A woman has collapsed in court when she gave a stark account of a night in 2003 in which she claims to have emerged from unconsciousness to find US actor Danny Masterson raping her.
He is one of three women who claim the That ’70s Show star raped them.
The woman told the Los Angeles court that at one point during the incident she grabbed Masterson’s hair to pull him away, but he pushed a pillow in her face.
“I was suffocated,” she said, crying. “I couldn’t breathe.”
She told the court she later grabbed his throat to try to push him away, but he held her and began choking her.
When asked by the prosecutor what she was thinking at the time, the woman replied: “That he would kill me. That I would die.”
At this point the woman was crying.
After she said, “I can’t do this,” the judge asked for a short break, and a court victim support attorney comforted her on the witness stand.
When her evidence resumed, the woman told the court that Masterson pulled a gun from a drawer in his bedside table and ordered her to be quiet when there was a commotion at the door.
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She said she kept passing out throughout the night despite only drinking about half of a fruity vodka drink Masterson gave her.
Masterson, 46, who was at the time a star of Fox TV sitcom That ’70s Show, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape.
In a brief cross-examination before the end of the trial, questions from Masterson’s attorney, Phillip Cohen, suggested he would challenge the woman over differences in the story she told police in 2004, which did not result in charges against Masterson and her testimony on Wednesday afternoon .
She acknowledged that she left elements of the story out at the time “to protect people.”
At a preliminary hearing last year, a former Masterson defense attorney stressed that the 2004 LA police report made no mention of a gun and claimed the three women each misinterpreted consensual sex as rape.
Masterson, sitting at the defense table in a suit, looked at the woman as she testified but showed no visible reaction. His wife, actress and model Bijou Phillips, sat behind him at the front of the gallery along with some of his family members and friends.
You can never be a victim. No matter what happens, you are always responsible.witness
The witness testified that she had only intended to go to Masterson’s house to pick up a bunch of keys and that her relationship with Masterson had been troubled since the two had sex a few months earlier, an incident she told police about in 2004 , but later decided that she had not consented to this. In 2016 she returned to the police force.
In his cross-examination, Mr. Cohen asked if it was her position in 2004 that Masterson raped her the first time they had sex, and she replied, “No.”
When asked if that was her position now, she also answered “no”. The court adjourned before he could press her any further.
All three of Masterson’s accusers were members of the Church of Scientology when they say they were raped, but have since left. Masterson remains a member.
Judge Charlaine Olmedo said before the trial that she would not allow Scientology to be de facto indicted but would allow limited discussion of it.
Before the woman took the witness stand on Wednesday after she began testifying on Tuesday, the judge warned her not to stray too far in discussions about religion, an issue she had already admonished Assistant District Attorney Reinhold Mueller on.
Nevertheless, the subject of Scientology came up. The woman testified that some of their mutual friends filed so-called “knowledge reports” signaling their dissatisfaction with her after telling them about the initial Masterson incident, and she was subpoenaed by an ethics officer, who compelled her to cum to make peace with him and take responsibility.
“You can never be a victim,” said the woman. “No matter what happens, you are always responsible.”
When asked if she still fears retaliation from anyone for speaking out about Masterson, she replied, “About half the courtroom.”
She testified that she signed a non-disclosure agreement with Masterson in 2004 and accepted $400,000 (£355,000) over the course of a year because otherwise the church would disguise her as a “suppressive person”.
The woman said she had breached the agreement “about 50 times” since it was signed.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/woman-tells-court-actor-danny-masterson-raped-and-choked-her-in-2003-42081239.html The woman tells court actor Danny Masterson that she was raped and choked in 2003