Understanding What The Sexual Assault Charges Against Danny Masterson Did To His Career

At the age of four, Danny Masterson became a member of the American entertainment industry. He started as a child model, making appearances in commercials and magazines before transitioning to acting. He was a notable actor for more than two decades; that is until he got charged with raping three women.

Since then, he has gone from a darling on shows like The Ranch, where he starred alongside Hollywood icons like Ashton Kutcher and Sam Elliot, to an outcast of the industry. Although his trial is still ongoing, there is a widely spread assumption that his acting days are over.

Danny Masterson Appeared In Iconic Projects Like ‘That 70’s Show’ Before His Charges

Danny Masterson was considered one of the few success stories of child entertainers before his sexual assault charges. Following the beginning of his career at the age of four, he became a long and consistent fixture in TV commercials for multiple brands. By the time he was 16, he had appeared in more than 100 commercials.

Masterson had featured in ads for brands like Hardee’s Hostess, Clearasil, Kellogg’s, and many others. During this time, he also began a full-fledged acting career, starring as Justin in the CBS sitcom, Cybill. At the age of 21, he began appearing as Steven Hyde in That ’70s Show.

He appeared in all eight seasons of the show, starring in 200 episodes. It further brought Danny into the limelight and made him an icon to many 90s children. In between his run on the show, he built his filmography with other appearances in films and TV series as a guest star or supporting actor.

After That 70′s Show ended, he continued various appearances in different films like The Chicago 8, Wake, California Solo, and many more. He also had a two-year run in the comedy, Men at Work, before he began his last major appearance on Netflix’s The Ranch, in 2016. He starred on the show from 2016 to 2018, across 50 episodes.

All of this is to say from his childhood years, Danny Masterson was enjoying a successful career until the allegations of sexual assault became too loud for producers to ignore.

Allegations of Sexual Assault Against The Actor First Went Public in 2017

The bombshell news about rape charges filed against him may have gained traction in 2020, but the journey began three years before, in 2017. Four women filed sexual assault allegations against the actor in March 2017, sparking an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

When news of the allegations broke, via a statement published by his agent, he denied them. But the allegations refused to go away. Before the year was over in December 2017, another woman who reportedly dated the actor accused him of rape. However, at the time, no charges were filed against the actor.

More than the two years later, the allegations were back in the news. This time, due to a lawsuit filed against Danny Masterson and the Church of Scientology. The lawsuit, filed by the original four women, accused both parties of harassment and stalking to pressure them into recanting their statements.

Cedric Bixler-Zavala, The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In singer, also backed up the claim by his wife, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, who is one of the four women who accussed Danny Masterson. According to him, he wrote the At the Drive-In song, Incurably Incident, about the incident.

Like a story out of a mafia film, one of the women reportedly had her dog killed from unexplained traumatic injuries. She also claimed members of the Church of Scientology filmed her without permission, posted ads of her soliciting sex on social media, and harassed her online.

Others reported stalking from a man who snapped photos, and another reported a break-in into her 13-year-old daughter’s bedroom. In January 2020, Cedric claimed two of his family’s pets had to be killed after they were fed rat poison. Nevertheless, Danny denied the allegations and insisted on getting his day in court. The Church of Scientology also denied pressuring victims.

He Lost His Agent and Netflix Show After the Allegations

Danny may be yet to get his day in court after the allegations from the four women, but it did not take long before the allegations began hurting his career. To start with, Netflix fired him from The Ranch on December 5, 2017.

Danny Masterson
Danny (R) opposite Ashton Kutcher in a scene from The Ranch: image source

Also, after a fifth woman reported another allegation against the actor, his talent agency, United Talent Agency, dropped him from its roster. As a result, Danny Masterson, who worked consistently since 1993, he has not appeared in a film or TV show since 2018. Killing Winston Jones, a film he starred in before the allegations remain unreleased.

It is difficult to say where precisely the apple will fall following his trial. Still, the popular belief is that his career as a mainstream actor is over.

He Got Charged with Three Counts of Rape In June 2020

Three years after the allegations of rape first made it to the press, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office charged Danny Masterson with three counts of rape. The office announced the charges on June 17, 2020. According to the filings, the indictments were part of an investigation that began in 2017.

The actor had reportedly raped a 23-year-old woman in his home in Hollywood Hills between October and December 2003. Also, in 2003, he allegedly raped a 28-year-old woman and another 23-year-old woman in 2001, both of which occurred in his home.

The Attorney General’s office further admitted there were two other cases but declined to file the additional charges. It claimed one of them lacked insufficient evidence, and the other had exceeded the statute of limitations.

After filing the charges, he was arrested and later released on bail after paying a $3.3 million bail. His lawyer, Tom Mesereau, released a statement in continued denial of the allegations and insisted on the complete innocence of the actor. His trial and arraignment will begin on September 18, 2020. If the court finds him guilty, the actor is facing 45 years to life in prison.

Danny Masterson’s Wife Remains by His Side Through It All

Danny Masterson
Danny Masterson and Bijou Phillips: image source

Contrary to what many may have expected when the accusations went public, Danny’s wife, Bijou Phillips, who is a former actress, model, and socialite, stands by his side. The couple has been together since 2004 after they met at a poker tournament in Las Vegas.

Since then, they have starred in several films together and gotten married. They got married in a private castle in Ireland on October 8, 2011, two years after they got engaged in March 2009. The marriage has produced one child, a daughter, Fianna Francis Masterson, born on February 14, 2014.

Following the allegations of sexual assault, Bijou Phillips has defended her husband and has even publicly ridiculed one of the accusers’ filed police report on the alleged incident. After the Los Angeles Attorney General filed the charges, she reinstated her stance.

Like Danny, Bijou is also a member of the Church of Scientology, and this is not her first controversial stance. She defended her late father, the musician, John Phillips, after her half-sister, Mackenzie Phillips, accused him of rape and incest.

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