A clip of talk show host Conan O’Brien interviewing actor Danny Masterson in 2004 has gone viral as Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for rape on Thursday.
The 47 year-old Scientologist had no reaction as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo handed down her decision – 15 years for each felony rape, with the sentences to run consecutively.
The clip, believed to be from a 2004 episode of O’Brien’s NBC ‘Late Night’ show, features him talking to Masterson about why he no longer has the accent of his Long Island upbringing, with the actor saying it had gone away after a decade in Los Angeles.
He then said his friend, the actor Bodhi Elfman, made fun of him for how he said certain words with an impression of him saying: ‘Hi, my name’s Danny Masterson, would you like to touch my balls?’
‘Why are you asking people to do that?’ asks a laughing O’Brien, with Masterson responding: ‘You got ’em. Everybody should grab them.’
Deadpanning, O’Brien cracks: ‘I’ve heard about you and you’ll be caught soon, I know that.’
A clip of talk show host Conan O’Brien interviewing actor Danny Masterson in 2004 has gone viral as Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for rape on Thursday
‘I will,’ responds Masterson.
The clip – which has been viewed over 2.3million times on Twitter – has people joking that ‘Conan knew’ about Masterson’s predilections.
One even stretched it further, noting that O’Brien wrote for The Simpsons, which is often credited with predicting the future.
‘He used to write for The Simpsons so of course he would predict it,’ one Twitter user said.
Before passing sentence Judge Olmedo told Masterson that although he had ‘steadfastly claimed his innocence….you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago were criminal and that is why you are here today.’
At the sentencing trial, Jane Doe #1 called Masterson a ‘true coward and heartless monster,’ adding that to this day she suffer from an extreme fear of the dark and frequently wakes up crying.
Sometimes, she said, she hides in a closet or screams out the window: ‘I’m not okay.’
‘I think life is an appropriate sentence,’ she concluded.
The clip, believed to be from a 2004 episode of O’Brien’s NBC ‘Late Night’ show, features him talking to Masterson about why he no longer has the accent of his Long Island upbringing, with the actor saying it had gone away after a decade in Los Angeles
Masterson said his friend, the actor Bodhi Elfman (pictured left), made fun of him for how he said certain words with an impression of him saying: ‘Hi, my name’s Danny Masterson, would you like to touch my balls?’
‘Why are you asking people to do that?’ asks a laughing O’Brien, with Masterson responding: ‘You got ’em. Everybody should grab them’
Deadpanning, O’Brien cracks: ‘I’ve heard about you and you’ll be caught soon, I know that’
The woman continued telling the room that she was born into a family of Scientologists, and when she reported the rape to the church, a top official ‘made it clear that Danny was untouchable.’
‘I did not choose to be born into Scientology – and I did not choose to be raped by Danny Masterson,’ said the mother of three daughters, fighting back tears. ‘Scientology attempted to silence us … to intimidate us.’
‘I wish I had reported him sooner to the police,’ she said, adding that at no point did Masterson ‘show an ounce of remorse for the pain I was suffering.’
‘The first couple of years after the rape were pretty dark. I lost everything pretty much. I had to start my life over at the age of 29,’ she said.
Before he was sentenced, Masterson’s attorney, Shawn Holley, urged the judge to impose concurrent, not consecutive 15 year to life sentences saying that would be ‘fair and just.’
Convicted rapist Danny Masterson blows his wife Bijou Phillips a kiss in the court room as he is sentenced to 30 years behind bars
Bijou Phillips is seen sobbing in court as her husband, and the father of her young daughter, is sentenced to 30 years in prison for the rape of two women
Danny Masterson has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women. His wife, actress Bijou Phillips, 43 – who had been at his side through two criminal trials – looked dejected as she sat amid a grim group of Scientology friends and family members
Masterson played wise-cracking Steven Hyde on That ’70s Show from 1998 to 2006
Prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller asked the judge to hand down a 30-to-life sentence, saying that Holley’s plea for just 15 years was ‘not fair and just…absolutely not. Thirty years to life in prison is deserved.
‘After Masterson raped the first time he had time to think about what he had inflicted,’ he said. ‘Despite that, he raped again.’
