Leah Remini Attends Opening Statements of Danny Masterson’s Retrial in Los Angeles
Leah Remini, a former member of the Church of Scientology and now a prominent critic of the organization, was present for the opening statements of Danny Masterson's retrial in Los Angeles. Masterson, a former star of “That '70s Show,” faces three charges of forcible rape from three women who allege he raped them in the early 2000s. Remini, who has been vocal about her criticisms of Scientology and Masterson in the past, was initially requested to be removed from the courtroom by Masterson's defense team due to the possibility she would be called as a witness, but the judge denied the request. Remini later clarified that she is not on the witness list for the prosecution.
During opening statements, the prosecution focused heavily on claims that Masterson allegedly drugged the women before raping them. Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller stated that the evidence will show they were drugged, and that the women will describe symptoms such as lightheadedness, loss of vision, loss of motor skills, vaginal pain, anal pain, and more. The prosecution also plans to introduce new expert witnesses to speak to the jury about the effects of drugs and alcohol on memory, indicating a strategy to focus on Masterson allegedly drugging the women.
The case has put a spotlight on Scientology, as Masterson is a well-known member of the organization and all three women who accuse him of rape are former members. During the previous trial, multiple witnesses stated that they feared being labeled a “suppressive person” by the church, which would excommunicate them and cut them off from communication with loved ones in the church. One of the accusers recalled a church official threatening to label her as such for going to the police with her claims and telling her to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
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1. “Leah Remini UNLOADS on Scientology, Accuses Danny Masterson's Lawyers of Trying to ‘Throw' Her Out of Courtroom” Radar Online, 25 Apr. 2023, https://radaronline.com/p/leah-remini-danny-mastersons-retrial-kicked-out-court-twitter
2. “Prosecutors Accuse Danny Masterson of Drugging Victims as Rape Retrial Commences” Rolling Stone, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-news/danny-masterson-rape-retrial-opening-statements-1234722933
3. “Danny Masterson Rape Retrial Begins: Prosecutors Claim ‘That 70’s Show’ Star ‘Drugged’ and ‘Sodomized’ Women” Variety, 24 Apr. 2023, https://variety.com/2023/film/news/danny-masterson-rape-trial-drugged-women-leah-remini-1235592669/
4. “As Danny Masterson Rape Trial Resumes, Leah Remini Infuriates Scientologists Again” Yahoo Life, 26 Apr. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/danny-masterson-rape-trial-resumes-202000382.html