Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


After Danny Masterson mistrial: Transcript of the press conference and more reactions

[Philip Cohen with Bijou Phillips and Danny Masterson after the mistrial was declared. Photo by Brian Melley/AP]

Once again, we want to thank the readers of the Underground Bunker, who have been so supportive during the eight weeks we were covering the Danny Masterson trial.

After Judge Charlaine Olmedo declared a deadlocked jury and a mistrial yesterday afternoon, we quickly sent you our report of what had transpired.

As we reported, the jury had told Judge Olmedo that they had tried and tried, but were unable to come to unanimous verdicts. Here was the breakdown:

Count 1 (Jane Doe 1): 2 for guilty, 10 not guilty
Count 2 (Jane Doe 2): 4 for guilty, 8 not guilty

Count 3 (Jane Doe 3): 5 for guilty, 7 not guilty

Judge Olmedo set January 10 for a status conference, and March 27 for a retrial date.

After her ruling, the Masterson family left the courtroom, the reporters went upstairs in preparation for a press conference, and the attorneys for both sides were allowed to go into the jury room and speak with the jurors for several minutes.

They then emerged, and as they began to leave, we asked defense attorney Philip Cohen for a statement. “I’ll tell you what I told the jury: I’m really appreciative of the time they put in and it says a lot about our system.”

We then asked Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller for a reaction. “It was apparent that this jury took it seriously, and I’ve always been a strong proponent of the jury system. It was very helpful to have some time back there to speak with them. They were able to provide some valuable impressions of how they saw the case. And we proceed on from here.”

Numerous Sheriff’s deputies had arrived as Judge Olmedo was determined that the jurors be able to leave the building with protection. We then exchanged some pleasantries with the court reporter, the clerk, and Judge Olmedo herself and then exited the building so we could record our short video report for you.

While we did that, up on the 12th floor Philip Cohen was giving a short press conference. We obtained a transcript of it for you. After Cohen delivered these words, he then exited the building with Danny Masterson and his family, who didn’t speak for reporters.

Philip Cohen: So first and foremost, I really want to truly thank this jury. There was a lot of information that came out. There were a lot of pieces of testimony to follow. And the incredible due diligence and thoughtfulness and time that they put into it just speaks volumes about the jury and quite frankly, speaks volumes about our jury system. To care so much about getting something right for someone that you don’t know, is truly the magic to our system. And it was just so rewarding to, number one, see it at work. And number two, see it work the right way. Every day you get up in court and you think you’re making head roads and you think that you’re bringing out contradictions and inconsistencies and you think you’re gutting the case against you but you never know what a jury is thinking, and to see that they were all basically on board with what we hoped to demonstrate — and I think what we did demonstrate — again, speaks volumes to this jury. And quite frankly, it says something about this case itself. I think this case has significant issues, and I think the jury saw those issues.

Q: Mr. Masterson, what was his reaction?

Cohen: I think his attitude and his reaction mirrored ours. You know, it’s, you don’t know how a trial is going until you hear what a jury has to say. And as confident as he is in his lawyers, you never know what a jury is thinking. So there’s a lot of relief on his part, obviously, but there’s still a fight ahead and we may have to do this thing again. And hopefully, what the jury indicated in this case will be looked at by the District Attorney’s Office in terms of how the jury saw this case.

Q: How significant is it that the jury was basically overwhelmingly in favor of acquittal, should that be factored in?

Cohen: I do. I think it’s incredibly significant. This was not a short trial. This was not a jury that just meant to get out of this. This is a jury that went through literally each bit of testimony. And I think had some very heartfelt and significant discussions about credibility. And to hear ten For not guilty and eight for not guilty and seven for not guilty speaks volumes. So yes, I do think it’s a significant factor.

Q: If the prosecution wants to proceed, do you have any plans to file a motion to dismiss the case?

Cohen: We will be filing a motion with the court. That’s a very difficult motion to ask a court to preclude a another trial. But again, I look to the jury’s due diligence, to their effort, and most significantly to what their votes were on on all three counts. This was across the board.


Q: OK, so you will be filing a motion to dismiss?

Cohen: Yes.

Q: Were you able to talk to any of the jurors?

Cohen: We were.

Q: What did you get from them?

Cohen: You know, they were very kind to speak with us. I’d really rather not get into what they spoke with us about. I will say, and Karen can certainly echo, it was incredibly helpful. And illuminating. And I think really gave insight as to what was important to them and what was not important to them in taking a look at this case.

Q: If the prosecution decided to try the case again, will you represent him again?