Masterson had two trials. His first, six months earlier, resulted in a mistrial after a different jury were hopelessly deadlocked on all three rape charges.
Masterson was free on $3.3million bail throughout both trials. But that freedom ended with his double conviction May 31 and he has been locked up in the notorious Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles since then. The actor hasn’t been pictured since.
Masterson’s victims tearfully told the courtroom how he had ruined their lives.
‘You are pathetic, disturbed and extremely violent and the world is a safer place with you in prison,’ said Jane Doe #2, looking straight at the actor, dressed in a gray suit and open-neck gray shirt.
‘You are a true coward and heartless monster,’ added Jane Doe #1. ‘I think life is an appropriate sentence.’
The 47 year-old Scientologist actor – best known for playing smart-mouthed Steven Hyde on That ’70s Show – was found guilty by a jury last May on two counts of forcible rape. He’s pictured in a sketch during his trial
Bijou is coming to terms with the prospect of raising her child alone after her husband, 47, was convicted on two counts of rape in an LA court in May
Earlier, as Bijou Philips looked on, trying to hid her emotions with a large pair of dark glasses, Jane Doe #2 stared down Masterson as she told him, ‘I don’t have to carry your shame any more. You have to carry it. You have to sit in a cell with it.
‘I still have to contend with what you did to me…in this brutal manner.’ Saying the emotional and mental damage she has suffered from the rape ‘takes a lifetime to repair,’ she added that Masterson had been ‘enabled and protected’ by Scientology because of his celebrity standing in the church.
And she said she was ‘enraged’ to learn that there were other rape victims. That’s when, after many years of keeping silent at the urging of the church, she finally decided report Masterson to the police.
‘I decided to report him with the full understanding that my life would be demolished again (by going against the don’t tell doctrine of) Scientology which has terrorized me since.’
Addressing Masterson directly again, Jane Doe #2 told him, ‘When you raped me you stole my ability to have any stability in my life for decades. After you raped me I stopped living.’
She said that her ‘promising’ acting career ‘nosedived after the ‘heinous attack hijacked my life.’
‘I know you take pride in hurting women. You treated me like I was less than trash. Your emptiness and cowardice will be your true legacy.
‘You are pathetic, disturbed and extremely violent and the world is safer with you in prison. I would not wish rape on my worst enemy.
‘You thought the law did not apply to you. You moved in smugness and spite.’
She concluded ‘victim impact statement’ by saying that despite the two decades of of trauma she’s suffered since Masterson brutally raped her, ‘I forgive you.’
Talking of the ‘devastation’ forcible rape victims suffer, the prosecutor in the case added: ‘This is something they carry with them forever. This is long lasting punishment for them. These lives will never be the same.’
He scoffed at Holley’s portrayal of Masterson as an ‘exemplary husband and father.’
‘That did not preclude the defendant from being a violent serial rapist,’ he added.
In addition to imposing 30 years to life in prison, Judge Olmedo ordered Masterson to register as a sex offender when he finishes his sentence.
Prosecutor Reinhold Mueller speaks outside the courthouse after the sentencing
A prison bus is seen bringing Danny Masterson back to jail after his sentencing on Thursday
‘You are pathetic, disturbed and extremely violent and the world is a safer place with you in prison,’ said Jane Doe #2, looking straight at the actor, dressed in a gray suit and open-neck gray shirt. A court sketch from his trial is shown
In her request for leniency from the judge, Masterson’s attorney Shawn Holley sought a reduced sentence by arguing that prior to the rapes, the actor had no criminal history at all and he had lived ‘a productive and positive life in TV’.
Holley said she had 50 letters from different people praising Masterson for ‘selfless acts, opening his home, his wallet and his heart to people in need.’
She added he had been an ‘exemplary father, husband, son, friend and co-worker,’ and argued that a 30 year to life sentence meant that ‘Mr Masterson (now 47) would likely die in prison.’
Her co-counsel on the defense team, Philip Cohen, told the court that ‘a 15 years to life sentence is not 15 years,’ pointing out that if at the end of the 15 years, the parole board decided Masterson was not rehabilitated or had not been a model prisoner, it could add more years to his term, up to life.
