4 women sue Church of Scientology, its controversial leader and actor Danny Masterson

Four women who have accused Danny Masterson of raping them filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against the actor; the Church of Scientology, to which he belongs; and the church’s controversial leader, David Miscavige

The suit accuses Scientology, which has long been accused of illegal and unethical conduct, and Masterson of engaging in stalking, physical invasion of privacy and a conspiracy to obstruct justice, among other allegations detailed in the complaint that HuffPost obtained from a source who provided a copy on the condition that they not be identified. 

“This is beyond ridiculous,” Masterson said 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.”

For nearly three years, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office have investigated multiple allegations of rape against Masterson. Four women ― three are former Scientologists and two used to date Masterson ― have accused him of drugging them and violently raping them in the early 2000s.

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Danny Masterson out and about
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Danny Masterson out and about
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Danny Masterson speaks during a Launch Event for Netflix 'The Ranch: Part 3' hosted by Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson at Tequila Cowboy on June 7, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Netflix)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Danny Masterson and Ashton Kutcher pose at Music City Convention Center on June 7, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Actor Danny Masterson attends the premiere of 'Big Bear' at The London Hotel on September 19, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 24: Musician Danny Masterson poses backstage at the Dylan Fest at Ryman Auditorium on May 24, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Musicians Adam Busch and Danny Masterson perform onstage during Petty Fest 2016 at The Fonda Theatre on September 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - JUNE 04: Danny Masterson and Bijou Phillips attend 9th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Liberty State Park on June 4, 2016 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Victor Hugo/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
BUENOS AIRES, DISTRITO FEDERAL - MARCH 17: (L-R) Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson attend the 'Netflix Red Carpet' event at the Four Seasons Hotel on March 17, 2016 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Lalo Yasky/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Actor Danny Masterson attends the DirecTV Super Saturday Night at Pier 70 on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Musicians Mark Ronson (L) and Danny Masterson pose backstage at Fleetwood Mac Fest presented by The Best Fest at the Fonda Theatre on February 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: Danny Masterson attends The A List 15th Anniversary Party on September 1, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The A List)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 29: Danny Masterson arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere of Marvel Studios 'Ant-Man' at Dolby Theatre on June 29, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
TOLUCA LAKE, CA - MAY 04: Actor Danny Masterson attends the 8th Annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic presented by Sabra Salsa to benefit The George Lopez Foundation at Lakeside Golf Club on May 4, 2015 in Toluca Lake, California. (Photo by Lilly Lawrence/Getty Images for Mulholland Drive Entertainment on behalf of Sabra Dipping Co)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 18: Actors Danny Masterson and Emile Hirsch attend an introduction to HEAVEN 2016 presented by The Art of Elysium and Samsung Galaxy on June 18, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Samsung)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: Actor Danny Masterson attends Black Label Media hosted party for The Art of Elysium and Elysium Industry with guest host James Franco on January 24, 2015 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Black Label Media)
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HuffPost has spoken to the women multiple times for several stories over the past three years. Only two of the women, Masterson’s ex-girlfriends Chrissie Carnell Bixler and Marie Bobette Riales, have been identified in the complaint. The other two, both of whom, like Carnell Bixler, were former Scientologists, are identified as Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2. HuffPost is aware of the identities of the two women but has chosen not to name them as they are alleged rape victims who have asked to remain anonymous. Carnell Bixler’s husband, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, is also suing Masterson and Scientology, saying he has been targeted for harassment.

A litigation counsel for the Church of Scientology told HuffPost:

“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, an actress and television host, has angered the organization in recent years with a candid memoir about her time as a Scientologist and an investigative docuseries on A&E that outlines the Church’s history of abuse and retaliation against current and former members. 

Though Remini knows and has spoken to the women accusing Masterson of rape, including in an interview that has not yet aired, the women told law enforcement, church officials and church members about the alleged rapes before they met Remini and before she left the Church of Scientology.

