Danny Masterson: 5 Things To Know About The ’70s Show’ Actor Going To Trial On Rape Charges

Former 'That 70s Show' star Danny Masterson was charged with alleged rapes of three women, and he's about to begin his trial that will involve his connection to Scientology. Learn more about Danny here.

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  • 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 will officially stand trial for those charges in 2022.
  • All three women were members of the church of Scientology, just as Danny Masterson is.
  • As his trial gets underway in October 2022, Danny is still married to his wife Bijou Phillips, the daughter of musician John Phillips.

Danny Masterson, 46, is set to stand trial on multiple rape charges as of October 2022. Jury selection is set to begin on Tuesday, October 11 and Danny is facing three charges of forcible rape and up to 45 years to life in prison. A California judge determined on May 21, 2021 that there was enough evidence given in a preliminary hearing for a trial to go ahead. 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 stem from three separate alleged attacks involving different women. The actor has steadfastly denied the claims, and said that he looked forward to clearing his name.

Danny was arrested by the LAPD at 11:30am on June 17, 2020 on the charges and his bail was set $3.3 million. The rape allegations resurfaced in Dec. 2017 as the #MeToo movement was gaining momentum. A 23-year-old woman accused him of raping her in 2001, and a 28-year-old woman also made the same claim about a 2003 incident. Another 23-year-old woman also alleged that Danny raped her in the autumn of 2003. The Los Angeles Deputy D.A. confirmed in a statement to HollywoodLife.com that all of the alleged attacks occurred at Danny’s Hollywood Hills home.

At the pre-trial hearing on October 7th, the judge in Danny’s rape trial brought up the subject of Scientology while laying the groundwork for the proceedings ahead. “This is not going to become a trial on Scientology,” Judge Charlaine Olmedo said, according to Variety. However, the judge has reportedly indicated that she’ll allow testimonies about Scientology, since Danny is a scientologist, and the three women he’s been accused of raping were members of the church. At the pre-trial hearing, Danny’s lawyer Sharon Appelbaum reportedly argued that the three accusers “formed a sisterhood” to take down Danny and Scientology. She also accused ex-Scientologist Leah Remini of being involved.

1. Danny gained fame on ‘That 70s Show’.

Danny Masterson
Danny Masterson in the right corner, as seen along with the rest of the cast of Fox’s ‘That 70s Show.’ Photo credit: Shutterstock.

He 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 will not be appearing in the upcoming That ’70s Show spinoff series That ’90s Show, which will premiere on Netflix. Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith are returning as main cast members, while Ashton, Wilmer, Mila Kunis, Topher Grace, and Laura Prepon will all make guest appearances on the show.

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 has not publicly addressed the rape allegations against Danny. He hasn’t posted any pictures with Danny on social media since the allegations. 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 is also being 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 on Oct. 7, per Variety, and the case against the church will go forward in civil court.

Danny Masterson
Danny Masterson seen with pal and co-star Ashton Kutcher on Netflix’s ‘The Ranch.’ He was fired from the show in Dec. 2017, after the rape allegations against him surfaced. Photo credit: Shutterstock.

4. Danny is married and has a daughter.

He began dating model and fellow Scientologist Bijou Phillips, 42, 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. On June 12, 2020, Bijou shared an Instagram family photo showing Fiona in a cap and gown after graduating from kindergarten. Bijou deleted her IG account on June 17, following the D.A.’s charges against Danny.

5. Danny has 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 are arguing that the accusers are lying about the alleged rapes, and that they “want to extract a civil judgment,” according to Variety. Judge Charlaine Olmedo reportedly predicted that the trial will last no more than four weeks.

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