Cohen: If Danny asked me to represent him, I will absolutely be there.

Q: Can you talk about the demeanor of the jurors at all when you were talking to them? I mean, this is a really stressful process that we make people go through, to just disrupt their lives and then try to hack this all out with a bunch of strangers. How were they?

Cohen: Well, I think the fact that they’ve stuck around to talk to us speaks volumes, after how long they’ve been in trial and after how long they’ve been deliberating. And again, I’ll just repeat, it’s amazing to me how much work and thought and care twelve people put in to determining the fate of someone that they don’t know, no connection with, and how I say this all the time, as much as people want and try to get out of jury duty, I think when you speak to jurors after they sat through trial and they deliberated, they tell you I think to a person what a rewarding and meaningful experience it is. You don’t get a lot of chances in life to truly determine the fate of somebody.

Q: You alluded to the things that were not important to them, is Scientology one of those things?

Cohen: Again, in respect to the jury, I’d rather not get into the things that we talked about. I will say, I think the count reflects how critical credibility was in this case. Credibility, truly, is everything in this case. And I think the vote count speaks to that.

Q: Given what the jury said at the end, do you feel that they really didn’t take Scientology into account and that it wasn’t as big an issue as you thought it was going to be?

Cohen: I think the vote count probably answers your question.


Q: Do you have any concerns about if there’s a retrial, given that two iterations of the jury said they were basically hung on the charges, that a jury could come to a verdict on this case?

Cohen: I think given the facts in this case, the testimony in this case, the evolution of statements in this case, I think it would be very difficult to find twelve people who truly consider this case to be guilty.

Q: On the flip side, do you think you can get twelve people to acquit?

Cohen: I always think I can get twelve people to acquit.

Q: I’ve heard that retrial is basically always in favor of the prosecutors because they’re able to reply to your case and clean it up. And they kind of know the defense. Would you change your case?

Cohen: No. I love this case.

Q: Do you think a retrial would favor prosecutors or do you think you would have the advantage?

Cohen: I think we will be well-prepared to try this case again. It would be another set of statements. Another bit of testimony. And we are ready to do that, if that’s what the government sees fit. Thank you all.

Also, we were emailed a statement from the attorneys representing Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3, and two others suing Masterson and the Church of Scientology in a separate civil lawsuit: “We would first like to thank the jury for its public service. We are obviously disappointed that, at least for the time being, Daniel Masterson has evaded criminal accountability for his deplorable acts. However, we are collectively resolved to continue our fight for justice, including in civil court, where we have alleged that Mr. Masterson, along with the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and others conspired to systematically stalk, harass, and intimidate us when we sought to shed light on Mr. Masterson’s actions. This legal fight is far from over, and it is critical that we reckon with Scientology’s alleged role in covering up reports of abuse and threatening victims.”

And this statement from Alison Anderson, who is one of the attorneys representing them in that case: “Our clients showed tremendous courage in testifying about such personal and horrendous acts in a very public forum and despite persistent harassment and intimidation. They remain hopeful that Mr. Masterson will experience some criminal consequences for his vile conduct and are eager to now pursue their claims in civil court and seek redress for the nightmare they have been made to suffer.”


Technology Cocktail

“Evaluation is the reactive mind’s conception of viewpoint. The reactive mind does not perceive, it evaluates. To the analytical mind it may sometimes appear that the reactive mind has a viewpoint. The reactive mind does not have a viewpoint, it has an evaluation of viewpoint. Thus the viewpoint of the analytical mind is an actual point from which one perceives.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1953




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 as Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.


THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?

— The Underground Bunker Podcast

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack [16] Mirriam Francis [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see

[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— SPECIAL: Your Proprietor’s updates on the Danny Masterson trial

[1] Sep 21 [2] Sep 28 [3] Oct 4 [4] Oct 10 [5] Oct 11: Day One [6] Oct 12: Day Two [7] Oct 13: Day Three [8] Oct 17: Day Four [9] Oct 18: Day Five [10] Oct 19: Day Six [11] Special interview with Chris Shelton, Oct 19 [12] Oct 20: Day Seven [13] Oct 21: Day Eight [14] First week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [15] Oct 24: Day Nine [16] Oct 25: Day Ten [17] Oct 27: Day Eleven [18] Oct 28: Day Twelve [19] Second week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [20] Halloween special [21] Nov 2: Day Thirteen [22] Nov 3: Day Fourteen [23] Nov 4: Day Fifteen [24] Third week in review [25] Nov 5, Saturday special [26] Nov 6, Sunday special [27] Nov 7, Day Sixteen [28] Lisa Marie Presley breaking news [29] Nov 8, Day Seventeen [30] Nov 9, Day Eighteen [31] Nov 10, Day Nineteen



