The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating allegations That 70s Show actor Danny Masterson raped three women. According to the Huffington Post, the revelations were unearthed by journalist Tony Ortega. Ortega was a former Village editor who left the paper to investigate full-time the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.
The 53-year-old journalist and blogger on his website, The Underground Bunker, pointed out that the women were allegedly molested in the early 2000s and were all Scientologists at the time just like Masterson. The LAPD has since confirmed that they are following up on the allegations of rape and have issued a statement to that effect.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 3, 2017
“The Los Angeles Police Department Robbery Homicide Division, Sexual Assault Section is conducting an investigation involving the actor Danny Masterson. Three women have come forward and disclosed that they were sexually assaulted by Masterson during the early 2000s.”
Purported documents obtained by Ortega, who runs a daily anti-Scientology campaign on his website, showed that the organization was aware of the offenses committed against the women, but instructed them not to contact the police. Outspoken and former member Leah Remini, who recently launched a documentary series criticizing the Church of Scientology and talking about her bitter experiences, encouraged a number of women to come out and talk to her, including one woman who was allegedly molested by the TV star.
Ortega, the executive editor of the Raw Story from 2012 to 2015, credits Leah Remini for providing the outlet for the assumed victims to come out. Leah’s nine-episode series, which gives a voice to the victims of Scientology despite public attempts to discredit them, began showing in November 2016. According to the 46-year-old actress and comedian, there is still much that needs to be done, especially when former Scientology members come seeking justice and are greeted by the pictures of Scientologists on the wall.
“I met with the LAPD. I met with Detective Reyes, and I told her victims deserve to be heard. I pointed out to her there was a framed picture of a Scientologist on their wall, actor Michael Peña. Do you know what that says to a young Scientologist who comes here to seek justice? My experience with the LAPD has not been good. I asked her to do the right thing by these girls, and I told her that the world was watching.”
According to Page Six, one of the victims that came forward was in a relationship with The Ranch actor. She claimed that she was raped 15 times by him. The other two victims that have come forward are having their claims looked into presently. A representative of the 40-year-old actor has since slammed the accusations, adding that the alleged victim had been coached by Leah Remini, in a bid to increase ratings for her TV series.
— Tony Ortega (@TonyOrtega94) March 3, 2017
“We are aware of the alleged victim’s old allegations. It was only after the alleged victim was in contact with Leah Remini that she made allegations of sexual assault by Mr. Masterson…these false allegations appear to be motivated to boost Leah Remini’s anti-Scientology television series.”
The statement went on to punch holes in the veracity of the story, revealing that after the alleged incident Masterson and the woman continued to date. The publicist also brought to light that the 40-year-old actor pulled the plug on the relationship and that the purported victim had pleaded with the church that the breakup not be a permanent one.
The publicist, who named the woman in a released statement, questioned her erratic behavior and claims that she was in a six-year relationship with the actor. According to him, the same woman has made inconsistent claims of also being raped by at least three other celebrities. The representative said at one point the woman had made threats about beating up Masterson’s wife, Bijou Phillips.
Danny Masterson played Steven Hyde on That 70s Show for eight seasons.
He currently stars alongside Ashton Kutcher in Netflix’s The Ranch.
[Featured Image by Annie I. Bang/Invision/AP Images]