‘That ’70s Show’ Star Danny Masterson Charged With Raping Three Women

“That ’70s Show” star Danny Masterson has been charged with the rapes of three females in the early 2000s, according to Los Angeles prosecutors. 

The three counts of rape by fear or sheer force against him were filed last Tuesday, and he was arrested on Wednesday morning, according to jail records. He was let go a few hours later after paying his $3 million bail and is set to be arraigned on September 18.

Masterson’s lawyer Tom Mesereau said he is not guilty, and “we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify.”

Prosecutors believe that the accused raped a 23-year-old woman around 2001, a 28-year-old in 2003, and another 23-year-old woman he had invited to his house in Hollywood Hills also in 2003.

Masterson could face up to 45 years in jail.

Prosecutors did not wish to file charges on two other cases involving the man, one because of a lack of evidence and the other because the statute of limitations was no longer valid.

Since 2011, Masterson has been married to actress and model Bijou Phillips.

“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,” said his lawyer, who has previously had Michael Jackson and Bill Cosby as clients in their cases for sexual crimes.

“The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”

The females, whose names were not disclosed, issued a statement through their lawyers saying they had been subjected to “harassment, embarrassment and re-victimization” since they started talking to authorities.

“We are thankful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is finally seeking criminal justice against Masterson,” the statement said. “We are confident that the truth will be known and hope that the charges filed today are the first steps in this long journey of healing, justice, and holding those that victimized us accountable.”

The accusations came during the height of Masterson’s success as he starred in the well-known sitcom That 70s Show where he acted alongside Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, and Mila Kunis.

The show ran on Fox from 1998 to 2006 and has enjoyed a number of reruns.

Masterson had once again joined co-actor Ashton Kutcher on the Netflix western sitcom The Ranch when the police investigation was revealed back in 2017. The case did not affect his career at first, but later on, after allegations against Harvey Weinstein shook the world, he was released from the show.

Masterson criticized the current state of Hollywood that led to the loss of his part, and also at the time that his high-ranking membership as a Scientologist was leading to his prosecution.

In a 2017 statement, he said that “in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”

Because he was already under investigation by authorities, Masterson’s case was not one of those taken up by a task force created by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to look into sexual crimes in the media industry.

The task force did not want to file charges on more than 20 cases in the two years of its existence and charged only Harvey Weinstein.

Prosecutors in LA are currently trying to bring Weinstein to California to stand in court regarding his rape and sexual assault charges. Weinstein is now behind bars in New York after being convicted of a number of similar charges earlier in 2020.

Masterson’s is the second case filed by LA prosecutors against a famous Hollywood personality in the age of the MeToo movement.

He has been working tirelessly since the early 90s, mostly in TV sitcoms including Men at Work, Cybill, That 70s Show, and The Ranch.

His roles in movies include Yes Man, starring Jim Carry, The Bridge of Nowhere, where he acted alongside his future wife Phillips, and The Chicago 8.

For Inside Edition’s report on the story please see the video below.

What are your thoughts on this case? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve found it informative. 

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