Source Code

“All this of course is, is, I’m just, I’m just kidding you mostly. I don’t believe that you’ve been in the universe seventy-six trillion years. I don’t believe you have any past before birth. I don’t believe that there’s any reason whatsoever for this universe to be here except that some fellow called the devil or something that built it. Uh, I don’t believe any of these things. And I don’t want to be agreed with about them. It infuriates me to be agreed with about them, so I’m not asking for anybody to agree with me. But I’m not asking for anybody to disagree with me either.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 1, 1952


Avast, Ye Mateys

“NEXT PORT: The next port has its drawbacks but also its advantages. It is a bit dusty and occasionally smelly. But it is very quiet. It has an interesting native area. And you can have ash trays by the ton at the pottery shop. Remember to bargain hard. Offer a third or less of what is asked and come up a bit when buying odds and ends.” — The Commodore, December 1, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I think it’s great that the church has a healthy second dynamic, like you see young people running their orgs, very likely they are Scientology kids. Maybe it has something to do with marriage being respected and abortion being avoided. We don’t seem to have a young generation in the Free Zone. I guarantee you the church will always exist because it’s got a second dynamic, of course only in a quiet way though but that’s better than nothing. We need younglings and babies so start making them.”



Past is Prologue

1997: Scientology is filing a motion to place Gerry Armstrong in contempt of court for speaking out against Scientology. “I write to apprise you that I shall appear December 2 at 9:30 a.m. before the Hon. Gary Thomas in Courtroom H of the Marin County Superior Court to seek an order to show cause re contempt arising out of your recent actions in creating and publishing certain documentary works over the internet, in granting interviews to various English and German media and other actions taken by you while in Germany. Very truly yours, Andrew H. Wilson” Gerry’s comments: “This latest effort to have me jailed should put to rest forever Scientology’s claims of persecution. Nobody is seeking to stop Scientologists from speaking freely. It is only the Scientologists who seek to stop free speech. Nobody is trying to suppress the Scientologists from their expression of their religion. It is only the Scientologists who are trying to suppress religious expression. I have absolutely no regrets, as unhappy and as threatened as Miscavige and his Scientologists have at times made my life, for speaking out and offering my help to people this cult has been abusing. It only takes one person to bring to light Scientology’s suppression of speech and religious expression with its criminal ‘contracts’ and their judicial and extrajudicial enforcement.”


Random Howdy

“I’m putting out a shoop challenge. I’m envisioning a shoop of LRH with a doll of Miscavige sitting on his lap and Tiny Cancer has a Tom Cruise doll sitting on his lap. The prize to the winner is a chicken dinner or a quadrillion Howdy bucks.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial began October 11 in Los Angeles.
‘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 scheduled to be sentenced on Oct 28.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 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. Hearing scheduled November 17 to argue the arbitration motions.
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 at least through December 13.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Case settled ahead of scheduled Dec 6 trial.
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.



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] The Danny Masterson court cases and Scientology: A video update
[TWO years ago] If the feds are sniffing around, they might look at Danny Masterson’s besties
[THREE years ago] Scientology amps up shattering suppression in the wake of Leah Remini’s onslaught
[FOUR years ago] President George H.W. Bush dies at 94, and we remember a fateful October 1991 day
[FIVE years ago] How L. Ron Hubbard used ‘past lives’ to set a trap for Scientologists
[SIX years ago] Leah Remini: Scientology’s new attack has a Katie Holmes angle they aren’t talking about
[SEVEN years ago] Legoland theme park donates $10,000 to Scientology front on behalf of Jenna Elfman
[EIGHT years ago] Hey, Dr. Phil, get a clue about Scientology and stop stiff-arming Lori Hodgson
[NINE years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Fundraising Mailers Galore!
[ELEVEN years ago] Melissa Paris, Valeska’s Sister, And Her Own Ordeal in Scientology’s Cadet and Sea Orgs: Forced to Marry at 16


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 2,865 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,370 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,920 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,910 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,801 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,106 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,976 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,081 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,554 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,870 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,436 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,355 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,523 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,103 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,365 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,401 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,116 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,681 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 996 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,171 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,722 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,853 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,191 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,046 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,165 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,521 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,824 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,930 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,328 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,204 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,787 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,282 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,536 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,645 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 1, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email