On Tuesday, one of the three women who have accused actor Danny Masterson of rape testified in a Los Angeles courtroom. “When I came to, he was on top of me,” the woman, identified as Jen B., said per HuffPost. “The first thing I recall is grabbing his hair to pull him off.” In nearly six hours of testimony, the woman described the alleged assault, which she says took place 18 years ago.
On April 25, 2003, the woman said she went to pick up a set of keys she’d left at Masterson’s house. The two knew each other through the Church of Scientology, where they were both members at the time. Once there, she said Masterson gave her a drink that made her feel “blurry,” sick, and unable to stand without help. She said Masterson carried her from his jacuzzi to an upstairs bedroom where he stuck his fingers down her throat to make her vomit. Then, according to the woman, the actor washed her off in the shower and brought her back to a bed where he violently raped her as she fell in and out of consciousness. When the woman tried to push him off, she said he put a pillow over her face, choked her, and, at one point, pulled a gun on her.
The woman said she was dissuaded from going to the police by the Church of Scientology. If she filed a report, she explained, she’d be declared a “suppressive person” and excommunicated by the church, especially since Masterson was a member in good standing. “I would lose my family and everyone I knew,” she said. In June 2004, a year after the alleged assault, she decided to file a police report. Her case was initially rejected in 2004 in part because there were too many witnesses against her, she said prosecutors told her at the time.
Four women, including the three in this trial, have also filed a civil suit against Masterson and the Church of Scientology. That suit alleges the women were sexually assaulted by Masterson and when they tried to report it to the church, members intimidated them into silence. In April, Masterson filed papers accusing actress Leah Remini of interfering with the case, according to TMZ, which obtained the documents. Masterson claims Remini, a former Scientologist who’s repeatedly spoken out against the church, influenced the prosecution and guided the victims’ statements. The court has not yet responded to Masterson’s papers.
Before yesterday’s trial, Masterson posted a photo with his wife, Bijou Phillips, on their way to court on Instagram. The caption read, “Had the most beautiful Uber driver drop me off at school today.” Masterson is pleading “not guilty” to the three counts of rape and assault, which allegedly occurred between 2001 and 2003. He’s denied the accusations, with his lawyer previously saying that Masterson “is absolutely not guilty and we’re going to prove it.” The other two women are expected to testify later this week.