WTF: Church of Scientology to mediate lawsuit filed against them and ‘That 70’s Show’ star Danny Masterson

A Los Angeles Judge has ruled that accusations of harassment made against Danny Masterson and the Church of Scientology will be mediated by (you guessed it) the Church of Scientology.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles Judge Steven Kleifield ruled that four of the five allegations of stalking and intimidation against That 70’s Show actor Danny Masterson must be settled by the Church of Scientology. As four of the charges were filed by former members of Scientology, the ruling was made on the basis of a lifelong arbitration agreement signed between the complainants and the Church.

Filed in 2019, the civil lawsuit alleged that the actor, the Church of Scientology, and Church leader David Miscavige conspired “to cover up that Daniel Masterson sexually assaulted four young women” by “systemically stalking, harassing, invading their family’s privacy, and intentionally causing them emotional distress to silence and intimidate them.”

Danny Masterson
Photograph: Lucy Nicholson, Getty Images

According to Variety, Superior Court Judge Kleifield ruled that the complaints from Chrissie Carnell Bixler, her husband Cedric Bixler-Zavaka, and two Jane Does must be settled by the Church due to existing arbitration agreements between the two parties.

During the ruling, Kleifield argued that the plaintiffs had “signed lifelong agreements to be bound to arbitrate any and all claims against Scientology” and, therefore, their claims must be mediated by the Church. Conflict of interest much?

The claims include intimidation through harassing phone calls, threats of violence, and property damage. Bixler accused Masterson of sexual assault during their relationship (2001 – 2002) and alleged that “agents of [the] defendants” poisoned her dog, slashed her tyres, and sent her and her husband harassing phone calls.

After reporting her sexual assault to police, Jane Doe #1 claimed to experience property damage, violent threats, assault, and sexual harassment. Jane Doe #2 accused the defendants of inflicting emotional distress, stalking, and invasion of privacy.

A conference on the status of the arbitration has been set by the court for June 30. Masterson’s attorney Andrew Brettler told reporters that “this was absolutely the correct result. We look forward to arbitrating the claims, as the Court directed.” 

Masterson is still scheduled for an arraignment on January 6 concerning three charges of rape in the early 2000s. The victims have alleged that the harassment began after they came forward in early 2017.

Masterson has continued to deny all rape allegations.

We can only hope that justice will be served for these victims.

If you or anyone you know needs help or support from abuse or assault, you can contact 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline (131 114), or Beyond Blue (1300 224 636).