Four women who previously accused That 70s Show actor Danny Masterson of rape are now suing him and the Church of Scientology, alleging that they were stalked and harassed by members of the church, the New York Daily News reports.
The women’s lawsuit alleges that Masterson conspired with the Church of Scientology to harass them as they cooperated with a police investigation into their allegations against him. While two of the plaintiffs remain anonymous, one women is identified as Marie Riales, and the other is Masterson’s ex-girlfriend, Chrissie Bixler. Three of the four are former Scientologists.
Masterson has denied the allegations, which first were reported to the Los Angeles Police Department in 2016 and 2017. After the allegations became public, he was fired from his role on the Netflix show The Ranch. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Masterson called the allegations “beyond ludicrous.”
“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,” he said, presumably referring to Bixler. “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.”
As The Hollywood Reporter points out, the women’s lawsuit alleges that the Church of Scientology strictly forbids members to contact police to report a crime committed by a Scientologist.
“Historically, when a member has complained of suffering sexual abuse, this disclosure has resulted in the member being forced to confront or apologize to his or her abuser and undergo a program to identify what ‘pulled in’ the abuse,” the lawsuit states.
The suit also alleges that certain church phones are incapable of dialing 9-11.
After they filed their initial reports against Masterson, the women say they were subjected to a campaign of harassment which included public stalking, home surveillance, vandalism of property, identity theft, and other threatening forms of behavior. As a result of the harassment, the women say they feared for their safety and suffered crippling emotional distress.
Variety reports that the lawsuit also states that the church declared the women “fair game” after they dared to involve the police in a complaint against one of its members.
Trump impeachment trial: 4 stories from first day spell doom for Mitch McConnell
If the score was kept for the first day of the impeachment trial, it would show hefty losses for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
As Former Special Counsel for the Department of Defense, Ryan Goodman, pointed out, four major headlines perfectly reflect the cracks in the strangle-hold McConnell has had on his party.
First, McConnell was forced to change the impeachment hearing rules. After a huge uprising by Americans demanding to be able to watch the impeachment trial during normal human hours, senators told McConnell he'd lost the votes to hold proceedings after midnight.
‘Disease fanboy’: Internet slams NBC conservative for ‘rooting for pandemic’ to distract from Trump impeachment trial
Hugh Hewitt is once again under fire, this time for almost appearing to be glad a deadly SARS-related virus has been diagnosed in a patient in Washington state – saying additional diagnoses will take the focus away from the Senate's historic impeachment trial. Hewitt is a conservative Washington Post columnist, radio host, MSNBC and NBC contributor, and law professor who went from being a "Never-Trumper" to all-in for President Donald Trump.
"People care much more for their health than theater," said Hewitt via Twitter, referring to Trump's impeachment trial. The SARS-related virus, known as the Wuhan coronavirus, is named for an area of China where it was first found. It "has infected more than 300 people and killed six in an outbreak that has struck China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and now the US," CNN reports.
Greece elects first woman president
Greece's parliament on Wednesday elected the first woman president in the country's history, a senior judge with an expertise in environmental and constitutional law.
A cross-party majority of 261 MPs voted in favour of 63-year-old Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, parliament chief Costas Tassoulas said.
"Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou has been elected president of the republic," Tassoulas said.The new president, until now the head of Greece's top administrative court, the Council of State, will take her oath of office on March 13, he added.
The daughter of a Supreme Court judge, Sakellaropoulou completed postgraduate studies at Paris's Sorbonne university.