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Bombshells in Danny Masterson case: Grand jury testimony, and evidence against Scientology

[Attorney Marty Singer and Danny Masterson]

On September 5, we told you that we had learned that Lavely & Singer, legendary entertainment attorney Marty Singer’s firm that also employs Andrew Brettler, Danny Masterson’s civil attorney, had objected to a subpoena that was issued by Danny’s prosecutor, Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller.

We wondered if Marty Singer had been subpoenaed, and if that was the reason that his firm was fighting it.

It turns out that’s not quite the case. In fact, the truth is much juicier.

On Wednesday, a hearing was held in the Masterson criminal case at Judge Charlaine Olmedo’s courtroom, and we now have a copy of the court transcript and the pleadings by both sides, and we can tell you that with only a few weeks to go before Danny’s rape trial, some very interesting things are emerging as both sides jockey for position.

The subpoena that both sides were fighting over turns out not to be for Marty Singer himself, but for documents in Singer’s possession. And how does the prosecution know that Singer has these documents they want to see? Because of what Singer said in grand jury testimony.


Yes, we have told you in the past that we suspected that a grand jury was looking at the Danny Masterson case.

Now we have proof of it.

In his pleadings and in Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutor Reinhold Mueller revealed that a county grand jury has been looking at Masterson in both its 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 sessions. (We first broke the news that Masterson was being investigated by the LAPD on March 3, 2017.)

And on January 30, 2020, Masterson’s longtime entertainment attorney, Marty Singer, was called down to testify, as was Jane Doe 1’s ‘Marsy’s Law’ attorney, Nina Hawkinson. “The target of the investigative Grand Jury hearing was Daniel Masterson,” Mueller said in a pleading.

We don’t know the full scope of what Singer was asked that day in the grand jury, but we do know, based on quotes from his testimony that Mueller included in his pleadings, that there was considerable time spent on a particular 2004 document: The agreement hammered out between Masterson and the woman going by the name Jane Doe 1.

We’ve been telling you about that agreement since almost the beginning of our reporting on this case in 2017. Masterson, the That ’70s Show actor and Scientology celebrity, is facing charges that he forcibly raped three women, all Scientologists at the time, between 2001 and 2003. He’s been charged under California’s strict “One Strike” law, and if he’s convicted of all three rapes he faces 45 years to life in prison.

One of the three alleged victims is Chrissie Carnell-Bixler, who dated Masterson and also appeared on That ‘70s Show. The other two women are going by the names Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2. All three have testified that they did not come forward sooner in part because they feared retaliation by the Church of Scientology.

But one of them, Jane Doe 1, did go to the LAPD in 2004, saying that she had been raped by Masterson at his house on the night of April 25, 2003. Scientology then swamped the police with statements by Scientologists claiming that Jane Doe 1 was a liar.

After the DA decided not to charge Masterson after a month-long investigation, Jane Doe 1 testified that she was then pressured by Masterson’s attorney Marty Singer, Scientology’s attorney Kendrick Moxon, and a Scientology ethics officer named Julian Swartz to sign the agreement with Masterson, which included a non-disclosure agreement.

Jane Doe 1 testified last year that she was pressured to sign the 2004 agreement or she would be declared a “suppressive person” by Scientology and it would cost her contact with her own family.

Deputy DA Mueller revealed that in the grand jury session, Singer was asked about the agreement, which was signed after a “mediation” that took place between September 15 and 18 in 2004. Singer also told the grand jury that during that time, he had talked to Danny’s publicist, Jenni Weinman, and his assistant, Brie Shaffer.

That date really grabbed us. Why?

On December 1, 2020, we published a story revealing that Danny Masterson and his assistant, Brie Shaffer, had made some suspicious-looking property swaps, with Masterson giving Shaffer two multi-unit, million-dollar apartment buildings. Seven months later, she gave them back to him. We suggested that one explanation for Masterson putting the buildings in his assistant’s name was that it was an attempt to keep them out of the reach of Jane Doe 1 in case she decided to sue him.