The investigation of those rape reports, the four women say, has dragged on with no results so far. In the last three years, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has faced criticism for not completing the investigation, despite what critics of hers have referred to as “overwhelming evidence.”

The consequences Masterson has faced as a result of the investigation and the public scrutiny it has brought have largely centered on his career. After HuffPost revealed insensitive remarks made by a top Netflix executive to one of Masterson’s alleged victims, the streaming service fired Masterson from a show on which he co-starred, “The Ranch.” The executive, Andy Yeatman, was also fired by Netflix. Masterson was later dropped by his longtime agents at UTA.

20 PHOTOS
Celebrity Scientologists
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Celebrity Scientologists

Tom Cruise

(Photo by Anita Bugge/WireImage)

John Travolta

(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Kelly Preston

(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Laura Prepon

(Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)

Beck

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Kirstie Alley

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Michael Peña

(Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Jenna Elfman

(REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Jason Lee

(Mario Anzuoni / Reuters)

Beck

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)

Juliette Lewis  

(Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Doug E. Fresh

(Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)

Elisabeth Moss

(Photo by Zak Hussein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Danny Masterson

(Photo by Keipher McKennie/WireImage)

Priscilla Presley

(Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage)

Bijou Phillips
 

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Greta van Susteren

(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Isaac Hayes

(Pierre Virot / Reuters)

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Actress/Honoree Anne Archer arrives at the 18th Annual Women's Image Awards at Skirball Cultural Center on February 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)

Erika Christensen

(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

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The Church of Scientology (which obtained tax-exempt status under shadowy circumstances), has a documented history of intimidating its critics and the people and institutions it perceives to be enemies. The four women and their families are now considered enemies of Scientology, which has waged an all-out war against them, according to the lawsuit and interviews with the women and their family members over the last three years.

The Church of Scientology has been a focus of law enforcement and civil litigation since its founding. As a result, it reacts harshly when current or former members cooperate with law enforcement in investigations against current members or sue current members of the organization.

The Church of Scientology has a specific policy with respect to cooperating with law enforcement and engaging in civil litigation, and, like all church policies, it is to be followed strictly by members with no room for interpretation. Members who cooperate with law enforcement or engage in civil litigation against current members risk being kicked out of the church and being declared suppressive persons, which means they will be, per Scientology policy, cut off from the life they have known. Scientology demands that current members not communicate with former members who have been declared “suppressive persons.” This means that members also must cut off contact with family members.

It’s this policy, the four women say, that has prevented them from seeking justice. In the lawsuit and in previous interviews with HuffPost, they said this policy prevented them from reporting their alleged rapes to law enforcement. With the exception of one of the unnamed women, the other three women did not tell law enforcement that they were raped until 2016.

It’s also this policy, the women say, that has prevented current Scientologists from aiding investigators.

