Less than two weeks after Danny Masterson was given a 30-to-life sentence after being found guilty of two charges of forced rape, the Hollywood Reporter reported that Masterson’s wife Bijou Phillips had filed for divorce.
“During this difficult moment, Ms. Phillips has decided to file for divorce from her husband. Her daughter continues to be her top priority. The couple and the family have endured unbearably difficult times at this time. Even in her most trying moments, Ms. Phillips always had Mr. Masterson at her side. Ms. Phillips acknowledges that Mr. Masterson is an excellent father to their kid, according to a statement from Phillips’ lawyer, Peter Lauzon, to The Hollywood Reporter.
The filing was made on Monday, and TMZ broke the news first. The actor from That ’70s Show was found guilty of rape in the second trial, which followed the first trial’s mistrial due to the jury’s impasse.
After their appeal for a fresh (and third) trial was turned down, Masterson’s attorneys requested that the term be served concurrently rather than consecutively. The judge denied the defense’s plea and imposed a 30-year prison term on Masterson.
The Church of Scientology was a key topic of discussion during the trial in both cases. The three women who have accused famed Scientologist Masterson of rape are all former members of the group. Two of the three women said that the church had discouraged them from informing the authorities about the rapes. The claims have been refuted by organization representatives.
One of the women previously testified that after she had been assaulted by Masterson in December 2001 and reported the rape to the church’s “ethics officer,” she had been told that “you cannot rape someone you’re in a relationship with.” Chrissie Carnell Bixler is the wife of Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala.
A second woman, who accused Masterson of rape in 2003, claimed that a Scientology “Master-at-Arms” had instructed her not to use the word “rape” and advised her to keep any accusations inside the church.
The accusers have also filed a civil lawsuit against Masterson, which was set for trial after the criminal case.
Bixler expressed sadness at the jury’s decision not to find him guilty of the crimes related to her accusations before his sentencing, but she said she still hoped for justice in the civil trial.
She thanked the jury for its work and said, “I am disappointed that Danny Masterson has evaded criminal culpability for his awful actions towards me. While I’m heartened that he will receive some criminal punishment. Despite my displeasure with the result, I am still committed to obtain justice, especially in civil court, where I and my co-plaintiffs will expose how Scientology and other conspirators encouraged and attempted to hide Masterson’s horrible behavior.