Four women filed suit on Wednesday against the Church of Scientology, alleging they were stalked and intimidated after reporting sexual assault allegations against actor Danny Masterson.
The women all claim that Masterson raped or sexually assaulted them in the early 2000s. They reported their allegations to the LAPD in late 2016 and early 2017, and the police continue to investigate the case. Masterson has adamantly and repeatedly denied the claims. He was dropped from the Netflix series “The Ranch” in December 2017.
The lawsuit states that the women were all followed, allegedly by agents of the Church of Scientology, in retaliation for going to the police. Chrissie Bixler, one of the plaintiffs, alleges that she was chased in her car in October 2017 by two people who were filming her. Shortly after, her dog died inexplicably. A necropsy revealed that the dog suffered “traumatic injuries to her trachea and esophagus.”
She also says that she has been harassed online, and that Scientology agents encouraged people to post fake Craigslist ads in her name soliciting anal sex. She alleges that she has been stalked, run off the road, and targeted for credit card fraud. She installed a home security system, which she alleges was repeatedly hacked and disabled. Bixler’s husband is also a plaintiff in the suit.
Another plaintiff, Marie Bobette Riales, alleges that she has been followed and photographed — even on vacation — and had her email accounts hacked. The suit states that her 13-year-old’s bedroom window was smashed in the middle of the night. She runs a food truck, and says it has been vandalized, false reviews were posted online, and fake ads offering to sell the truck have been posted online.
“This is beyond ridiculous. 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,” Masterson said in a statement via his attorney. “I will beat her in court—and look forward to it because the public will finally be able 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.”
Two other plaintiffs, who are not identified by name in the suit, level similar accusations. One of them says she has rarely left her house in the two years since the police reports were filed.
The suit alleges that the Church of Scientology has declared the women “fair game” for violating the church’s proscription against involving the police in such an investigation.
William Forman, litigation counsel for the Church of Scientology International, also addressed the suit, denying all allegations leveled against the organization. Forman also criticized Leah Remini, an actress and former Scientologist who hosts the A+E docuseries “Scientology and the Aftermath.” The show is reportedly addressing the lawsuit’s allegations in an upcoming two-hour special, airing Aug. 26.
“From everything we have read in the press, this baseless lawsuit will go nowhere because the claims are ludicrous and a sham,” Forman said in a statement. “It’s a dishonest and hallucinatory publicity stunt. Leah Remini is taking advantage of these people as pawns in her moneymaking scam.”