true crime

'That 70s Show' actor reportedly under investigation for rape allegations.

Scientologist actor Danny Masterson is reportedly being investigated over allegations he sexually assaulted three women during the height of his fame.

The 41-year-old is best known for playing the role of Steven Hyde on ‘That ’70s Show’ from 1998 to 2006.

The women, who are also Scientologists, allege the Church of Scientology pressured them to stay silent for over ten years.

Police confirmed an investigation is underway in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

“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 2000’s.”

It follows a shocking report from independent journalist Tony Ortega, who said the victims had been encouraged to come forward by actress Leah Remini, who left the church and wrote a book about it.

The ‘King of Queens’ star also produced a TV series on alleged abuses by the organisation and then became personally involved in the women’s’ plight.

According to Ortega, the first woman to come forward claimed to have been in a relationship with Masterson when he allegedly anally raped and injured her while she was unconscious in December 2001.

She also said Scientology officials told her if she reported it to police she would “lose everything and everyone”.

The Binge discuss Leah Remini’s series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’:

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“Then they put me on a massive ethics program as punishment,” she told Ortega.

“My rapist was not punished at all. They didn’t even call him to talk about it. I ended up breaking up with him two months later.”

The other two reportedly did go to the police at the time, but both cases were subsequently dropped.

A spokesperson for Masterson denied any wrongdoing on his behalf in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We are aware of [the alleged victim’s] 16-year-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. The alleged incident occurred in the middle of their 6 year relationship, after which she continued to be his longtime girlfriend,” the statement read.

The spokesperson then attempted to discredit the woman, saying she had made claims against other men which were found to have “no merit” by police and made threats against Masterson’s wife, model and singer Bijou Phillips.

“[These] false allegations appear to be motivated to boost Leah Remini’s anti-Scientology television series since [alleged victim’s] only came forward after connecting with Leah Remini,” the spokesperson said.

No charges have been laid against Masterson.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

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