TV actress and fervent anti-Scientologist Leah Remini ‘scandalously’ persuaded alleged rape victims of That ’70s Present star Danny Masterson to file police studies in opposition to him by threatening to not characteristic them in her TV present in the event that they did not, the accused actor’s lawyer claimed in court docket Tuesday.
A number of the ladies Masterson – a Scientologist – is accused of raping have been interviewed by Remini for her TV documentary Scientology and the Aftermath, concerning the controversial church the actress stop in 2013 and has been crusading in opposition to ever since.
Masterson’s authorized staff desires to subpoena these interview tapes, a few of which aired and a few that did not.
And Tuesday his lead lawyer, Tom Mesereau, advised a legal court docket in downtown Los Angeles, the victims have been supplied ‘inducements and advantages’ to report Masterson to the police.
‘Leah Remini, an ant-Scientologist interviewed the alleged victims and advised them, ”If you happen to do not file a police report, you will not be on my present,”’ added the lawyer. ‘That’s scandalous.’
A few of Danny Masterson’s accusers have been interviewed by Leah Remini for her TV documentary Scientology and the Aftermath. Leah Remini and Danny Masterson in 2009
On Tuesday, Masterson’s lawyer Tom Mesereau (proper) claimed Remini ‘scandalously’ persuaded his victims to file police studies in opposition to the That ’70s Present actor
Mesereau’s outburst got here amid a slew of accusations he leveled on the prosecution together with withholding proof, a secret ‘double agent’ LA Police Division detective who was working a second job as safety for Remini, and a ‘lacking’ 2004 police file.
Masterson, 45, – who did not present up for Tuesday’s court docket listening to – has pleaded not responsible to prices that he raped three ladies in separate incidents at his Hollywood Hills residence between 2001 and 2003.
Veteran lawyer Mesereau – who defended Michael Jackson when the he was charged with little one molestation – described as ‘nugatory’ lots of the polices studies and witness statements the district lawyer has handed over to the protection as discovery as a result of they’re so closely redacted.
‘Witness after witness after witness statements are blacked out. We will not inform what is going on on,’ mentioned Mesereau.
He additionally addressed claims that the Church of Scientology had ‘harassed and stalked’ Masterson’s alleged victims and requested the decide to order the prosecution handy over surveillance tapes make by cops investigating the harassment claims.
Mesereau insisted that Masterson ‘had nothing to do with’ the alleged harassment of the victims.
And he pointed to a number of ‘extraordinarily troubling points’ together with the involvement within the case of how a mysterious LAPD detective – who’s a pal of Remini and in addition works safety for her – inserted himself into the case.
‘This detective was performing as a double agent (for Remini) regardless that he was not within the intercourse crimes unit , nor a part of the (Masterson) investigation.’
Mesereau additionally questioned how a 2004 police report made by one in every of Masterson’s alleged victims ‘went lacking’ after the LA District Legal professional rejected prosecution for lack of proof.
‘Why was this case rejected?’ he requested. ‘We do not know what that rejection was about……A file through which the paperwork have been rejected, abruptly disappears.’
Chrissie Bixler dated Masterson for a number of years and claims he would forcefully have intercourse along with her and have become violent when she refused. She says her canine mysteriously died after she reported him (pictured collectively in 2000)
Bobette Riales and Masterson dated from 2002-2004, through which time Masterson allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her. She claims she was stalked by the church after she got here ahead with allegation (pictured collectively in 2003)
Deputy District Legal professional Reinhold Mueller countered, telling the court docket that solely private data, LAPD inside paperwork, private opinions of investigators, plus issuers nonetheless being investigated have been redacted from the proof recordsdata handed over to the protection.
‘We now have met our statutory obligation to show over all discovery at this juncture,’ he mentioned.
He mentioned the surveillance footage within the harassment investigation was not related to the rape instances and that investigation continues to be ongoing.
Deputy District Legal professional Reinhold Mueller countered, telling the court docket that solely private data, LAPD inside paperwork, private opinions of investigators, plus issuers nonetheless being investigated have been redacted from the proof recordsdata handed over to the protection
Mueller did admit that on the prosecution has been ‘Unable to find’ the lacking unique 2004 alleged rape report. However, he added, there’s a copy of that lacking report and the protection had been supplied with it.
