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Danny Masterson’s civil attorney adds Prince Andrew as a client and Twitter loses its mind

[Danny Masterson, attorney Andrew Brettler, and Prince Andrew]

If you saw the 2020 Netflix documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, you learned that one of the more sordid chapters of the Epstein saga involved one of his alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, and her claims about having been set up by the financier as an underage treat for Prince Andrew.

Yes, that Prince Andrew, Duke of York and son of Britain’s queen, who has denied Giuffre’s allegations. She filed a lawsuit last month against the prince alleging sexual abuse, and then claimed that she had served papers on the prince successfully, always a challenge with such a wealthy defendant. She’s alleging that she was forced to have sex with the prince in the early 2000s when she was 16 and 17 years old.

As a court hearing neared yesterday, reporters wondered if a lawyer for Andrew was going to show up. And at the last minute, that question was answered when none other than Andrew Brettler made an appearance on behalf of the prince in order to argue that he had not, in fact, been properly served.

Yes, that Andrew Brettler, the same Los Angeles attorney we’ve been watching for more than two years in the civil lawsuit brought against Danny Masterson by his rape accusers.

In June 2019 Chrissie Carnell-Bixler, Bobette Riales, and two women going by the names Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 sued Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and Scientology’s leader David Miscavige for what they say has been a concerted campaign of harassment since they came forward to the LAPD in 2016 with their rape allegations.

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Miscavige and Scientology have their own attorneys representing them in the lawsuit, but Masterson hired Brettler, an associate at Lavely & Singer, the firm led by legendary Hollywood entertainment lawyer Marty Singer.

(Singer himself was already involved in the case. In 2016, before the LAPD investigation against Masterson had become public, Singer sent Chrissie Carnell-Bixler’s husband, rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala, a threatening letter warning him about making any accusations about the That ’70s Show actor.)

In June 2020, Masterson was charged criminally by the LA District Attorney’s office for raping three of the women talking to the LAPD — Carnell-Bixler and the two Jane Does. His trial has been scheduled for February, he’s facing 45 years to life in prison if he’s convicted, and he’s being represented in that case by famous defense attorney Tom Mesereau.

But Brettler is still his lawyer for the 2019 harassment lawsuit, which was derailed by a court ruling diverting it to Scientology’s own internal brand of “religious arbitration.” That decision is now on appeal after the California Supreme Court took the unusual step of stepping in and granting the women a request for appellate review. Oral arguments for that appeal are scheduled for October 5.

One of the interesting subplots of that litigation has been watching Scientology leader David Miscavige send attorneys to court to argue that he has not been served papers properly, and so he shouldn’t be considered a defendant in the lawsuit.

And that’s the same role that Brettler stepped into yesterday at the hearing in Giuffre’s lawsuit conducted at the US district court for the southern district of New York, where he not only argued that Prince Andrew had not been properly served, but also that the case lacked proper jurisdiction.

Here’s how the Guardian described the hearing, which was conducted by telephone:

Brettler contended that the documents had not been properly served, and raised the existence of a settlement agreement, which he said is relevant to Giuffre’s lawsuit.

The attorney asked that the agreement be released by Giuffre’s lawyers, to determine “whether it does in fact release the duke from any and all liability, as we suspect it does, and it has other individuals in the same situation as the prince.”

“We believe this is a baseless, unviable and potentially unlawful lawsuit that the plaintiff has filed against the Duke,” Brettler said.

Once Brettler was identified as the Duke of York’s lawyer, journalists and other observers quickly began learning about Brettler and his other clients, who not only included Masterson, but other high-profile figures accused of sexual abuse, including actor Armie Hammer and director Bryan Singer.

 

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Garland’s tweet linked to our story about how Brettler in October filed a motion to stay the lawsuit against Masterson, and “accidentally” revealed the name of one of the Jane Does. Her legal team was slow to have the court remove her name from the record, and then later mistakenly added her name to one of their own filings. It’s a case that has had many frustrating moments for the women suing Masterson and the church.

But now, Brettler’s client is in interesting company. Brettler has a lot to juggle if he’s going to represent Danny during the October 5 appeal in Los Angeles while also preparing for the next hearing in Prince Andrew’s case only eight days later in New York, and the judge in that case ordered Brettler to appear in person.

Marty Singer’s protege certainly has a lot on his plate.

 
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Leah Remini podcast: Gary ‘Jackson’ Morehead

Says Mike: “This week we have the great pleasure of speaking with Gary “Jackson” Morehead, the former head of security at the confidential scientology headquarters near Hemet in Riverside County California. We cover the efforts taken to prevent Sea Org members from leaving, both physical and mental, what the “Blow Drill” consists of, what a ‘Life History’ is and plenty more. Jackson joined us for an episode of The Aftermath, Season 2 Episode 5 The Rise of David Miscavige, his story is one of the most gut-wrenching in the entire series.” Listen to the episode right here!

