“I am attending opening arguments in the rape trial of celebrity Scientologist Danny Masterson today,” the actress, 52, tweeted on Monday, April 24. “The women who Danny raped deserve justice for what they’ve been put through, not only by Danny but by Scientology which has tried to destroy them for reporting their rapes.”
The second trial began with jury selection earlier this month after Masterson’s first trial ended with a hung jury. The That ‘70s Show alum’s legal troubles originally made headlines in 2017 when he was accused of sexual assault by multiple women. Masterson, 47, for his part, denied the allegations against him.
“From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit,” the actor, who shares a daughter with wife Bijou Phillips, told Us Weekly in a statement at the time. “I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”
In June 2020, Masterson was charged with three counts of rape. He was released on a $3.3 million bail shortly after his arrest and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Meanwhile, Remini addressed Masterson’s legal woes with a statement of her own, tweeting that same month, “Finally, victims are being heard when it comes to Scientology! Praise the lord! This is just the beginning Scientology, your days of getting away with it is coming to an end! #justice #scientologytheaftermath.”
The Kings of Queens alum, who was previously a member of the Church of Scientology, has been outspoken about the organization’s members since her 2013 departure. After leaving Scientology, Remini made bombshell claims about her experiences in her memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.
In 2016, Remini continued to investigate the Church of Scientology with other former members in her Emmy-winning A&E docuseries, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. Three years later, the New York native sat down with two of the women who accused Masterson of rape in a two-hour TV special.
The Men at Work alum’s sexual assault initial trial started in October 2022 after his several attempts to have the charges dismissed. Masterson, who declined to testify, faces a maximum of 45 years to life in state prison. A mistrial due to a deadlock was declared in November 2022.
“While we are disappointed with the outcome in this trial, we thank the jurors for their service,” a spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said in a statement to Us at the time. “We also want to give our heartfelt appreciation to the victims for bravely stepping forward and recounting their harrowing experiences. We also are thankful for the hard work of the prosecution team and we will now consider our next steps as it relates to prosecuting this case.”
In response, Remini accused Scientology leader David Miscavige of covering up sex abuse crimes within the organization.
“David Miscavige, I know you read my tweets. There is nothing you can do to intimidate me into silence and I will not stop fighting you and the evil, criminal enterprise you control,” she tweeted in November 2022. “While this is not the outcome I wanted for the survivors of Danny Masterson’s predation, I’m glad a retrial has already been rescheduled. My heart breaks for the women who have courageously and tirelessly fought for justice for over five years. For years, they have been targeted and harassed by Scientology and its agents. They have also been targeted and harassed by their family members and friends who remained in Scientology.”
She continued: “I want to remind everyone that when you’re a Scientologist, you are strictly forbidden from reporting crimes to civil authorities that other Scientologists commit against you. You are ordered only to report things to internal Scientology authorities… These women did what they were told to do. They reported their rapes to internal Scientology authorities. And after they did that, they were not only blamed and abused; they were told that they weren’t raped and ordered them never to use the word ‘rape’ again.”
The Church of Scientology issued a lengthy statement denying the Kevin Can Wait alum’s accusations.
“Remini’s only interest is in continuing her profit-making campaign of hate and propaganda. She seeks vengeance for her expulsion from the Church and her primary source of income since that expulsion has been the cash sale of that propaganda and hate,” the organization told Variety.
If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.