As for Mesereau’s ‘double agent’ LAPD detective, Mueller dismissed his declare as ‘innuendo,’ and ‘a number of hyperbole.’
He added, ‘The protection is on a fishing expedition, spreading a broad web and hoping one thing will come up.’
Choose Olmedo ordered the prosecution handy over to the protection any extra discovery proof that has not been submitted to this point.
However she denied Mesereau’s movement for to proceed (delay) Masterson’s preliminary listening to ‘to offer us time to correctly put together’ their protection case.
The decide reaffirmed the preliminary listening to date of Might 18, telling the court docket, ‘This case has been pending since June 16 2020. Given the time the protection has needed to put together for the preliminary listening to, there isn’t any foundation for a continuance.’
In regular, non-pandemic circumstances, an individual going through such severe prices can be required to indicate up for court docket dates.
However Masterson has been capable of skip the previous couple of hearings – together with Tuesday’s – beneath a particular Covid 19 waiver that permits defendants to not seem in particular person.
However that privilege ended Tuesday with Choose Olmedo telling Mesereau that Masterson should present up for his preliminary listening to on Might 18
His lawyer, Mesereau, has tried to get the case tossed, submitting motions to dismiss the rape prices, saying they have been ‘politically motivated’ and past the statute of limitations. These motions have been dismissed.
Outspoken Scientology critic Leah Remini appeared at Masterson’s arraignment to assist his alleged victims in September
Mesereau has additionally tried a number of instances to have the press banned from court docket hearings, accusing legislation enforcement of ‘leaking’ data to media concerning the rape prices. He argued that publicity concerning the case would prejudice the jury at Masterson’s future trial.
Every time, a decide denied Mesereau’s efforts
Mesereau did win one small victory for his shopper final month when Choose Olmedo denied a prosecution request to have Masterson give up his passport.
Choose Olmedo dominated that the $3.3 million bail the star has been free on since his arrest final June, ‘is ample to make sure Mr. Masterson’s look sooner or later.’
Masterson – who has been married to actress and mannequin Bijou Phillips since 2011 – stands charged with raping a 23-year-old girl between January and December 2001, raping a 28-year-old girl in April 2003, and raping one other 23 year-old girl between October and December 2003.
He was additionally accused of sexual assault in two different instances however the DA’s workplace mentioned they declined to file prices on these, one for inadequate proof and the opposite based mostly on the statute of limitations.
In 2019, 4 ladies – together with the three alleged victims within the legal case – filed a civil lawsuit in opposition to Masterson, claiming he drugged, raped and sexually assaulted them within the early 2000s.
The lawsuit additionally named the Church of Scientology and its chief David Miscavige as defendants, claiming the ladies have been stalked in a ‘conspiracy to cowl up that Daniel Masterson sexually assaulted 4 younger ladies’.
Two of the ladies named within the go well with have been Masterson’s ex-girlfriends – Chrissie Bixler and Bobette Riales – whereas the opposite two are listed as Jane Does.
Masterson – who performed wise-cracking Steven Hyde on That ’70s Present from 1998 to 2006 – known as the lawsuit in opposition to him and the Church of Scientology a ‘shameful cash seize’
Bixler is being lent assist by actress Leah Remini, a former Scientologist who left the faith and is now one in every of its harshest critics, campaigning vehemently in opposition to it with a actuality TV present known as Scientology and the Aftermath. Remini was at Masterson’s legal court docket listening to final October.
Within the civil lawsuit, the alleged victims’ lawyer mentioned, ‘When these ladies got here ahead to report Masterson’s crimes the Defendants (The Church of Scientology) conspired to and systematically stalked, harassed, invaded their and their household’s privateness, and deliberately prompted them emotional misery to silence and intimidate them.’
Masterson – who performed wise-cracking Steven Hyde on That ’70s Present from 1998 to 2006 – known as the lawsuit in opposition to him and the Church of Scientology a ‘shameful cash seize’.
In assertion to DailyMail.com, the Church of Scientology branded the lawsuit ‘baseless’ and the claims ‘ludicrous and a sham’. ‘It is a dishonest and hallucinatory publicity stunt. Leah Remini is profiting from these folks as pawns in her moneymaking rip-off.’