trial.
"As of November 1, yesterday, Leah Remini has tweeted 36 points about this trial," Goldstein said, according to the pool report from journalist Tony Ortega. "She has commented on defense strategy. She has commented on Scientology. She was, at one point, a victim advocate in this case. She was at Jane Doe 1's interview in 2017. She has met with [LAPD] Detective Vargas multiple times. The tweets emphasize the points made several times…this makes it exceedingly difficult for Mr. Masterson to get a fair trial."
The defense's concern was entered into the record.
Remini's 34th tweet in her long thread alleged, "These women have spoken out in great danger to themselves and their families." And she concluded in her 36th, "It's not just about a Hollywood celebrity. It's about what a multi-billion-dollar cult does to cover up horrifying sex crimes."
The church has described Remini on multiple occasions as a disgruntled former member with an axe to grind.
(Originally published Oct. 18, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. PT and updated at 4:40 p.m.; Oct. 19 at 2:01 p.m.; Oct. 20 at 12 p.m.; Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.; Oct. 27 at 3:55 p.m. PT; Nov. 2 at 3:08 p.m. PT; Nov. 9 at 11:41 a.m. PT; Nov. 15 at 11:13 a.m. PT; Nov. 30, 2022, at 7 p.m. PT )