Danny Masterson’s ex says rape was years in a relationship
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A former girlfriend of the actor Danny Masterson testified Tuesday that he had become increasingly abusive and controlling during their five-year relationship when he raped her in her bed in November 2001.
The woman, a model who began dating Masterson in 1996 just before he found fame as the star of the sitcom That ’70s Show, said there had been previous instances of her waking up in the middle of the night to find Masterson , and had accepted sex with him so as not to upset him.
That evening, however, she clearly stated that she did not agree and resisted.
“I told him ‘no, I don’t want to have sex.’ He didn’t listen to me,” said the woman, who first took the stand in the Los Angeles courtroom Masterson’s triple rape retrial.
She spoke faster and became more emotional as the story progressed. “So I kept begging him, like, ‘Please get off me, no.’ And he kept going. And it was painful. And I remember trying to push his chest up off of me. I couldn’t take it from me.”
She said Masterson pinned her arms above her head to keep her down. As she struggled, she recalled Masterson’s well-established “rules” that no one should touch their hair or face, which she had previously observed.
“If I did that, I knew it wasn’t going to be good. But I thought maybe it would make him quit.”
She said she managed to free an arm and yank his hair at the back of his head. She said he then hit her on the jaw with a partially closed fist, spat at her, and stormed off.
mastersonaccused of raping three women from 2001 to 2003 tried again after the jury with him The first process was deadlocked in all three points. He has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have denied all allegations at the trial, saying the women’s reports are inconsistent and not credible.
Masterson, 47, could face 45 years in prison if convicted on all three counts.
The Associated Press does not typically credit people who say they have been sexually abused.
Masterson’s former girlfriend said Tuesday the rape was a particularly dark moment in a series of ugly incidents in their relationship.
She said that after a happy first year, he began to control her life and personality, often invoking Church of Scientology principles. She had joined the Church at the behest of Masterson, a lifelong member, when their relationship became more serious, separating her from her family in Alabama and from nonmember friends.
She testified that he became increasingly aggressive and physically violent toward her, once dragging her naked out of the bedroom by her hair when she refused to have sex.
She also testified that she and Masterson had dinner at a restaurant near her home about a month after the November rape. She said she had a glass or two of wine with dinner and then no memory between getting up to leave and waking up in bed alone and in pain well into the next day.
She said that when she tried to explain the pain, Masterson admitted he had sex with her while she was unconscious.
“He started laughing at me,” she testified. “I asked him if I was unconscious the whole time and he said ‘yes’.”
That’s what senior public prosecutor Reinhold Müller said in his opening speech on Monday that Masterson had drugged her like the other two accusers, although there would be no physical evidence from an investigation that had only begun some 15 years after the alleged assaults. Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo allowed prosecutors to make the allegation in the second trial, while it was only hinted at in the first.
Masterson’s attorney Philip Cohen said in Monday’s opening defense statement that those allegations were all prosecutors had, and he told the jury, “There are no drug abuse charges in this case.”
Masterson will not be charged with raping the woman the night she believes was drugged. Prosecutors didn’t share her reasoning for omitting it, but without her ability to tell the moment and without forensic drug testing, proving it within the law would have been difficult.
But the night finally drove her to report him to her ethics officer at the Church of Scientology. She testified that she was told that what Masterson had done to her was not rape, that it was not possible given the status of their relationship. She said she was also told that it was against church policy to go to the police and report another Scientologist like Masterson.
The church vehemently denied having such a policy in a statement released after similar statements were made at the first trial.
The woman went to the police in 2016, long after she left the church.
She returns to the witness stand for further questioning on Wednesday at the trial, which is expected to last four weeks.