Danny Masterson‘s Lawyer Probes Gaps in Rape Accuser’s AccountsOctober 21, 2022
Danny Masterson’s first rape accuser spent a long day on the witness stand on Thursday, as Masterson’s defense lawyer sought to expose inconsistencies in her accounts.
The woman, who prefers to be referred to as Jane Doe #1, told her story in often emotional terms earlier in the week, alleging that Masterson raped her at his home in April 2003. Masterson, the former star of “That ’70s Show,” is facing three charges of forcible rape that could send him to prison for 45 years to life.
On Thursday, defense attorney Philip Cohen asked her about differences between her initial statements to the police in 2004 and later interviews after the case was revived in 2016.
Jane Doe #1 said she did not remember one of the 2004 interviews, and said that some details in the initial police report were inaccurate. At one point, she began to cry when recounting a phone conversation with Masterson after the alleged rape.
“He said, ‘We had a good time,’” she said, wiping her nose with a handkerchief. The lead prosecutor, Reinhold Mueller, asked for a short break, and she left the witness stand.
Cohen also asked about a $400,000 settlement she received from Masterson in 2004. Jane Doe #1 avoided giving direct answers to several questions about that, but ultimately conceded that she had received a sum in the low hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Did you go through that money fairly quickly?” Cohen asked.
Judge Charlaine Olmedo sustained Mueller’s objection to the question. Cohen also asked about a harassment and stalking lawsuit that she and the two other accusers filed in 2019, asking if she is seeking money in that case as well.
“I did not name a dollar amount,” she said. “I was suing for peace.”
During a break, Olmedo chided Cohen for several questions related to alcohol consumption, saying that rape accusers cannot be asked about their drinking habits.
“Why in the world would you ask whether she peed in the street?” Olmedo said, referring to a question that she did not allow the witness to answer.
Cohen did not ask a single question about the Church of Scientology, which had dominated much of the the first two days of the trial. He also did not ask why Jane Doe #1 delayed going to the police by more than a year.
She has already testified that she feared that doing so would result in her being declared a “suppressive person” and that she would be excommunicated from the church.
Her testimony will continue on Friday.
— Maane Khatchatourian contributed to this report.
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