The fourth and final accuser to testify that Danny Masterson violently raped her took the stand Thursday for cross-examination, standing her ground as defense attorney Philip Cohen focused on a message of “support” she sent the “That ’70s Show” star’s brother after initial reports about rape accusations began to surface in 2017.
But there was one thing she wasn’t allowed to say: Masterson’s former DJ name, a slang term for a violent sexual act.
Jane Doe 4 had testified Wednesday that Masterson raped her at his home where castmembers from a low-budget film were crashing after a wrap party in 1996. Her tale repeated several themes from previous witnesses testimony: creepy staring, aggressive commands and mysteriously drifting in and out of consciousness while the actor forced them into “rough … pounding” unwanted sex.
Cohen elicited from Jane Doe 4 that she had sent a Facebook message to Masterson’s brother, Chris, in 2017, after reading about the allegations against Danny Masterson on social media. She testified earlier that she lived with Chris Masterson for a brief period in 1998 while in between homes.
Cohen read part of that message: “I saw a fucked-up article about Danny. Just wanted to send you guys support.” Other parts of the message said Chris and Danny were “good to” her and were there for her when “my boyfriend cheated on me and I didn’t have a place to stay. Hope you are both doing well. xoxo.”
Under redirect, prosecutors asked her to explain why she sent the message.
“Danny has friends that I’ve been warned about,” she said. “I felt because of his circle of friends that I wanted to keep everything safe for me, send a message signaling that I wasn’t a part of it, and I had tried even through those incidents to keep everything friendly because of my fears and also because I didn’t want to blow up my world. We have people in common. We had at the time. I just wanted to be able to work, not have trouble made for myself and I think that was a pretty major motivator for me to just keep everything friendly, not draw attention, not have anything brought on me.”
Cohen also pointed out that Jane Doe 4 had used similar words to describe Masterson’s behavior as previous Jane Doe witnesses – that he was “commanding,” “barking orders,” and was “pounding” during the attacks – and got her to say that the witnesses knew each other and had talked.
Cohen also asked whether she had spoken with anyone about her Wednesday testimony, and she said she had not. But then he asked specifically whether she has spoken to either of the prosecutors on Wednesday afternoon about her case – and she said she in fact had.
“I was told not to bring up [Masterson’s] DJ name,” she said.
On Wednesday, Jane Doe 4 had testified about going to a party where Masterson was DJ’ing under the name “DJ Donkey Punch.” Judge Charlaine Olmedo had that statement immediately stricken from the record and told the jurors to ignore that testimony. The judge did not elaborate on why she would not allow the name to be referenced, though it may have been something attorneys negotiated with her before the trial began.
Masterson went by the name “DJ Donkey Punch” when he began performing as a hobby in the late 1990s, and eventually changed his name to “DJ Mom Jeans” as the gigs got more professional – but he’s never tried to hide the past moniker, which is slang for the act of punching a female partner in the back of the neck during anal sex to trigger a clench reflex. Masterson has not been specifically accused of the act, although some of the Jane Does have described forceful, violent behavior during the attacks and nonconsensual anal penetration.
Masterson was formally charged in 2020, but allegations first came to light in 2017 when a blogger covering Scientology reported that detectives were investigating the actor after three women came forward with accusations of rape and assault. Those women claim they came into contact with Masterson in the early 2000s through the Church of Scientology, and each has said they were pressured by the Church to keep quiet; Jane Doe 4 testified that she was not a Scientologist, but has experienced fear and harassment because of the case.
Masterson has denied any wrongdoing, and Scientology has insisted that it had no hand in the matter.
The courts are closed Friday for Veterans Day. Testimony will resume Monday morning.