Two of Masterson's accusers detail allegations of sexual assault, including rape, while they were dating the former "That '70s Show" star.
Leah Remini went live for the series finale of her controversial, Emmy-award winning docuseries "Scientology and the Aftermath," but she also brought with her a story two years in the making, including an interview shelved back in April 2017.
That was done at the behest of local authorities who were contemplating opening a criminal investigation against "That '70s Show" star Danny Masterson after three victims came forward with allegations of rape against the star, who is also a prominent member of the Church of Scientology. Originally scheduled to air in November 2017, Remini and her co-host Mike Rinder agreed to hold back.
However, that investigation became stalled and so Remini and Rinder made the decision to bookend their series with their interview conducted with one of the Masterson accusers, Crissie Bixler, followed by having Bixler come out now to provide additional information and updates as to what, if anything, had happened in the subsequent years since that interview was filmed.
Despite denying the allegations back in 2017 and insisting that all sexual relations were consensual, Masterson was fired from his job on Netflix comedy "The Ranch"and dropped by his agency.
On August 21 of this year, four accusers filed suit against Masterson and the Church of Scientology, alleging they are "engaging in stalking, invasion of privacy and conspiracy to obstruct justice, among other allegations," per USA Today.
In her 2017 interview, Bixler described an alleged attack that took place while she was dating Masterson between 1996 and 2001 that happened after dinner one night, during which she says she only recalls drinking a glass of wine and then blacking out.
"The next day when I woke up the back of my head hurt, and I thought I’d fallen," Bixler said. "I went downstairs and asked what happened. He just kind of chuckled. I said, ‘I’m in a lot of pain.’ I was ripped. I was injured. He started laughing. He said “Oh, I had sex with you last night.” I said, ‘Was I unconscious?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’”
According to Bixler, when she tried to report this to officials at the Church, she was told to stop calling it rape because she and Masterson were in a relationship. She was also allegedly told that if she reported it to authorities outside of the Church, she could be kicked out of the Church.
The Church claims that Bixler never reported any such incident in a letter dated Aug. 13 that was read on the show: "Ms. Bixler never once told the Church about her accusations, and the Church never retaliated against her for making the claim."
"My job as his girlfriend was to give myself to him whenever he wanted," Bixler said during the live segment of the show of how the Church treated her. "I could not say no."
She also detailed incidents of Masterson being "controlling and violent" and at one point dragging her across the floor when she didn't want to have sex, according to The Daily Beast.
Masterson spoke out in a statement received by USA Today last week, where he made it clear where he stood. "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 learn the truth and see how I’ve been railroaded by this woman."
A second Masterson accuser, Bobette Riales, who was also an ex-girlfriend of Masterson's, told Remini that she decided to come forward after seeing how much bullying Bixler was enduring after she'd come forward. Further, she says that some of the details of Bixler's story rang true for her.
"I thought, there's no way in hell you would know that, that's my story, that's my life," Riales said. "So I spoke and it was the right thing to do."
In another letter read on the show dated Aug. 12, Masterson's attorney attempted to discredit Riales, writing, "It would be extremely reckless to rely on Ms. Riales as a source. Ms. Riales, who dated Mr. Masterson for a period of time in the early 2000s, only recently took to Twitter to accuse Mr. Masterson – for the first time ever – of 'repeatedly rap(ing)' her during their relationship."
The Church further condemned Remini's entire series in a statement, also received by USA Today, after the series finale aired. "For three years, A&E profited from broadcasting Leah Remini’s lies, distortions and exhortations to hate. These resulted in threats, violence, and the brutal murder of a Scientologist in Australia in January 2019. Prior to committing his heinous act, the murderer spouted vicious anti-religious propaganda, incited by A&E and the Leah Remini series."
On January 3, a Church member was fatally stabbed by a 16-year-old boy. There has been no direct connection established between this crime and Remini's show. "Scientology likes to pretend that it’s just like every other religion and should be respected like any other religion,” Remini said in the finale. “And yet it’s the only business on the face of the planet that has never done anything wrong, never admitted to any wrongdoing in its history."
In closing out her series, Remini promised that as this one chapter closes, her journey will not. "Our fight is not over and I hope you are just as enraged as I am," she said. "Our fight has to go beyond the restraints of network television. Rest assured, Scientology, that this is not the end, this is just the beginning."
The LAPD investigation into Masterson is ongoing as investigators told Remini they are seeking more information. Masterson continues to maintain his innocence and the Church of Scientology continues to deny the credibility and comments made by any and all contributors to "Scientology and the Aftermath."
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