Danny Masterson Defense’s Latest Mistrial Request Denied In L.A. Rape Case

UPDATED with afternoon session: “He was being rough, it was painful, my body was not prepared,” a soft-voiced Jane Doe #3 said Monday afternoon on the stand at Danny Masterson’s Los Angeles rape trial, describing an alleged incident between herself and the actor in 2001, more than four years into the the couple’s relationship.

“I was sleeping, I woke up and he was having sex with me and I didn’t want to. … I told him I didn’t want to have sex, and he wouldn’t stop,” Jane Doe #3, aka CB, said of the encounter at their Hollywood Hills home.

“I felt trapped,” CB said under questioning by Deputy LA County District Attorney Reinhold Mueller, detailing how Masterson pinned her arms as he allegedly continued to have sex with her against her will. “I was screaming at him to get off of me.”

Pulling Masterson’s hair in defiance, which went against the actor’s so-called “rules,” the witness said, CB specified that the actor struck her on her left cheek, got off her, spat at her and “called me white trash.” She added: “I felt shocked by it, I felt angry.”  

“You just didn’t say no to him,” the witness exclaimed earlier in the day of her then-boyfriend, focusing on alleged “physical abuse” and “emotional abuse” by Masterson starting about a year into their six-year relationship in the late 1990s. As CB spoke throughout the afternoon with her voice often breaking, Masterson sat at the defense table staring at her, sometimes with his head resting in his palm. 

“He became very aggressive sexually,” she said of the shifting tone of their relationship about a year into their relationship, which started in 1997.  “I remember coming back from Paris and I was really really tired and jet-lagged and sick and he wanted to have sex and I didn’t,” CB said of one 1998 incident. “And it resulted in a fight where he dragged me by my hair along the floor. He called me fat and other insults. That’s the first that I remember.” 

“Over the course of our relationship, it was a problem,” CB said of the demands for sex from Masterson, whether she wanted to or not. “It became pretty regular, and most of the time I let it happen. It would get to the point where if I made it an issue, he would ignore me for a day or two where I would go groveling to him,” she told the clearly transfixed courtroom. When asked why she would go to Masterson apologizing, CB replied: “If I didn’t there would be no communication.” 

She said Masterson would often urinate on her while she was showering, and on other occasions. “He thought it was funny,” she said. 

Having become a Scientologist early in their relationship, CB testified that her attitude and response towards Masterson and the church began to change in fall 2001, just before the couple’s relationship ended. “I told him no, and fought back,” she contended.

Along with fellow ex-Scientologist Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2, Jane Doe #3/CB is also engaged in a currently paused civil case against the church and Masterson citing harassment, stalking and intimidated after the trio went to the LAPD with their claims.  

Later in the afternoon today, CB said the breaking point for her was a 2001 event at the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles, where Masterson was yelling “sexual things, degrading things” at Jennifer Esposito. The supposed screaming by the actor to his Dracula 2000 co-star resulted in Masterson getting “beaten up” by the actress’ partner “out on Sunset,” according to CB.

CB left Masterson and went off with a friend to talk about what had happened, and how “it wasn’t OK.” When the couple did meet up at home, an enraged Masterson called her “white trash” and other derogatory names.

In the first seconds of her testimony, CB identified Masterson in the courtroom. “He and I were in a relationship …for six years,” she said on the stand, describing how she came to know him after meeting him at a Los Angeles party for her modeling agency in September 1996 when she was 18. 

“He came up to me and said I have a crush on you,” the Alabama-born CB said, noting that she did not know who Masterson was at the time.

Not long after Masterson and CB first started dating, the two moved into a home he shared with his siblings in Laurel Canyon. CB told the judge and jury that eventually Masterson wanted her to stop travelling so much for her modelling career as he desired a “traditional relationship” and “his religion” thought a “women’s role should be at home,” which CB also said seemed “normal” to her based on her background.  

“He made it very clear to me that I must become a Scientologist,” CB said. “In order to remain in this relationship, I had to start doing courses, that I was a potential trouble source,” she said “Asserting that her social circle and “entire life” began to revolve around Scientology, CB went on to say that she “disconnected” from her family because her parents were said to be “suppressive persons.”  

As has occurred many times in this trial so far, the presence of Scientology set off sparks, with lead defense lawyer Phillip Cohen’s hackles raised over the matter.

Before Jane Doe #3 took the stand today, the testimony of Jane Doe #1’s cousin Rachel Dejneka continued following the return from the lunch.  

Jane Doe #3’s testimony will continue Tuesday, followed by cross-examination. The court is dark on Wednesday due to a scheduling issue.  

PREVIOUSLY, 12:32 PM: The beginning of the second week of testimony in Danny Masterson’s rape trial hurtled towards another request from the defense for a mistrial.

“I don’t throw it out there easily,” lead defense attorney Phillip Cohen said Monday of the latest request to pull the plug on the criminal case against the former That ’70s Show star. “In a criminal trial, the defense’s credibility is everything,” the lawyer added, on day that tales of a defense-side private investigator speaking to a witness in the courthouse last week were disclosed during this morning’s testimony.

The first witness on the stand today was Shaun Fabos, a friend of Jane Doe #1/Jen B and employee of her parents back in the early 2000s during the period two alleged rapes by Masterson occurred.

Shocking the court out of a Monday morning lethargy, Fabos testified to Deputy L.A. County District Attorney Reinhold Mueller that he had been approached by the defense team’s private investigator in the hall outside the courtroom on the afternoon of October 20 while waiting to give testimony. Fabos said the P.I. asked him whether he had been on a trip to Florida with Jen B and her family. Having met with the Los Angeles D.A.’s office at around noon that Thursday, the witness today said the question from the P.I. caused him to remember the trip, and to inform the prosecution later that evening.  