40 PHOTOS
Leah Remini out and about
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Leah Remini out and about
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 02: Leah Remini, recipient of the Impact Award, poses in the press room during the Critics' Choice Real TV Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 02, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 02: Leah Remini accepts the Impact Award onstage during the Critics' Choice Real TV Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 02, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MAY 21: Leah Remini attends the 44th Annual Gracies Awards, hosted by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 21, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 20: The Late Late Show with James Corden airing Tuesday, December 18, 2018, with guests Jennifer Lopez, Leah Remini, and musical guests Black Eyed Peas. (Photo by Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured (l-r): Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Leah Remini -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
REGAL UNION SQUARE THEATRE, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2018/12/12: Leah Remini attends the world premiere of 'Second Act' at Regal Union Square Theatre. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 12: Leah Remini attends "Second Act" World Premiere at Regal Union Square Theatre, Stadium 14 on December 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Leah Remini takes part in SiriusXM's Town Hall with the cast of 'Second Act' hosted by Andy Cohen at SiriusXM Studios on December 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
THE VIEW - Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini are the guests today, Wednesday 12/12/18 on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images's "The View." "The View" airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images via Getty Images) JENNIFER LOPEZ, LEAH REMINI, SUNNY HOSTIN, MEGHAN MCCAIN
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 09: Jennifer Lopez;Leah Remini pose at the Photo Call For STX Films' "Second Act" at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on December 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Actress Leah Remini attends the 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Day 2 at the Microsoft Theater on September 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
MALIBU, CA - JULY 14: Leah Remini attends the HollyRod 20th Annual DesignCare at Cross Creek Farm on July 14, 2018 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for HollyRod Foundation)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 19: Professional Dancer and Chippendales celebrity guest host Tony Dovolani (L) and actress Leah Remini attend Chippendales at the Rio Hotel & Casino on May 19, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 17: Leah Remini attends 'Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath' FYC Screening at Linwood Dunn Theater at the Pickford Center for Motion Study on May 17, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for A&E Networks)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 15: Actor Leah Remini attends the 2018 A+E Upfront on March 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for A+E)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 20: Leah Remini attends the 29th Annual Producers Guild Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 20, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 07: Actress Leah Remini enters the 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on August 07, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Billy Joel and Leah Remini perfom at the newly rennovated Nassau Coliseum, Long Island on April 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Kevin James, Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani backstage before Billy Joel perfoms at the newly rennovated Nassau Coliseum, Long Island on April 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 05: Actor/producer Leah Remini at the 33rd Annual Television Critics Association Awards during the 2017 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 30: 'Sting of Queens: Part One' and 'Sting of Queens: Part Two'-- Kevin begrudgingly agrees to come out of retirement briefly to reprise an undercover assignment where he and his old rival Vanessa Cellucci (Leah Remini), once again, pose as husband and wife. Also, Donna is up for a promotion, Kendra gets accepted to law school, and Chale gets a lucrative new job, on part one of the two-part first season finale of KEVIN CAN WAIT, Monday, May 1 (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT) and Monday, May 8 (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Leah Remini, Kevin James. (Photo By Jeff Neumann/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Kevin James and Leah Remini backstage before Billy Joel perfoms at the newly rennovated Nassau Coliseum, Long Island on April 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Leah Remini -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Leah Remini -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Leah Remini visits the SiriusXM Studio on November 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 24: Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini attend Jennifer Lopez's birthday at Nobu Villa Atop Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace on July 24, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
MATCH GAME Airdate: July 17, 2016 - The iconic panel game show MATCH GAME, hosted by Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin, returns to primetime airing on SUNDAYS (10-11pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) LEAH REMINI
MY KITCHEN RULES: L-R: Guest stars Leah Remini and Vicky Marshall in the Leah Remini Gets Artsy episode of MY KITCHEN RULES airing Thursday, Feb. 16 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 20: Cheryl Burke, Derek Hough and Leah Remini attend the opening JENNIFER LOPEZ: ALL I HAVE at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on January 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
ENCINO, CA - APRIL 07: Kym Gold, Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete attend the Stella & Dot Trunk Show to benefit The HollyRod Foundation on April 7, 2016 in Encino, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Stella & Dot)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 20: Actress Leah Remini arrives at the launch of Jennifer Lopez's residency 'JENNIFER LOPEZ: ALL I HAVE' at Planet Hollwood Resort & Casino on January 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08: Actress Leah Remini signs copies of her new book 'Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology' at Barnes & Noble at The Grove on December 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Leah Remini -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Leah Remini and Gloria Estefan -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04: Leah Remini promotes her book 'Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology' at Barnes & Noble Tribeca on November 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Leah Remini (book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology) is the guest today, Tuesday, November 3, 2015 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Leah Remini -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actress Leah Remini attends the Life is Good Supports Dream Court Opening - BGCLB event on September 21, 2015 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Life is Good)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Leah Remini and Josh Gad -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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