Danny Masterson’s lawyers leaked discovery material to Church of Scientology: judge

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The ex-lawyers of “That ’70s Show” actor and convicted rapist Danny Masterson were sanctioned Wednesday for leaking confidential discovery material about his victims to the Church of Scientology — which has been accused of harassing the women for several years.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo ruled that defense attorneys Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum sent discovery from Masterson’s criminal case to Church of Scientology lawyer Vicki Podberesky in violation of a court order and a law protecting victims’ personal info, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Podberesky is representing the church in a civil suit filed by Masterson’s victims, former members of the church who say they were threatened by the organization’s officials not to report their attacks.

The discovery materials contained sensitive information about the sexual assault victims, including their addresses and correspondence with police.

Masterson, a practicing Scientologist, was convicted last month of raping two of the women at his Los Angeles home in the early 2000s.

In a civil case separate from the criminal case, the victims have accused Masterson and the church of stalking, harassing, and intimidating them for years in order to scare them from speaking out about Masterson’s abuse.

Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller, who first alerted the judge of the leaked materials, said an email from Podberesky related to the civil case includes 570 pages of the people’s discovery in attachments, the Times reported.

“Emails between law enforcement and victims. Text messages. Police reports. Photos,” Mueller said were included, according to Radar Online. “We weren’t able to get through all the attachments, but it’s extremely troubling that all of our redacted discovery we turned over to the defense is now in the hands of Scientology.”

Podberesky apparently used the confidential info to claim that prosecutors were soliciting false testimony from victims to convict the actor.

However, Olmedo said that Podberesky’s complaint was “demonstrably false” as she sanctioned the two lawyers.

She ordered the pair — who were dropped from Masterson’s legal team and replaced with new attorneys in May 2022 — to pay $950 each in sanctions, according to the LA Times.

A defense lawyer for the celebrity attorney Mesereau claimed Olmedo never put a protective order barring the discovery materials in question from being shared, but the judge rejected that argument.

She said she told the attorneys not to share any discovery with lawyers in the ongoing civil case repeatedly throughout the trial.

Masterson, 47, was first charged with rape in 2020 and now faces up to 30 years to life in prison. He will be sentenced on Aug. 4.

Content retrieved from: https://nypost.com/2023/06/08/danny-matersons-lawyers-leaked-discovery-material-to-scientology/.

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