4 Women Claim the Church of Scientology Came After Them for Reporting Their Rapes

Actor and church member Danny Masterson is at the center of a new lawsuit

On Wednesday four women filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology alleging that they were stalked and harassed after they accused church member and actor Danny Masterson of rape. The lawsuit—which names the church, leader David Miscavige, and Masterson—accuses the church of stalking, physical invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to obstruct justice, and details instances in which the women say they were followed, harassed online, and worse. One of the women claims her dog died under suspicious circumstances.

According to the lawsuit, the alleged harassment started after the women reported to the Los Angeles Police Department in 2016 and 2017 that Masterson had raped them in the early 2000s. Two of the women, Chrissie Carnell Bixler and Marie Bobette Riales, are former girlfriends of the actor. The other two women have not been identified.

Bixler claims that she was chased in her car, that fake Craigslist ads were posted in her name soliciting anal sex, and that she was targeted for credit card fraud. She added that when her dog turned up dead, a necropsy revealed “traumatic injuries to [the dog’s] trachea and esophagus.” Riales says her family was followed and photographed while on vacation, that her 13-year-old’s window was smashed in the middle of the night, and that someone attempted to sell her food truck in fake online advertisements.

“This is beyond ridiculous,” Masterson, who has repeatedly denied the rape allegations, told the Huffington Post through his attorney. “I’m not going to fight my ex-girlfriend in the media like she’s been baiting me to do for more than two years. I will beat her in court— and look forward to it because the public will finally be able to learn the truth and see how I’ve been railroaded by this woman. And once her lawsuit is thrown out, I intend to sue her, and the others who jumped on the bandwagon, for the damage they caused me and my family.”

In a statement, the church said, “From everything we have read in the press, this baseless lawsuit will go nowhere because the claims are ludicrous and a sham. It’s a dishonest and hallucinatory publicity stunt. Leah Remini is taking advantage of these people as pawns in her moneymaking scam.” Remini, a former Scientologist, has reportedly interviewed the victims for her A&E docuseries about the church; the episode is set to air August 26.

The LAPD’s investigation into the rape allegations against Masterson is ongoing.

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