Danny Masterson, Church of Scientology sued for conspiracy to cover up sexual assaults

Four women have filed a lawsuit against Danny Masterson and the Church of Scientology alleging that they were stalked and intimidated after reporting sexual assault allegations against the That ’70s Show actor.

On Wednesday, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, Marie Riales and two Jane Does filed a complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court claiming the defendants harassed them and their families in an effort to silence and intimidate them, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Masterson was fired from the Netflix series The Ranch and quietly dropped by his former talent agency, United Talent Agency (UTA), after the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) confirmed it was investigating sexual assault allegations against the actor from multiple women in 2016 and 2017.

“I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of The Ranch,” the actor wrote in a statement at the time of his firing. “From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.

“In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all.”

The lawsuit accuses Masterson and the Church of Scientology of engaging in stalking, physical invasion of privacy and conspiracy to obstruct justice, among other allegations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Three of the woman are former Scientologists and two previously dated the 43-year-old actor.

Masterson released a statement through his lawyer, Andrew Brettler, saying the lawsuit “is beyond ridiculous.”

“I’m not going to fight my ex-girlfriend in the media like she’s been baiting me to do for more than two years,” the statement said. “I will beat her in court — and look forward to it because the public will finally be able (to) learn the truth and see how I’ve been railroaded by this woman. 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.”

Masterson has previously denied all allegations of sexual misconduct and no charges have been filed against the actor.

Bixler and Riales both state in the suit that they were assaulted on numerous occasions by Masterson throughout their relationships with him.

The complaint also states that after Bixler reported the sexual assault to the LAPD in 2016, she was labelled an “SP” (suppressive person) by the Church of Scientology and was stalked and harassed by its members on a regular basis.

Bixler also claims that her dog died suddenly in 2017 from “unexplained traumatic injuries to her trachea and esophagus.”

She also alleges that a Scientology “agent” threatened to “rape” and “drug” her five-year-old twins.

“To this day, the Bixler Plaintiffs continues to be threatened, harassed, stalked, and surveilled,” the suit states.

Riales adds that the agent “threatened to commit serious and violent crimes” against her, “including murder.”

Riales also claims that one of her neighbours saw a man in her driveway taking photos and the same night, her 13-year-old child’s bedroom window was shattered. She also claims that her food truck has been vandalized and put up for sale online in fake ads.

Jane Doe #1 claims that the former The Ranch actor assaulted her on multiple occasions. She also alleges in the suit that after attempting to fight off Masterson, he pointed a gun at her head and told her to be quiet.

Jane Doe #2 claims that after disclosing her allegations to the LAPD in 2017, she also began experiencing harassment from the Church of Scientology. She says in the suit that she “rarely left the house” in the last two years since making the assault report.

The plaintiffs are seeking relief for several types of damages, including compensation for medical and special damages, incidental expenses and lawyer fees.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, two of Masterson’s accusers will appear in the two-hour finale of Leah Remini’s Scientology and the Aftermath, set to air Monday, Aug. 26.

A litigation lawyer for the Church of Scientology released a statement calling the lawsuit “a sham.”

“From everything we have read in the press, this baseless lawsuit will go nowhere because the claims are ludicrous and a sham,” the statement read. “It’s a dishonest and hallucinatory publicity stunt. Leah Remini is taking advantage of these people as pawns in her moneymaking scam.”

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