 

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Sign up for a daily email when we post a new story on Scientology.

Did you know you can get an email every morning when we post our daily Scientology story? We know some of the folks who come to the Underground Bunker aren’t here to talk about the politics of the day, and that’s why we created a daily politics feature over at our other blog, The Lowdown, and we ask readers to take their political discussions over there. And if you drop us a line at tonyo94 AT gmail, we’ll put you on the list so you get a morning reminder that a new Scientology story has been posted — and only for our Scientology stories.

 
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Source Code

“All right now, let’s look at an engram. An engram isn’t very serious if somebody walks up and steps on your toes and says, ‘You skunk.’ That’s not very serious because there’s not very much chaos there into which to put a stable datum. But if this individual walked up to you from behind, slugged you over the head, kicked you in the ribs, wound you up in the hospital, but somewhere in the midst of all of this he said, ‘You’re a skunk,’ you’d probably start to smell like one.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 14, 1955

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

“There’s a need for the FEBC like the Sahara needs water. Public demand is high. The contemporary staffs don’t really know how to give service or handle. Well, we’ll make it anyway. A lot of good guys out there. At least we know exactly where we’re going and exactly what to do to get there. Maybe we’re the only ones on Earth who do.” — The Commodore, September 14, 1970

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

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“All of Ayn Rand’s books are awesome.”

 
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Past is Prologue

1995: A victory this week in the suit against Larry Wollersheim and Bob Penny. A summary of Judge Kane’s ruling from Kim Baker: “In RTC vs. FACTNet, Judge Kane said that RTC did not prove probability of success of their case. Equally, RTC did not show the probability of their claim. FACTNet was entitled to its use of the documents under the fair use provisions under section 107 of the copyright rules. FACTNet’s criticism, comment and debate qualifies it to fair use of the documents. RTC did not show infringement, and did not show that their claim of ‘trade secrets’ was valid. The documents were in the public domain, and were proved to have been on the Internet long before the August raids. It was not proved that the ‘trade secrets’ were the kind that are protected under the law. RTC did not show irreparable injury; any injury they may have does not outweigh the harm done to Lawrence Wollersheim, Bob Penny and FACTNet. The actions of the defendants would not restrain individuals from joining $cientology – if they are interested in participating in $cientology they would anyway. The question of infringement is answered by the fair use principles. The public interest is more served in the continuation of FACTNet. The balance of the danger of harm is in the favor of the defendants, rather than $cientology. All computers and peripherals, along with seized documents, are to be returned immediately, in precisely the same condition as when seized, and in precisely the same location when seized.”

 
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Random Howdy

“A question that has crossed my mind in the past is, if someone cynically creates a religion/spiritual movement for their own personal gain, but its followers truly believe in it, does one negate the other?”

 
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Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for November 10. Trial tentatively scheduled for February.

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Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference October 7 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for November 19.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30, 2020 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Petition to US Supreme Court submitted on May 26. Scientology responded on June 25.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: California Supreme Court granted review on May 26 and asked the Second Appellate Division to direct Judge Steven Kleifield to show cause why he granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Oral arguments scheduled for Oct 5.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 23. Appeal hearing held Aug 23-27.

Concluded litigation:
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe dismissed the lawsuit on May 15 after the Clearwater Police dropped their criminal investigation of her allegations.

 
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THE PROSECUTION OF DANNY MASTERSON

We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.

SCIENTOLOGY: FAIR GAME

After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH

An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.

SCIENTOLOGY’S CELEBRITIES, from A to Z

Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

 
Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society. Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in a weekly series. How many have you read?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Leah Remini wins second ‘Aftermath’ Emmy, for episode about Danny Masterson
[TWO years ago] Mark ‘Wise Beard Man’ Bunker: His Scientology-protesting past and political future
[THREE years ago] Jesse Prince, witness to Scientology’s ugliest behavior, spills it all in new book
[FOUR years ago] Is Ohio’s newest legislator a Scientologist? ‘I had him on the cans,’ says our man in Cincy
[FIVE years ago] DRONE FLYOVER: Scientology’s secret base where David Miscavige keeps wife out of sight
[SIX years ago] Another rare Scientology video leaks, and this time we see its long vanished president
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Smile while you write that check, pardner!
[EIGHT years ago] THE TEXAS POST-GAME REPORT: Scientology, Monique Rathbun, and Judge Dib Waldrip
[TEN years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 8: Mike Rinder

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,423 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,928 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,448 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,468 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,359 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,666 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,534 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,308 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,638 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,112 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,428 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,994 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,913 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,081 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,662 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,923 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,961 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,674 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,199 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 554 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,729 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,280 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,429 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,749 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,604 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,723 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,079 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,382 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,488 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,886 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,762 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,345 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,840 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,094 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,203 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on September 14, 2021 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 15 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele

 

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