Chrissie Carnell Bixler is one of four women who’ve accused That ’70s Show star Danny Masterson of rape — allegations he’s denied — and she’s now gone on the record with The Daily Beast to criticize Netflix for continuing to produce and stream his show, The Ranch.
Bixler says it is hypocritical of Netflix to halt production of its Kevin Spacey show House of Cards and sever all ties with the actor while continuing to support Masterson and The Ranch. Spacey is currently facing more than a dozen allegationsof sexual harassment and assault, and has entered a facility “to seek evaluation and treatment.”
“For me, what Netflix has done feels like a continuation of how the Church of Scientology made me feel when I reported my rape to them, as well as how Danny Masterson made me feel when I would beg him for an apology, an explanation, anything,” Bixler said to the Daily Beast. “I was made to feel unimportant. I was made to feel like I didn’t matter.”
READ MORE: Ben Affleck addresses sexual harassment allegations on ‘The Late Show’ and ‘Today’
“‘Danny Masterson is a celebrity. He flourishes and prospers in life. You protect that and reward that.’ — direct quote from the Church of Scientology. I don’t matter. The other women don’t matter. Our pain means nothing, and we should be good little girls and shut our mouths. No!”
Masterson, 40, a longtime Scientologist, was first investigated by Los Angeles police in early March when three women filed reports of being sexually assaulted by the actor in the early 2000s. He has never been charged with a crime.
A representative for Masterson claims that the women were motivated to come forward by a producer for Leah Remini‘s Scientology TV show, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and the rep also says one of the accusers was once his girlfriend, who continued to date him after the alleged incident. His rep has attacked the credibility of the accusations, saying it amounts to nothing more than a PR stunt for the show and against Scientology. Here is the statement in full:
“We are aware of [the alleged victim’s] 16-year-old allegations. It was only after [the alleged victim] was in contact with Leah Remini that she made allegations of sexual assault by Mr. Masterson. The alleged incident occurred in the middle of their 6-year relationship, after which she continued to be his longtime girlfriend. Significantly, during their long relationship, she made numerous inconsistent claims that she was previously raped by at least 3 other famous actors and musicians.
“When Danny ended the relationship she continued to pursue him, even making threats to beat up his current wife Bijou Phillips unless she left him. In fact, we are informed by the Church that the only demand [the alleged victim] made of the Church after Danny broke up with her was asking for their help to intervene so the breakup would not be permanent.
“We are aware also that approximately 14 years ago a woman referred to in the blog made allegations of sexual assault that the LADP [sic] interviewed numerous witnesses and determined the claim had no merit. Based on reading the anti-Scientology blog that posted this story, these false allegations appear to be motivated to boost Leah Remini’s anti-Scientology television series since [the alleged victim] only came forward after connecting with Leah Remini.”
WATCH BELOW: Leah Remini takes on Tom Cruise
Bixler’s husband, The Mars Volta lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala, tweeted in anger on Thursday, alleging that Twitter, celebrity news site TMZ and the LAPD are “bought and paid for” by Scientology, insinuating the truth is being buried by the religious organization.
“I will not shut my mouth when Netflix tries to make us feel like we don’t matter,” Bixler said to the Daily Beast. “Victims are taking back the power that was stolen from us, and things are going to change. Netflix should write that down.”
Last year, Bixler thanked Remini for giving her the strength to leave Scientology.
On Friday, Bixler stated how difficult it was for her to come forward with her allegations, and thanked people for supporting her.
Well-known Scientology reporter Tony Ortega, who first broke the news about the accusations and the LAPD investigation of Masterson, said that all but one of the alleged victims were Scientologists at the time of the supposed rapes. Ortega posted police reports of the alleged attacks (which have not been authenticated by Global News).
The first Masterson accuser says she wrote a letter to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on Feb. 22, stating, in part:
“[Scientology officials] threatened me that if I ever told anyone or reported him to the police that I would be declared a ‘suppressive person’ and lose everything and everyone. Then they put me on massive ethics program as punishment. My rapist was not punished at all. They didn’t even call him to talk about it. I ended up breaking up with him two months later.”
(A suppressive person is anyone considered to be against Scientology; if found to be an SP, that person is expelled from Scientology, and forcibly separated from friends and family in a process known as “disconnection.” The church has recently denied that this practice exists, but current and former Scientologists say it’s still a part of the religion.)
READ MORE: ‘House of Cards’ halts production indefinitely following Kevin Spacey allegations
The Huffington Post reported on Nov. 2 that the LAPD investigation into Masterson has “inexplicably stalled,” despite the gathering of compelling evidence in the case.
Within days of the accusations against Spacey by fellow actor Anthony Rapp, Netflix had cut all ties with Spacey and cancelled House of Cards. Netflix announced in October — seven months after the investigation into Masterson became public — that Part 4 of The Ranch would be available for streaming on Dec. 15.
“We are aware of the allegations and the subsequent investigation, and will respond if developments occur,” said Netflix in regards to the Masterson accusations.
The Church of Scientology has not commented specifically about the Masterson allegations, only sending a letter to The Daily Beast from a law firm representing the organization. It reads, partially:
“It is per se defamatory to accuse the Church of engaging in, fostering, or covering up criminal behavior… The Church will not stand by idly and be accused, directly or by implication, of committing a crime.”
Masterson hasn’t responded to requests for comment in relation to Bixler’s latest remarks. The LA District Attorney’s office also declined to comment.
— With files from The Associated Press