FOUR women who previously accused actor Danny Masterson of rape have filed a lawsuit against him and the Church of Scientology for stalking and harassment.
The women claim they were targeted in a “silence and intimidate” campaign by the Church after making their allegations against the actor public.
Actor Danny Masterson was accused of rape by the women in 2017[/caption]
The Church of Scientology has called the lawsuit a “sham”[/caption]
One of the accusers, his former ex-girlfriend Marie Bobette Riales, said members from the Church of Scientology have been stalking her since she contacted the police about Masterson.
They allegedly broke a window in her 13-year-old daughter’s bedroom, vandalised the food truck she owns and bombarded her company with negative comments online.
Another plaintiff, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, was formerly part of the Church – but other members began chasing her in her car, filming her without permission and harassing her online.
Bixler’s dog was also found dead in “suspicious circumstances,” having sustained “traumatic injuries to the trachea and oesophagus” shortly after allegations were made in October 2017.
Masterson, who is a well-known Scientologist, has denied the allegations several times – and the Church has called the lawsuit a “ludicrous publicity stunt.”
Co-counsel for the plaintiffs, Professor Marci Hamilton, said in a statement: “The tragic facts of sexual assault and abuse within Scientology and the cover-up are now coming to light.
“These brave survivors deserve justice and to be treated with respect and dignity.
“What they have had to suffer is simply unacceptable.”
The Church of Scientology’s litigation council, however, denied the allegations, telling Fox News: “From everything we have read in the press, this baseless lawsuit will go nowhere because the claims are ludicrous and a sham.
“It’s a dishonest and hallucinatory publicity stunt.”
The former “That ’70s Show” star was the subject of an LAPD investigation after he was accused in 2017 of rape and sexual misconduct by an ex-girlfriend and other women.
Now the women are filing a lawsuit claiming that Masterson, the Church and its leader, David Miscavige, tried to silence them.
The lawsuit, submitted to the court on Wednesday, said: “This case is brought … for the Defendants’ conspiracy to cover up that Daniel Masterson sexually assaulted four young women.
“When those women came forward to report Masterson’s crime, the Defendants conspired to and systemically stalked, harassed, invaded their family’s privacy, and intentionally caused them emotional distress to silence and intimidate them.”
‘SILENCE AND INTIMIDATE’
The four women, along with Bixler’s husband Cedric Bixler-Zavala, are suing for stalking, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
Masterson has denied all of the charges, saying the lawsuit is “beyond ridiculous.”
Commenting on the lawsuit by Riales, he told Fox News: “I’m not going to fight my ex-girlfriend in the media like she’s been baiting me to do for more than two years.
“I will beat her in court — and look forward to it because the public will finally be able to learn the truth and see how I’ve been railroaded by this woman.
“And once her lawsuit is thrown out, I intend to sue her and the others who jumped on the bandwagon for the damage they caused me and my family.”
Masterson was fired from Netflix show “The Ranch” in late 2017 after the allegations against him were made public.
The actor said: “Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit.
“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.”
The Church of Scientology has a long history of harassing and attempting to discredit people who act against the Church’s interests.
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In a large-scale plot known as “Operation Freakout,” the Church used harassment and entrapment to try to get journalist Paulette Cooper, who had written a popular anti-Scientology book, “incarcerated in a mental institution or jail”.
Their attacks on Cooper included framing her for two bomb threats.
Masterson was fired from Netflix show “The Ranch” in late 2017 after the allegations against him became public knowledge[/caption]
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