Tags: scientology | danny masterson | sexual assault | church | lawsuit

Lawsuit: Scientology Tried to Silence Women Accusing Star of Sexual Assault

masterson in a black and blue plaid shirt
Danny Masterson (Anna Webber/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 29 June 2020 12:28 PM

The Church of Scientology is being sued by four women who allege that it harassed them after they made allegations of sexual assault against church member Danny Masterson, a Scientologist, who was recently criminally charged with multiple counts of rape. The church tried to use intimidation tactics to force Masterson's accusers into silence, according to the lawsuit.

Four women who were once members of the church have accused the "That '70s Show" star of rape and sexual assault. The actor was arrested and charged on June 17 with multiple counts pertaining to three of the women, according to Page Six.

"It is alleged [in the suit] that our clients reported the sexual assaults to Scientology at the times that they happened. It is alleged in the suit that Scientology attempted to cover up the sexual assaults," said Stewart Ryan, an attorney for the civil suit.

Chrissie Bixler and Bobette Riales are plaintiffs in the civil suit and the other two women filed anonymous under Jane Doe. All four women were Scientologists.

Bixler claimed to have dated Masterson between 1996 and 2001, during which he allegedly raped and drugged her several times. She left the church in 2016, according to Daily Mail.

"On more than one occasion Plaintiff Bixler awoke in bed to find Masterson sexually assaulting her," the amended civil complaint reads. "In one specific instance, Masterson drugged . . . Bixler's wine at dinner and anally assaulted her. The following morning, Masterson admitted that he had anal sex with her while she was unconscious."

After the incident, Bixler said she had to participate in an "ethics program" during which an employee from the church reportedly told her that, as Masterson's girlfriend, it was her "duty to give him sex whenever he wants it," Daily Mail reported. The employee added that "these things wouldn't happen if she complied."

In June 2019, a car that had allegedly been following Bixler ran her off the road, according to the court documents. One of Masterson's friends also allegedly threatened to release nude photos that Bixler had taken of herself. Bixler further believes members of Scientology killed two of her family's pets.

Riales, who said she dated Masterson from 2002 to 2004 and was also reportedly drugged and sexually assaulted by him, claimed she experienced threats and intimidation tactics that included being followed and watched. On one occasion after she had reported the assault to the police, her trash was reportedly stolen.

Ryan said it was "accurate" that the women were subjected to threats and intimidation.

"It was part of the pressure campaign to force them into ­silence," he said, per TMZ.

Masterson and the Church of Scientology have denied all allegations.

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The Church of Scientology is being sued by four women who allege that it harassed them after they made allegations of sexual assault against church member Danny Masterson, a Scientologist, who was recently criminally charged with multiple counts of rape. The church tried to...
scientology, danny masterson, sexual assault, church, lawsuit
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2020-28-29
Monday, 29 June 2020 12:28 PM
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