Now, we have to wonder if there was a different reason. Look again at what Marty Singer said in grand jury testimony: The “mediation” began on September 15, 2004, and Singer said that Brie Shaffer was a part of those talks.


And when did Danny put two million-dollar buildings into Brie Shaffer’s name, according to property records?

September 15, 2004.

Mueller stated in Wednesday’s hearing that Brie Shaffer will be an important witness in the trial.

Well, we are very curious to see what he’s going to ask her, and if she’ll be probed not only about the 2004 agreement that Jane Doe 1 says she was pressured into, but also why Brie ended up with two million-dollar apartment buildings at the same time.

(We will also point out that in 2018, the year after we first broke the news that Masterson was under investigation, Brie Shaffer and her husband, Scientologist actor Michael Peña, moved across the country from Southern California to Clearwater, Florida, and close to Scientology leader David Miscavige.)

At the top of the list of documents that Mueller says he wants, based on what Singer said to the grand jury, is a copy of the 2004 agreement itself. It turns out that, even though Jane Doe 1 was a signatory of it, she has testified that Singer never gave her a copy of it. (Her Marsy’s Law attorney, Nina Hawkinson, told the grand jury she had tried to get a copy from Singer, but he told her she wasn’t allowed to have a copy unless she also signed a non-disclosure agreement. She declined.)

Both of the attorneys representing Masterson in the hearing on Wednesday seemed perplexed by this. Both Brettler, who represents Masterson in the civil harassment lawsuit filed by Danny’s accusers, and Philip Cohen, who will be defending Masterson in the rape trial, expressed surprise to Judge Olmedo that Jane Doe 1 didn’t have her own copy of the agreement. Why was that?

But they should probably be asking Marty Singer that question, as Jane Doe 1 has testified that he never allowed her to have a copy of her own agreement.

Why? What’s in this document that is so secret, even Masterson isn’t named in it. (He used an alias: “David Duncan.”)

Although both Brettler and Cohen seemed surprised that Jane Doe 1 didn’t have a copy, they both tried to talk Judge Olmedo out of giving a copy of it to the prosecution. And if she did, Cohen argued, she should prevent Mueller from showing it to Jane Doe 1.

Say what? What makes them so nervous about this document? Is it the terms that spell out what penalty Jane Doe 1 would face if she violated it and went public? (In other words, a powerful reason for why she wouldn’t want to go again to the police, and a powerful argument against the defense’s contention that she is simply motivated by trying to get money out of Masterson with the lawsuit.) Or is there something in it about Scientology’s involvement that the church doesn’t want her to see?

Mueller, the prosecutor, argued that the defense had already made the 2004 agreement fair game when Cohen’s predecessor, Tom Mesereau, repeatedly asked Jane Doe 1 about it in the preliminary hearing in May 2021.

Once Mesereau used the 2004 agreement as a sort of prop in cross-examination, he had opened the door to the prosecution getting a copy of the document, Mueller argued.

Judge Olmedo agreed. She decided Wednesday to order the defense to turn over a copy of the 2004 agreement to the prosecution, under seal (so we won’t see it), but she said that the prosecution can share it with Jane Doe 1, the thing that Danny’s attorneys were so opposed to.


She also found that whatever communications Masterson’s publicist (Weinman) and assistant (Shaffer) had with Singer were not covered under attorney-client privilege because Singer was Masterson’s attorney, not theirs. So the Lavely & Singer firm will also have to turn over some communications between the two women and the firm to the prosecution, again under seal.

So, it turns out that Marty Singer’s 2020 grand jury testimony has opened the door for the prosecution to get some key material here in the last few weeks before trial starts.

After Judge Olmedo made her decision, Philip Cohen, Masterson’s criminal defense attorney, raised a question with her. He referred to the trial briefs that both sides filed last week, which contained descriptions of what evidence they intend to put on, and also their witness lists. We haven’t seen these briefs, but Cohen wanted Judge Olmedo to know that he had an issue with what Mueller had submitted.

