Actor Danny Masterson is calling a lawsuit submitted against him and the Church of Scientology, of which he is a member, “beyond ridiculous”.
The former ‘That ‘70s Show’ star, who was the subject of an LAPD investigation after he was accused in 2017 of rape and sexual misconduct by an ex-girlfriend and other women, has been named a defendant in a lawsuit set to be filed by multiple plaintiffs in Los Angeles Superior Court. The plaintiffs claim that Masterson, the church and its leader, David Miscavige, orchestrated efforts to silence them.
“This case is brought... for the Defendants’ conspiracy to cover up that Daniel Masterson sexually assaulted four young women. When those women came forward to report Masterson’s crime, the Defendants conspired to and systemically stalked, harassed, invaded their family’s privacy, and intentionally caused them emotional distress to silence and intimidate them,” according to the suit, which was submitted Wednesday to the court.
One of the plaintiffs, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, dated Masterson for six years in the early 2000s and claimed in the lawsuit that she was forced to join the church under his orders. She was one of three women who accused the actor of sexual assault in the 2000s that prompted an LAPD investigation in 2017. Her husband, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, is also a plaintiff, as well as Marie Bobette Riales, who also previously dated the actor, and two other women who are identified as Jane Does.
They are demanding a jury trial and seeking unspecified damages.
The plaintiffs claim in the lawsuit that the defendants “forbid members from contacting police to report a crime committed by any member “ of the church and that reporting such instances to law enforcement is considered a “high crime “ that would subject them to punishment. One such measure to prevent reporting, according to the complaint, is requiring phones within certain church facilities “to be incapable of dialing 911”.
Masterson, speaking through his attorney, Andrew Brettler, said he would not fight his ex-girlfriend in the media, as she’s been “baiting” him 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,” the actor said in a statement. “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.”