Before the jury returned from its morning break, Cohen took to the court podium enraged over the statements and questions from Mueller over Fabos’ conversation with the P.I. Afterwards, Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo denied Cohen’s latest desired mistrial motion.

However, the judge did deem Fabos a “hostile witness,” and termed him “evasive” as Scientology’s presence again loomed over the case.  

In that vein, Mueller in re-direct later this morning focused in again on the “trouble” Jen B told Fabos she could get in with Scientology if she made too big a fuss about the alleged 2003 assault.  

Today’s hearing follows an emotional first week of opening statements, testimony from Jen B, and repeated clashes between the lawyers and Olmedo over procedure and the role of Scientology at the trial.

First arrested in 2020 and free ever since on just over $3 million bail, fired The Ranch actor Masterson has denied he had nonconsensual sex with the trio of Jane Does in this case, or anyone else. 

As well as this criminal case, there is also a currently paused civil case that the three alleged victims in Masterson rape trial and others filed in 2019 against the Church of Scientology and the actor. It claims that the ex-Scientology plaintiffs have been harassed, stalked and even saw pets killed by the church and church affiliates for going to the LAPD with their allegations against Masterson.

The Supreme Court this month rejected Scientology’s petition to take up the suit after a California appellate court earlier this year ruled that the ex-church members had a First Amendment right to not be held to the stipulations of a religious organizations once they have left.  

Jane Doe #2, who dated Masterson for many years, is also expected to testify today. However, her appearance could be delayed if other testimony goes long, as is usually the case. Former Masterson lawyer and Hollywood heavyweight Marty Singer was assumed to be taking the stand today to explain his role in a $400,000 settlement and NDA between his client and Jen B in 2004. However, his testimony has been pushed back to next week or perhaps even later due to scheduling issues, Deadline has learned.

Prior to the dustup over the P.I. conversation, Fabos detailed a meeting with Jen B nearly two decades ago at an L.A. coffee house where she described the alleged attack by Masterson in April 2003. “I don’t remember her words verbatim,” Fabos told Mueller. Yet, under steadying questioning from the prosecutor, the witness did offer instances and impressions he had of talking to Jen B several years ago, and a phone call the two had on March 11, 2017 where Jen B and Fabos recollected their initial discussions of the 2003 events.  

In a theme that keeps popping up throughout the case, Mueller pressed Fabos to speak about how the drink Jen B consumed at Masterson’s house in 2003 affected her. “She would not have,” Fabos told the courtroom about whether she would have had sex with Masterson without having had the so-called fruity alcoholic beverage.  

“She said that she felt something weird had happened and definitely potential foul play had occurred,” Fabos said, agreeing with Mueller that Fabos said “I’m going to beat the shit out of him” when Jen B told him of the alleged assault. Jen B asked Fabos not to get into an altercation with Masterson, and later told him she wanted to “protect” him from getting in trouble. 

Fabos also admitted to the court that Jen B had told him she’d “gotten in trouble with the church” for reporting the “Masterson incident,” to quote Mueller’s queries. Additionally, the occasionally confused witness spoke of going on a trip to Florida with Jen B and her family “twenty years ago.” Hired to help take care of Jen B’s child, Fabos was unclear about a number of specifics of the vacation but did say he was not shown “any bruises” on Jen B’s body during the trip. 

In her own testimony last week, and in a number of court documents, Jen B has elaborated on a family visit to Clearwater, FL for her father’s birthday that began from California the morning after the alleged April 2003 rape by Masterson. She testified that her body became increasingly bruised on the trip because of the assault.

“Has anyone from the Church of Scientology told you what to say today?” defense lawyer Karen Goldstein asked Fabos in a surgical cross-examination that sought to cast doubt on the significance of almost everything the prosecution witness had said earlier. Tossing serious shade on Jen B, Goldstein made sure to get a word about Fabos being contacted by a media outlet after his 2017 tape-recorded phone conversation with Jen B.

In a sharp-elbowed statement stricken from the record by the judge, the defense lawyer also said that Jen B had actually given Fabos’ phone number to members of the media. 

After Fabos concluded his testimony just before 11 a.m., the next witness was Rachel Dejneka, a younger cousin of Jen B. She started off under questioning from Deputy D.A. Ariel Anson that she felt “good” about being in court. Stating that she loved her cousin, she said she had a good relationship with her cousin but they were not as close as they used to be. 

Dejneka has been referenced directly several times over the course of the trial so far for her participation in the Florida trip. Bunking with Jen B, the witness was the first person it seems to which Jen B relayed details of the alleged assualt. Dejneka also confirmed to the courtroom that her “sad” cousin’s body soon became “covered in bruises” over the first few days of the trip.  

The witness said at the time her cousin “didn’t remember exactly” how she got the bruises, but “she was in a hot tub and handed a drink.” Though she gave the court a number of specific details about her cousin’s condition at the time, Dejneka could not say precisely who’s house Jen B had been at where she had the drink in question. 

Under aggressive cross-examination by Cohen, Dejneka revealed that she has spoken to her cousin several times over the years, as recently as 2017, about their 2003 trip. The witness also admitted she spoke to LAPD Detective Javier Vargas about conversations and observations with her cousin five and a half years ago. 

With opening statements in Harvey Weinstein’s Los Angeles rape trial beginning today at the other end of the hall on the ninth floor of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Monday’s initially more sparsely attended Masterson session started a little later than usual due to Fabos and a juror running late.  

The trial is scheduled to go to late November, the court will be in session all of this week except Wednesday.

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