Lawsuit against Danny Masterson: Woman testifies Masterson raped and suffocated her in 2003

A woman collapsed on the witness stand Wednesday while giving graphic testimony about a night in 2003 when she said she came out of unconsciousness and actor Danny Masterson raped her.

She is the first of three women to say Masterson raped them to testify at his trial in Los Angeles. She said she grabbed Masterson’s hair at one point to try to pull him away, but he shoved a pillow in her face.

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“I was smothered,” she said, crying. “I couldn’t breathe.”

She said she later grabbed him by the throat to try to push him away, but he held her and started choking her.

When asked by the prosecutor what she was thinking at the time, she replied: “That he was going to kill me. That I would die.”

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At this point she was crying. After she said, “I can’t do this,” the judge called for a short pause and a lawyer for the victims of the court consoled her on the witness stand.

When she came up again, she testified that Masterson pulled a gun from a drawer on his nightstand and ordered her to be quiet if there was commotion — and voices — at the door.

Click to play video: 'Actor Danny Masterson faces trial on 3 rape charges'

Actor Danny Masterson to face three rape charges

She said she went in and out of consciousness all night, despite only drinking about half of a fruity vodka drink Masterson gave her.

Masterson, 46, who was a star of the Fox TV sitcom at the time That show from the 70’s, has pleaded not guilty to three rapes.

In a brief cross-examination before the trial ended for the day, questions from Masterson’s attorney Phillip Cohen suggested that he challenge her over differences in the story she told police in 2004, which led to no charges against Masterson, and her testimony Wednesday.

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She admitted that she left out elements of the story at the time, “to protect people.”

At a preliminary hearing last year, a previous attorney for Masterson emphasized that there was no gun reference in the 2004 LAPD report, alleging that the three women had each reformulated consensual sex as rape.

The Associated Press does not name people who claim to have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly.

Masterson, sitting at the defense table in a suit, watched the woman testify, but had no visible reaction. His wife, actor and model Bijou Phillips, sat behind him at the front of the gallery, along with some of his relatives and friends.

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The woman, then 27, was Masterson’s assistant best friend and part of the same social circle of members of the Church of Scientology.

She testified that she only intended to go to Masterson’s house to pick up a set of keys, and that her relationship with Masterson had been an awkward one since the two had had sex several months earlier, an incident they reported in 2004. told the police, but later decided she hadn’t agreed. In 2016, she went back to the police.

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In his cross-examination, 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 whether that was her position, she also answered ‘no’. The court was adjourned before he could force her further.

All three of Masterson’s accusers were members of the Church of Scientology at the time they said they had been 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 accused, but would allow limited discussion of it.

Before the woman took the stand Wednesday after she began her testimony on Tuesday, the judge warned her not to stray too far into discussions about religion, an issue she had already warned Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller about.

Scientology was still mentioned. The woman testified that some of her mutual friends filed so-called “knowledge reports” to indicate that they were unhappy with her after she told them about the first incident involving Masterson, and that she was summoned by an ethics officer who told her forced to make peace with him and take responsibility.

“You can never be a victim,” the woman said. “No matter what happens, you are always responsible.”

When asked if she still feared retaliation from anyone who came forward about Masterson, she replied “about half of this courtroom.”

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She testified that she signed a nondisclosure agreement with Masterson in 2004, accepting $400,000 over the course of a year, because otherwise the church would label her as an “oppressive person.” She said she had violated the agreement “about 50 times” since it was signed.

She testified that she had expected only a few minutes at Masterson’s house, a social center for their circle of friends.

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Masterson’s is one of many #MeToo themed trials taking place from coast to coast simultaneously. They include Harvey Weinstein’s second trial for rape and assault in the hall, and civil trials in New York for actor Kevin Spacey and for screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, both of whom are being charged with sexual assault.

Scientology also plays a major role in the trial of Haggis, a clerical dissident who has been allowed to argue that the institution is behind the charges against him.

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