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LISTEN: Actor Danny Masterson’s publicist echoes Scientology in bizarre defense against rape charges

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Danny Masterson’s publicist Jenni Weinman suggested to one of four women accusing the actor of sexual assault that a man can’t rape a women he’s in a relationship, a position that echoes the Church of Scientology’s stance, of which Masterson is a member.

Yashar Ali detailed the allegations against Masterson, as well as Masterson’s publicist’s response, in a thorough investigation published by the Huffington Post. As Ali reports, two of the four women who’ve accused Masterson of rape were in relationships with the “That ’70s Show” star during the time of the alleged incidents. The Los Angeles Police Department is currently investigating accusations Masterson drugged the women and violently raped them.

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As Ali reports, one of Masterson’s ex-girlfriends, Chrissie Bixler, accused Masterson of raping her while she was unconscious, including one instance where “she woke up in pain with her anus bleeding.” Bixler claims when she confronted Masterson about her inability to consent while unconscious, he told her to, “Stop it, you’re making me feel bad.”

Bixler, who was a practicing Scientologist at the time of the alleged assault, filed a report with the Church, as “one of the key policies of the Church of Scientology is that a Scientologist must never report another Scientologist to law enforcement,” Ali reports. The Church, in turn, allegedly threatened Bixler, and told her that Masterson did not rape her because she was in a relationship with him.

Bixler’s husband, At the Drive In singer Cedric Biller Zavala echoed the allegations against Masterson in a tweet last week.

“My wife is one of Danny Masterson’s rape victims,” he wrote. “Of course Danny being the scumbag he is outed her by name a while ago with the help of his ding bat publicist Jenni Weinman. The Church of Scientology has been harassing us since last year when she pressed charges.”

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It was Weinman who, in a conversation with another of Masterson’s alleged victims (referred to by the Huffington Post as “Victim B”), parroted the Church of Scientology’s reported position that women in relationships cannot be raped by their partners. According to Bixler, Weinman made a similar claim to her last year.

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Transcript of Weinman’s phone call with Victim B shows a publicist who’s shockingly apathetic about claims of sexual assault made against one of their clients.

“I know Chrissie [Bixler] and I am certain she would talk,” Victim B said, according to the transcript.

“Well, Chrissie was Danny’s girlfriend at the time, so there’s really nothing, there’s no story there,” Weinman argued.

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“He raped her,” Victim B replied.

“They were boyfriend and girlfriend and they dated, and then they fucked for a year after they broke up,” Weinman said (Bixler denies that characterization, noting she and Masterson had sex a total of three times after they officially broke up).

Later in her conversation with Victim B, Weinman took great issue with being told she “[doesn’t] care” about Masterson’s alleged victims.

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“It’s not that I don’t care,” she said. “That’s kind of rude. Like, I have kids, and I’m a mother, and I’m a woman ― of course I’m curious, which is why I called you. If I didn’t give a shit, I would have been like, whatever, have the legal people call you. You don’t know me, so that’s not anything about me.”

In a statement, Weinman denied that she covered up Masterson’s wrongdoing, but noted one of the accuser’s claims “[seem] so illogical.”

“I respect the law. I would never cover up wrongdoing or threaten people based on the scope of my work,” she said. “As a publicist it’s my job to gather information and make informed decisions about media matters. As an outsider looking in I never saw anything but a consensual relationship between Danny and Chrissie, with whom I maintained a cordial relationship after they broke up. That said, her claims coming after almost 16 years were surprising and shocking to say the least. My conversation with any alleged victim came from a place of sincerity, and curiosity as to why they would wait and why now, it just seemed so illogical.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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