- Danny Masterson is most famously known for playing Hyde in That 70’s Show alongside Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis.
- In 2019, he was accused of rape by three separate women and stood trial for those charges.
- Danny was sentenced to 30 years in prison for two charges of rape on September 7, 2023.
Danny Masterson, 47, stood trial on multiple rape charges and he was ultimately found guilty by a jury. The former That 70s Show star was sentenced to 30 years in prison for two charges of rape on September 7. Danny was given 15 years to life on each charge and he will serve the terms consecutively. Danny’s trial began in 2022 and the jury initially couldn’t come to a unanimous decision regarding his innocence. They eventually voted 8-4 in favor of convicting him on two out of three rape charges in May 2023.
Danny originally faced three charges of forcible rape and up to 45 years to life in prison. He was arrested by the LAPD at 11:30am on June 17, 2020 on the charges and his bail was set $3.3 million. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office first announced in June 2020 that the actor had been charged with three counts of rape “by force or fear” in connection with incidents that allegedly occurred in 2001 and 2003. The charges stemmed from three separate alleged attacks involving different women. Danny insisted that he was innocent throughout his trial.
Here is everything you need to know about Danny Masterson.
1. Danny gained fame on ‘That 70s Show’.
Danny played Steven Hyde for all eight seasons of the sitcom, which ran from 1998-2006. He became close personal friends with his male co-stars, Ashton Kutcher and Wilmer Valderrama. Danny did not appear in the That ’70s Show spinoff series, That ’90s Show, which premiered on Netflix in January 2023. Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith returned as main cast members, while Ashton, Wilmer, Mila Kunis, Topher Grace, and Laura Prepon all made guest appearances
Danny reacted to the spinoff news when it was announced in October 2021. “This is literally the dopest thing I’ve heard in a decade,” Danny wrote on Instagram. “So f—ing excited for [Kurtwood Smith] and [Debra Jo Rupp,] two of the great humans and greatest actors on this planet. Can’t wait to watch and laugh. Same creators / writers / producers as 70s.”
2. Danny and Ashton worked together on Netflix’s ‘The Ranch’.
The pals joined forces beginning in 2016 on the comedy series, where Ashton played a semi-pro football player who returned to help run his family’s Colorado ranch. Danny played the character of Rooster Bennett. He was let go from The Ranch in Dec. 2017 due to the rape allegations against him. It was later explained that Rooster died in a freak motorcycle accident, as Danny’s character was written off the series.
Ashton waited until January 2023 to speak out about the rape allegations against Danny. He told Esquire in an interview at the time that he wants Danny “to be found innocent of the charges brought against him.” Ashton also said, “Ultimately, I can’t know. I’m not the judge. I’m not the jury. I’m not the DA. I’m not the victim. And I’m not the accused. And so, in that case, I don’t have a space to comment. I just don’t know.”
In 2019, one of Danny’s alleged accusers, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, called out Ashton and his wife Mila Kunis for their silence. “As much as I applaud them for standing up for women, I am left confused and heartbroken as to why they refuse to stand up for all the women they know who have been violently raped by their friend Danny Masterson,” Chrissie said in a statement to The Daily Beast.
3. Danny is a Scientologist.
He has practiced the religion based on late founder and science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard‘s books since he was a teen. In a 2015 interview with Paper magazine, Danny explained, “In Scientology, there’s no belief system or anyone who’s worshipped or whatnot; it’s all sort of like college of the mind. And so I grew up not having to go and pray to anyone. I grew up just sort of like, ‘Oh, if you’re thirsty, drink water.’”
The Church of Scientology was also sued by Danny’s three accusers for allegedly helping him cover up the alleged rapes. They allegedly claimed in the lawsuit that they were “victims of fair game attacks” after they went to the police, according to Variety. The U.S. Supreme Court officially denied the church’s appeal on the case in October 2022, per Variety
4. Danny is married and has a daughter.
He began dating model and fellow Scientologist Bijou Phillips, 43, in 2005. She is the daughter of the late The Mamas and the Papas musician/songwriter John Phillips and actress Geneviève Waïte. Danny and Bijou married in 2011 and welcomed their first and only child, daughter Fiona on Feb. 14, 2014. Bijou supported her husband during his trial.
5. Danny strongly denied the rape accusations against him.
Upon being let go from The Ranch in Dec. 2017, Danny released a statement that read: “From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit. 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.”
On June 17, 2020, after the D.A.’s charges were announced, Danny’s attorney Thomas Mesereau released a statement to HollywoodLife.com that read: “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’s lawyers argued that the accusers are lying about the alleged rapes, and that they “want to extract a civil judgment,” according to Variety. Danny continued to claim he was innocent up to when he was given his 30-year prison sentence on September 7.