EXCLUSIVE: Newly unearthed pictures show Danny Masterson breaking cover at his country hideaway in California as appeals court rules rape accusers’ harassment suit can proceed without going through arbitration with Church of Scientology
Danny Masterson was spotted running errands near his wine country hideaway in California in previously unseen pictures obtained by DailyMail.com as his legal woes continue to mount.
The pictures, taken in late October, show the That 70s Show alum and devout Scientologist, 45, near his Santa Ynez retreat, where he and his wife Bijou Phillips are holed up.
Masterson is accused of rape by five women and is currently on $3.3million bail while awaiting trial on sexual assault charges that could see him serve 45 years to life in prison if convicted.
Four of his five accusers are involved in a civil harassment lawsuit and three are part of an ongoing criminal trial. Masterson has denied all charges.
Danny Masterson was seen coming out of hiding for the first time in almost six months in late October ahead of his upcoming trial on rape charges
The That 70s Show alum has been on a $3.3M bail while awaiting trial on rape charges that could see him serve 45 years to life in prison if convicted
The actor and his wife Bijou Phillips, 41, fled to their wine country retreat in Santa Ynez in Santa Barbara County, where they own a sprawling estate, amid his mounting legal woes
In a new setback for the actor, a California appeals court last week ruled that his alleged victims do not have to go through an arbitration process with the Church of Scientology, meaning their harassment lawsuit against him and other leaders of the controversial religion can go ahead.
The women have accused the church of hiring people to follow them, photograph them, tap their phones and hack their emails and home security systems after they came forward with their allegations.
One says the church killed her dog by leaving rat poison wrapped in raw meat on her lawn.
The four women, and the husband of one, filed the civil harassment lawsuit in 2019, but the church argued that they signed agreements to settle any claims in front of a panel of Scientologists when they joined, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A trial court judge had previously ruled that the women have to let the panel of Scientologists decide their harassment claims because their arbitration agreement was binding.
The unearthed photos come as a California appeals court ruled Masterson’s accusers would not have to go through arbitration with the Church of Scientology over their allegations, meaning their harassment lawsuit against him and other leaders of the controversial religion can go ahead
Masterson appeared to have put on weight from his last public appearance, which was back in May during a court appearance in LA
The actor and his wife have been seen wearing their wedding rings amid the scandal
Masterson, who starred in the hit TV comedy That 70s Show, is accused of rape by five women but denies all charges
The appeals court sided with the trial court, but the California Supreme Court ordered the appeals court to reconsider.
In their decision Thursday, the court wrote that the women have ‘a First Amendment right to leave a religion’ and are not required to go through arbitration to resolve the allegations that occurred after they left the church.
‘We hold that once petitioners had terminated their affiliation with the Church, they were not bound to its dispute resolution procedures to resolve the claims at issue here, which are based on alleged tortious conduct occurring after their separation from the Church and so not implicate resolution of ecclesiastical issues,’ the justices wrote.
‘We issue a writ directing the trial court to vacate its order compelling arbitration and instead to deny the motion.’
Masterson and Phillips, 41, fled to their wine country retreat in Santa Ynez, where they own a sprawling estate, along with their only child, daughter Fianna, seven.
Actress and model Bijou, who wed Masterson in 2011 and is also a Scientologist, was seen stepping out in Santa Ynez in September in green riding pants, black riding boots and a gray and blue top
Phillips, seen grocery shopping in Santa Ynez in September, has been holed up with her husband and their only child, daughter Fianna, seven
Masterson has been married to actress Bijou Phillips since 2011. She has defended Masterson as well as her father, John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas, against rape accusations
Actress and model Bijou, who wed Masterson in 2011 and is also a Scientologist, has been wearing her wedding ring the whole time though and for his outing on October 31, 2021 her husband also wore his.
He appeared to have put on weight from his last public appearance, which was back in May 2021 during a court appearance in LA.
An onlooker said he greeted Bijou to pass her equestrian equipment, before he was spotted heading to an office building and later grabbing a Starbucks.