“The government’s brief seeks to bring in Scientology, the ways and means of Scientology. The government’s brief seeks to bring in, by my count, at least 27 incidents of quote-unquote harassment in whatever various form that are the gravamen of the civil case. The government noticed me last Thursday of an expert witness regarding Scientology. It’s the first I’ve heard of that. If those things are coming in at trial in three and a half weeks, there is absolutely no way I can prepare for that,” he said.

Judge Olmedo said she hadn’t had time to look at the briefs yet, but said she would keep his question in mind. But we’re left reeling by Cohen’s statement.

The government has evidence of 27 incidents of harassment of these victims by Scientology. And as Cohen is right to suggest, that’s the very point of the civil lawsuit. In 2019, Chrissie Carnell-Bixler, her husband rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala, the two Jane Does, and another accuser, Bobette Riales, sued Masterson and Scientology for what they said was a harassment campaign after they came forward to the LAPD in 2016. Scientology has ridiculed this lawsuit, saying it has no merit and that the plaintiffs are complaining about the tough breaks of “urban living,” and that there was nothing to their allegations.

But now we learn that in the criminal trial, the government is going to substantiate those allegations while trying Masterson for rape. No wonder his attorney is concerned, and we can only imagine that Scientology leader David Miscavige will not be happy to hear it. And also, an expert witness on Scientology? We can’t wait to find out who that is. Who do you think it might be?

Anyway, Marty Singer also made a huge admission in his grand jury appearance that Mueller happened to include in one of his pleadings:

Mr. Singer testified that he has “represented other clients who are members of the Church of Scientology and on some occasions, they’ve agreed to pay the legal fees for those clients on particular matters,” but stated he is “not aware” if they paid for Masterson’s legal fees in the mediation matter.

There it is, in black and white: The Church of Scientology has used tax-free money to pay the legal fees of some of their celebrities who are represented by Marty Singer.

Thanks for letting us know, Marty.


Mark Bunker pushes back at Scientology meddling in Clearwater




Technology Cocktail

“When a toothache does not resolve in auditing, audit the opposite tooth on the other side. You can actually do it by count of teeth. It’s sort of auditing a no-somatic. Pc in misery with right upper molar. No pain on left side. Audit an injury he had on the left side (it will read on the meter also). Voila! The toothache that wouldn’t go away eases up!” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1970


Now available: Bonus for our supporters

Episode 13 of the Underground Bunker podcast has been sent out to paid subscribers: We’ve kept in touch with Jesse Prince since his 2018 memoir came out, and we knew he’d have some surprising things to say about Scientology. Meanwhile, we’ve made episodes 1 through 12 available to everyone, with such guests as Paulette Cooper, Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan, Jefferson Hawkins, Patty Moher, Geoff Levin, Pete Griffiths, Sunny Pereira, Bruce Hines, Jeffrey Augustine, and Claire Headley. Go here to get the episodes!


Now with no restrictions: Our podcast series on the Scientology docuseries that never aired

In five episodes, we recently looked at something we’ve been curious about for several years: The potentially explosive television show, produced by Sirens Media, that would have featured L. Ron Hubbard great-grandson Jamie DeWolf as its presenter, and that would have taken an active look at the families ripped apart by Scientology’s “disconnection” policy. Unfortunately, even though the series was ready to air on the A&E network in 2016, it never has. Our podcast series turned out even better than we were hoping, and we’ve made all five episodes available to everyone.



