Actor Danny Masterson and the women accusing him of trying to silence their sexual assault claims must resolve their lawsuits through Church of Scientology arbitration, a judge recently ruled, according to a report.
The 2019 civil cases brought by former Scientologists Chrissie Carnell Bixler, her musician hubby, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, and two women who sued anonymously must be worked out in “religious arbitration,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield said in a decision from Wednesday, according to Deadline.
This is because an arbitration agreement was already in place with the Church of Scientology, which will now be handling the dispute, the outlet reported
The ruling does not apply to Marie Bobette Riales’ similar case against Masterson as she was not a member of the church and therefore wasn’t a part of the prior arbitration agreement, the news site reported.
The women claimed that the “That ’70s Show” star and the church carried out a campaign of harassment against them after they reported to authorities that Masterson allegedly sexually assaulted them.
The 44-year-old actor — who is said to be a devout Scientologist — was also criminally charged with raping three women at his Los Angeles home in the early 2000s and is scheduled for arraignment in that case on Wednesday, Deadline reported.
Bixler is the only victim named in the criminal case. She dated Masterson from 1996 until 2001 and claims she was drugged and raped, several times, in his Hollywood Hills home.
Danny MastersonGetty Images
Masterson has denied the civil and criminal allegations against him.
“This was absolutely the correct result,” Masterson’s lawyer Andrew Brettler told Variety. “We look forward to arbitrating the claims, as the Court directed.”