Leah Remini has called Danny Masterson’s arrest on suspicion of raping three women ‘just the beginning’ for the Church of Scientology.
Masteron, 44, was charged on Wednesday with forcibly raping three women in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003.
Masterson, 44, stands accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001, according to the complaint.
He is also accused of raping a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 and sometime between October and December of that year of raping a woman, 23, who officials say he had invited to his Hollywood Hills home.
Masterson, who also starred in Netflix’s ‘The Ranch’, has been charged with three counts of rape by force or fear. The case was filed for warrant Tuesday.
On Wednesday night, 50-year-old Remini – who belonged to the church for years but now speaks out against it and its unorthodox practices – tweeted: ‘Finally, victims are being heard when it comes to Scientology! Praise the lord!
‘This is just the beginning Scientology, your days of getting away with it is coming to an end! #justice #scientologytheaftermath’.
Leah Remini tweeted after Masterson’s arrest on Wednesday night that it was ‘just the beginning’ for the Church of Scientology
Leah Remini and Danny Masterson in 2009. She has long spoken out against Scientology
All of the alleged crimes occurred at Masterson’s home, Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division, who is prosecuting the case, said.
Masterson, who was taken into custody Wednesday before posting bail, now faces 45 years to life in state prison.
In February, Masterson was accused of rape by four women in a lawsuit.
It is unclear if those women are the same as the alleged victims in the new charges.
At the time, he slammed them for accusing him of rape, saying the lawsuit they have filed against him and the Church of Scientology is just a ‘shameful money grab’.
It is not known who the alleged victims in today’s arrest are or if they are connected to this earlier lawsuit in any way.
A spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office said they have ‘declined to file sexual assault charges against Masterson in two other cases, one for insufficient evidence and the other based upon the statute of limitations for the crime alleged’.
Masterson has been married to actor and model Bijou Phillips since 2011.
Masterson’s attorney Tom Mesereau said in a statement: ‘Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify.
‘Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out.
‘The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.’
Danny Masterson is pictured in the sunglasses with his That ’70s show co-stars
All of the alleged crimes occurred at the defendant’s home, prosecutors said. The star’s current home in the Hollywood Hills is pictured
Masterson, center, also starred in Netflix’s ‘The Ranch’ alongside Ashton Kutcher, left, and Sam Elliott, right
The alleged rapes came at the height of Masterson’s fame as he starred on the retro sitcom ‘That ’70s Show’ alongside Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace. The series ran on Fox TV from 1998 to 2006 and has had a long afterlife in reruns.
He had reunited with Kutcher on the Netflix western sitcom ‘The Ranch’ when the LAPD investigation of him was revealed in March 2017. The news did not have immediate career repercussions for Masterson, but later in the year, after allegations against Harvey Weinstein shook Hollywood’s culture, he was written off the show.
Masterson decried the Hollywood atmosphere that led to his losing the job, and also suggested at the time that his high-profile membership in the Church of Scientology was leading to his persecution.
He said in a 2017 statement that ‘in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.’
Four women filed a lawsuit against Masterson in California last year claiming the actor drugged, raped and sexually assaulted them in the early 2000s.
The Church of Scientology, of which Masterson is a member, was also named as a defendant in the long-running lawsuit after the women claimed they were stalked and harassed by the church in a bid to silence them after they complained.
Masterson had asked a judge to throw out the lawsuit.
The Tampa Bay Times reported last that the Church of Scientology has moved to transfer into arbitration in the case.
Chrissie Bixler formerly Chrissie Carnell speaks to Leah Remini. It is not known who the alleged victims in today’s arrest are or if they are connected to this earlier lawsuit in any way
Chrissie Bixler dated Masterson for several years and claims he would forcefully have sex with her and became violent when she refused. She says her dog mysteriously died after she reported him. It is not known who the alleged victims in the arrest are or if they are connected to this earlier lawsuit in any way
Bobette Riales, who dated the actor for two years from 2002, claims he drugged and sexually assaulted her. She claims she was followed, watched and had her trash stolen after going to the police with her allegations against Masterson in 2017. It is not known who the alleged victims in today’s arrest are or if they are connected to this earlier lawsuit in any way
Two of the women named in the suit were Masterson’s ex-girlfriends – Chrissie Bixler and Bobette Riales – while the other two were only identified as Jane Does.
He said the women are all ex-girlfriends just trying to humiliate him and claims they are engaged in a ‘shameful money grab’.
He has always denied the allegations and said a criminal investigation two years ago did not result in any charges.
In the lawsuit the women claim that when they came forward to report the sexual assault allegations against Masterson, the church allegedly conspired to stalk, harass, invade their privacy and cause emotional distress in a bid to intimidate and silence them.
In the initial lawsuit, Bixler said she dated Masterson for several years and joined Scientology ‘per his orders’.
She claims Masterson would regularly force her to have sex with him and says he ‘became violent’ when she refused, citing one occasion when he dragged her naked across their bedroom floor while berating her appearance.
Bixler claims that after the incident she was required to do an ‘ethics program’ where she told a church employee about Masterson’s alleged abusive behavior.
In new court papers filed in February, the church argued that the women consented to ‘ecclesiastical rule’ when they became members and therefore relinquished their rights to sue
She said the employee told her it was her job as Masterson’s girlfriend ‘to give him sex whenever he wants it’ and that if she complied ‘these things wouldn’t happen’, according to the suit.
After coming forward with her allegations, she claims her dog mysteriously died from unexplained traumatic injuries to her trachea and esophagus.
According to the suit, Bixler claims she was also run off the road in June by a car that had been following her. In the same month, Bixler claims one of Masterson’s friends threatened to release nude photos of her taken when she was underage.
Another woman in the suit, Bobette Riales, claims she experienced similar threats, including being followed, watched and having her trash stolen after going to the police with her allegations against Masterson in 2017.
Riales claims Masterson, who she dated for two years from 2002, drugged and sexually assaulted her.
The other two women, who have not been identified, claim they experienced Masterson and his alleged abuse between 1999 and 2002.
Jane Doe 1 claims she may have been drugged by Masterson after he gave her two drinks and ended up alone in his guestroom where she fell asleep. She claims she woke up to Masterson having sex with her and fought him off.
A few years later, Jane Doe 1 said she again felt disoriented after having a drink given to her by Masterson. She claims she passed out and woke up to the actor raping her.
Jane Doe 1 claims she reported the incident to the LAPD on June 6, 2004, but said the Church of Scientology ‘mobilized’ against her to ensure no charges were filed.
The other woman, Jane Doe 2, claims she also felt disorientated after having a drink given to her by Masterson. Jane Doe 2, who was a member of the church since childhood, claims Masterson sexually assaulted her in the shower and in his bedroom.
Jane Doe 2 said she knew from Scientology that she would ‘not be permitted to report the assault to civil authorities outside of Scientology’ so she did not disclose the alleged incident to the LAPD until 2017.
Since reporting it, Jane Doe 2 claimed her phone and computer were hacked, her car was vandalized and she received harassment on social media.
Masterson has repeatedly denied all the accusations against him since they first came to light in 2017.
Netflix fired him from its show The Ranch after the LAPD confirmed they were investigating the allegations.