Source Code

“The fellow wants to get out of the woods and there are two trails. And one trail lies much deeper into the woods and the other trail goes out on to the plain. And all you have to do is put up a sign at the crossroads and point to that trail which goes deeper into the woods and say, ‘This way lies freedom,’ you see, and you’ve promptly trapped a lot of people.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 18, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“I was looking over Base Order No. 29 from 1967. There is no reason really it had to suffer such radical changes except that it was never checksheeted and packed for posts. The large amount of know-how in Flag Orders was never fully mimeo filed and related to posts by checksheet. This also solved a long standing mystery. The officer corps of some professional armies is terrible while their enlisted ranks up to non-comm are excellent. Germany lost 2 wars because of this. The US armed forces are remarkable examples of this. Suddenly dawn broke. The duties of everyone are well and totally written up and published right up to the top non-comm. Officers from low to high never had to learn any of this, even built up contempt for such knowledge and had no such plain texts for their own duties. I’ve seen it in commercial companies and elsewhere for a long time. Never could figure out why leadershp was so poor even for excellent troops or workers. Well, there it is. Hats, texts training in the lower echelon and almost none in the upper.” — The Commodore, September 18, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Imposing Scientology like Islam could not be done out of gradient. That would be done first on a Scientology country first. Processes for the lower levels are very simple. Change of environment and betterment of conditions is one.”



Past is Prologue

2000: Jeff Jacobsen and Tory Christman reported a protest at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. “Tonight 14 of us picketed the Ft. Harrison Hotel. Some of us were sporting new picket signs made to individual tastes. Others of us mostly videotaped. We had 4 while Scientology had 5 besides there permanent security cameras. It was quiet for a little while but then of course our handlers were teleported in from wherever they hang out waiting for us to picket. A new tactic tonight was that the Scientologists had flyers about us terrible picketers, including one made up just for our guest of honor, Graham Berry. I neither saw nor heard of any hint of violence tonight. We had a good time and enjoyed all the car horn honks and thumbs up from the Clearwater residents, and were happy to have some new Clearwater citizens joining us to show their opinion of Scientology. Today we were all picketing and a man named Hans came up with Mary DeMoss. She walks up and just starts raving about me being on drugs. The last drugs I did were in 1969. Today Hans walks up and starts telling me how ‘psychotic’ I looked the other day with my headset on. Dancing is now on the list of Scientology’s labels?”


Random Howdy

“One of the few things I agree with the Scientologists on is that the whole Vistaril thing is weak. Vistaril, a/k/a hydroxyzine, is one theetie-wheetie drug. You need to take a whole bottle of this shit to even remotely get a buzz. Vistaril has never been considered a true psych drug. I know it is an antihistamine, anti itching agent. That’s how I first encountered it. The point is that us trying to say it’s a psych drug like Valium is absurd.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial scheduled for October 11.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Arraigned on August 29.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for October 24 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for September 19.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court, Scientology moving to compel arbitration. Plaintiffs filed amended complaint on August 2.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: February 2, 2023.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place, next status hearing October 25. Scientology petitioning US Supreme Court over appellate ruling.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for December 6.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior ruling.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



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.


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.


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.


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?


[ONE year ago] VIDEO: Scientology turns to rock ‘n’ roll to save its soul, and you’re invited!
[TWO years ago] Scientology celeb Danny Masterson to be arraigned today for raping three women
[THREE years ago] Scientologists facing felonies try ‘sovereign citizen’ gambit in tense L. A. court hearing
[FOUR years ago] Giving Scientology TV a run for its money — it’s the premiere of the Bunker network!
[FIVE years ago] Moss wins Emmy for portraying totalitarian cult victim and doesn’t care what you think about it
[SIX years ago] In the wake of raids, Scientology’s sneaky consulting front shrinks markedly in Russia
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology about to throw its Harlem party — and we need your eyes and ears!
[EIGHT years ago] RATHBUN SUIT: Scientology’s last swipe in its anti-SLAPP appeal before hearing next week
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s “Bridge:” Claire Headley Gets Us to CLEAR!


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 2,791 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,296 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,846 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,836 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,727 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,032 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,902 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,007 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,480 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,796 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,362 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,281 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,449 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,029 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,291 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,327 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,042 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,607 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 922 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,097 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,648 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,779 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,117 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,972 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,091 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,447 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,750 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,856 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,254 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,130 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,713 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,208 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,462 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,571 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 18, 2022 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, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), 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


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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