A conversation with courtroom reporter and journalist Meghann Cuniff to recap the differences between two high-profile celebrity sexual assault trials: Harvey Weinstein and Danny Masterson
Not saying that Danny Masterson is innocent...but was there drug tests, or DNA rape kits on the victims? Word of mouth testimony does not always equate the truth. How do you convict someone without physical evidence? Am I missing something?
I like Danny Masterson. I loathe scientology. But more than anything I abhor the "believe all women" schtick. People lie. People are opportunistic. People are devious. Danny Masterson may be absolute scum but I always thought the legal system could never rest on she said, he said. Multiple claimants or not, stories can be fabricated, evidence cannot. Where is proof of him sourcing drugs? Where is the physical evidence, or photographs? I just cannot see that the burden of proof was truly met here.
If I went to the police station and said that 20 years ago a man raped me. And described what happened. Would he go to jail for 15 years? Because it appears that after a trial with zero evidence, any woman should be able to go to the police and make an accusation and their accused rapist be sent to jail for fifteen years. Or am I missing something? As a mother of boys (and girls!) this makes me nervous.
I want to know what was used or shown as actual evidence of his guilt at his trials, if anything at all. I don’t think I could ever convict someone just on a person’s testimony of what they said happened. Especially ex lovers. Doesn’t make any logical sense to me at all. I’m not saying he’s innocent but definitely doesn’t sound like they proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
"Beyond a reasonable doubt" seems not to be part of many Americans' lexicons.
I've seen trials in action, so I know how inflated judge's egos are. If they believe in a certain verdict, they will do all they can to guide witless jurors to their POV.
I've been sexually violated, so I know the shame, fear, disgust and rage that evokes in a human being.
I also know regret is not rape, and too many women conflate those two after they make foolish choices.
I had followed Masterson's prior mistrial, but missed this new legal proceeding. That should have been a simple not guilty decision. Masterson wasn't on trial though, Scientology and Me Too were. And Me Too won.
Sidenote: Leah Remini is a ridiculous character. I read her biography and denial ain't just a river... She is totally lacking in self awareness.
I feel like if I was innocent I would 100% get up on that stand and make my voice heard.
This conviction feels outlandish. I don’t know much about the case or trial except what you have written here. So my opinions are mostly based on the legal system than Masterson himself. I think it’s important to note that there are very valid reasons that cases like rape have a statue of limitations, excluding children of course. The recollection of 20 year old, allegedly drugged, memories are often unreliable. And when the memories are traumatic that adds another layer of difficulty in recounting said memory with the needed accuracy for a conviction. This does not mean it’s not possible but it is harder. Long term memory recall is tricky under the best of circumstances. I imagine the women went through extensive therapy and trial coaching to polish their testimony to perfection. I don’t know the women, but I imagine they have a number of things to work through, besides the rape, considering they were all Scientologists which is a dark unscrupulous entity and I feel for them.
But also, to me, it is unimaginable that the jurors had all of their questions answered via the testimony provided by these women. That there were no holes, no pun intended, to be filled. No alternative scenarios, nothing that would suggest it’s possible he didn’t rape these women. This trial and it’s verdict has implications on a much broader scope than just an alleged (now convicted) rapist’s allegations, trial and conviction. A man’s life is essentially over. The trial shouldn’t be so questionable.
Imagine how many more Hollywood celebs have done and gotten away with this type of behavior. Especially in that twisted church.
It’s honestly hard for me to support Danny when Bijou has a history of being a mean girl and she didn’t believe her sister about their dad sexually abusing her.
i’ve always said that there is no justice in the justice system... regardless if he is actually innocent or guilty, it doesn’t seem that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. i would have to think that statutes of limitations need to be in place for a he-said/she-said trial without any hard evidence.
as a victim of an armed home invasion, i watched my perpetrator take a plea deal and walk away with only 2 years of probation, and i begged to take it to trial instead and risk him walking free because that sentence gave me no protection. the prosecutor declined and took the deal because that’s a W in his books.
the justice system lets violent criminals walk, while imprisoning people 20+ years after the alleged crime, all in the name of justice.
Your point about him having a family should have no bearing on his guilt or innocence. Many murderers and rapists have innocent unknowing families. It doesn't make them any more saintly.
This reads like the judge wanted a conviction no matter how he got it he would prevail. Danny Masterson should never have settled his first allegation. That left the door open for all the others to walk through.
I am not convinced either way, and I suspect there was a lot of casting couch decisions made, on the part of those young women. It’s a horrible situation but if they have any scruples at all, this will not bring them the peace they are seeking.
I feel like you don’t try to silence people if there is no truth. Just my two cents.
Leah Remini is a grabbing-attention whore who's only relevance is was she can say about her years in the Scientology Church. Certainly, I wouldn't bet my life on Masterson's innocence, but this trail looks more on what we have seen lately: an ode to feminism.
Another reminder of the mere fact that words or claims of white women in North America are the law and thus, so dangerous. It's enough to make the good suffer for the bad actors in the case of pursuit of friendships, relationships, or intimacy of any kind with said women. Be suspicious always seems to be more and more sensible now than ever before. It's better to assume all the good or decent ones are taken, assume the worst, and only change your position with continuous proof of genuineness, the all-important internal debate necessarily kept at the back of one's mind lol; I suppose this applies more so based on how financially successful or publicly successful you are as well. Us ordinary plebs MIGHT be ok after all if we keep on the straight and narrow; that's a huge 'might'. What is so scary is that all it takes is some jealousy/envy, bitterness, anger, greed or the mentally unstable to set off events that can destroy a man's life or reputation. The mere fact that they are so confident in what just saying something, or saying anything for that matter can accomplish is proof in itself. They can just say what they want or the fact they can call the authorities and know they will automatically be believed is something otherworldly; they have been pedestalized at this point. Feminism empowered them, and neo-feminism commandeered that power and is slowly destroying them from the inside. The decent women out there will suffer undoubtedly, they probably are already suffering from a suspicion of quality of character perspective. Maybe the solution is to document any and all interactions when it comes to interactions with these otherworldly creatures; life in the west has become a huge reality show. It is probably safer to just observe rather than interact.
Thanks so much for the great discussion!