Danny Masterson family ‘buoyant’ before guilty rape verdict

Claire Headley, who told The Post she was once a highly ranked member within the Church of Scientology, was meeting a business client Wednesday when she received the call that Danny Masterson had been found guilty of raping two women.

The “That ’70s Show” actor, a longtime Scientologist, could be looking at 30 years to life in prison when his sentencing takes place in August.

“I was incredibly relieved,” Headley, who testified for the prosecution, told The Post. “I am incredibly grateful that justice was served for these women who persisted through an awful lot.”

A Los Angeles jury found Masterson, 47, guilty on two of three felony rape charges.

This was his second trial for the offenses, after jurors deadlocked during an earlier trial in November.

Chrissie Carnell Bixler (right), who dated Masterson, is one of three women who accused him of rape. The jury was deadlocked over the charges in her case, however.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

This time, verdicts were reached on two of three rape charges, brought by Jen B. and N. Trout (Jane Does 1 and 2). The third, brought by the actor’s former girlfriend Chrissie Bixler (filing as Jane Doe 3), was undecided with a vote of 8 to 4 against Masterson.

“Jane Doe 3 is happy to see some consequences for Masterson’s criminal behavior,” attorney John Kucera told The Post.

He will be representing four plaintiffs, including Jane Doe 3, in an upcoming civil case against Masterson, the Church of Scientology and David Miscavage, alleging harassment. “Jane Doe 3 is disappointed that the jury was unable to reach a conviction in her case but the state can re-charge if it so chooses.”

Danny Masterson as Hyde on "That '70s Show"
Masterson has been a member of the Church of Scientology since he was 15.
©Carsey-Werner Co/Courtesy Everett Collection

The Church of Scientology was not a defendant in the most recent case. However, according to Tony Ortega, an outspoken critic of Scientology who publishes “The Underground Bunker” and was present for the entire trial, “usually, on most days, there was a representative of Scientology in the courtroom.”

Allegations were made that followers of the religion played a role in discouraging two of Masterson’s alleged victims from going to law enforcement. 

“The victims’ testimony was that they had been threatened or intimidated by Scientology, which led them to not report [their allegations],” a source close to the case told The Post. “[Scientology] said that the charges needed to be handled internally.”

Bijou Phillips and Danny Masterson
Bijou Phillips, Masterson’s wife, reportedly sobbed when the guilty verdicts against him were read in court.

A spokesperson for Scientology denied this, saying, “The church has no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct of anyone — Scientologist or not — to law enforcement.”

During the first trial, expert testimony on Scientology was denied. Not so this time. Headley served as the prosecution’s expert witness.

“I worked at the top of Scientology for eight years. I was very aware of [Scientology’s] techniques and procedures that prevent Scientologists from calling law enforcement,” Headley maintained. “I witnessed it many times.”

Danny Masterson and cast of "That '70s Show"
Masterson, front, was known for his wisecracks on “That ’70s Show.”
©Carsey-Werner Co/Courtesy Everett Collection

In a civil suit, filed in February 2020, Jane Doe 3 (then identified as Chrissie Carnell Bixler), alleged that she was stalked by church members and filmed; that “an agent of [Scientology]” spit on her after she caught him trying to hack her phone and that there were threats to leak nude photos of an underage Bixler.

She also alleged that Scientology representatives contributed to the deaths of two of her pets.

A Scientology spokesperson denied all of these allegations at the time,

In terms of how silencing works, Headley, who left the church in 2005, told The Post, “Any crime committed in Scientology is reported to the ethics officer, Scientology’s equivalent of your local police officer. That person then determines what steps will be taken. When [the women, all onetime members of Scientology] reported [the misdeeds], rather than being allowed to go to law enforcement, they were made to believe they did something wrong.”

Danny Masterson and Ashton Kutcher on "The Ranch"
The actor (right, with Ashton Kutcher) was fired from “The Ranch,” a Netflix show, after rape allegations surfaced in 2017.
Greg Gayne/Netflix

In the courtroom, Headley described any Scientologist taking a complaint to law enforcement without the church’s permission as committing “a high crime.”

Masterson got into Scientology through his parents. He once crowed to Paper magazine that by the time he was 15, “I was like, ‘Oh, this is f–king awesome.”

He moved to LA for pilot season in 1993 at age 17 and landed his spot in “That ’70s Show” in 1998. That got him and his family into Scientology’s elite Celebrity Centre, where he rubbed elbows with John Travolta.

Danny Masterson n a courtroom sketch
Masterson is being held without bail.
Mona Shafer Edwards / BACKGRID

Not shy about his affiliation, Masterson was known to strut around in a T-shirt that read, “Psychiatrists are here. Hide your Children!” in support of the church’s anti-psychiatry party line.

His status may have bolstered his brazenness. As Ortega told The Post, “One of the rules of Scientology is that celebrities get to break the rules. They are not held to the same standard.”

Allegations against Masterson were made official on June 17, 2020, when the actor was arrested and charged on multiple counts of forcible rape against the three women, between 2001 and 2003. 

Church of Scientology
The Church of Scientology allegedly worked to protect Masterson.

He was alleged to have committed the rapes at various times in his Beverly Hills home. In the case of Jane Doe 1, according to a trial brief, Masterson provided her with a cocktail made from vodka that resulted in her feeling woozy.

She claimed to have been anally raped after regaining consciousness. 

In her rape claim, Jane Doe 2 claimed to have felt “like a rag doll” in the wake of Masterson allegedly raping her.

Bijou Phillips and Danny Masterson
Masterson and Phillips have been married since 2011.

Jane Doe 3 was actually in a relationship with Masterson and claimed that she would sometimes wake up and he would be having sex with her without getting her permission. He is alleged to have pulled her across the floor by her hair when she denied sex.

Masterson denied all of these allegations. The first criminal trial, which resulted in a hung jury for all three women concluded last November.

His lawyer did not return a call, requesting comment.

Danny Masterson and Bijou Phillips
The celebrity couple have one child, a daughter named Fianna.

As for what came out during the retrial, “I think this is disastrous for Scientology,” Ortega said. “This case was all about how Danny was protected for being a Scientology celebrity and these women were punished for being rape victims. There are allegations of Scientology preventing these women from getting justice.”

Said Headley, “I was grateful to impart the knowledge I have and expose what Scientology does. It is important for people to have a knowledge of Scientology’s techniques.”

From what Ortega saw, the verdict may have been unexpected by Masterson — described by Ortega as “well behaved” throughout the trial — and his family, including actress wife Bijou Phillips, 43, who is said to have “let out a wail” when the verdict was read.

“Yesterday, at 1:30, the court’s hallway was packed,” said Ortega, referring to the time when the jury’s verdict as soon to be announced. “The Masterson family seemed buoyant. I think they believed they were walking into another hung jury.”

Danny Masterson DJ'ing
A courtroom attendee said Masterson’s family seemed to expect a different verdict.

Ortega admitted that he was shocked by the scene as well.

“Seeing Masterson handcuffed was stunning,” said Ortega. “Then I heard a wail filling the courtroom. It was Bijou crying. The judge asked her to maintain her composure.”

Up until then, said Ortega, “The family was pretty unflappable. But that changed when the guilty verdicts were announced. This family that had been unflappable was suddenly devastated.”

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Bulletin Reporter is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – admin@ bulletinreporter.com . The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More