On Thursday, he made the short journey in shackles from the jail to Courtroom 105 on the ninth floor of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center where he faced his victims.
A close friend revealed to DailyMail.com that wife Bijou ‘feels like she is grieving a death’ as she awaited her husband’s sentencing.
‘Currently Bijou is circling the drain and is filled with all the emotion and no emotion at all,’ they said.
‘She is a shell of who she has been. She is really trying to be strong for her daughter as she is trying to figure out life and what it will be like for her.
‘It can only be compared to a divorce or a death for her not being able to be with Danny the way they were.’
Actor Billy Baldwin, 60 – who is married to Bijou’s actress half-sister Chynna Phillips 55 – was also frequently in court during the trials.
Scientology was the elephant in the room during both trials. All three women testified that the reason they took so long to report him to the police was their fear of retribution from the Church of Scientology.
Actress and former scientology member Leah Remini, who was accused by Masterson in 2021 of trying to influence the case against him before his previous trial, praised the sentencing as a sign of the cult’s declining influence.
‘Sitting in court today with the women who survived Danny Masterson’s predation was a surreal experience,’ she said in a statement shared on X, formerly Twitter.
‘Over the past seven decades, former Scientologists have sadly become used to Scientology using its financial resources, religious protection, and relationships to snatch justice away from them,’ she continued.
‘For over two decades, Danny Masterson avoided accountability for his crimes. While Danny was the only one sentenced, his conviction and sentence are indictments against Scientology, its operatives, and its criminal leader, David Miscavige.’
Actress Leah Remini (pictured with Masterson in 2009), a former scientology member who is now an outspoken critic of the church, praised the sentencing as an ‘indictment’ on the religion and its influence over legal proceedings
Remini added that hearing the heartbreaking impact statements at the sentencing displayed ‘a level of bravery I am in awe of’, particularly as they were read ‘while the man who raped them and some of the very Scientologists who terrorized them over two decades were just a few feet away.’
His accusers – whom DailyMail.com is identifying only as Jane Does 1 through 3 – are all former Scientologists and are also suing the actor and the Church of Scientology in civil court, claiming that they’ve been harassed and intimidated since reporting him to police. A status hearing on that civil case is scheduled for September 26.
His victims said that scientology church officials warned them not to use the word rape, that turning in a fellow Scientologist to law enforcement was considered a ‘high crime’, and if they disobeyed that doctrine, they could be declared a ‘suppressive person’, cast out by the church and left alone, cut off from family and friends.
In the second trial, prosecutors put much more emphasis than they did in the first trial on their claims that Masterson drugged his victims by spiking drinks he gave them before raping them.
Another difference between the two trials was the addition in the second of testimony from another ‘victim’ – a woman who claimed Masterson raped her in Toronto in 2000, though he was never charged with the alleged assault.
A judge ordered he be taken into custody and scheduled a hearing for August 4. Bijou has stood by her husband’s side
Actor Billy Baldwin, 60 – who is married to Bijou’s actress half-sister Chynna Phillips 55 – was also frequently in court during the trials
Of the two women whose rape Masterson was convicted of, Jane Doe 1 testified that in April 2003 she was at the actor’s house where he gave her a fruity red drink with vodka that made her feel woozy, then threw her in his Jacuzzi, carried her upstairs where she passed out and woke up to find him raping her
She fought back, pushed a pillow into his face, she told the jury. But he pushed it back into her face, smothering her and she blacked out again.
When she woke, she said, Masterson opened a bedside draw and pulled out a gun which he brandished, telling her, ‘Don’t f——ing move.’
Jane Doe 2 – whom the actor was also convicted of raping – met Masterson at a bar in 2003 and gave him her phone number. He called her and invited her to his home.
She went, and, after having a drink and a stint in his Jacuzzi, she found herself in his bathroom shower with him where, she told jurors, he ‘suddenly shoved his penis into her vagina….She said no, I told you no sex.’
Leah Remini and Danny Masterson pictured at a benefit dinner and concert for Project Restart and the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, November 3, 2007 in Las Vegas
Scientology was front and center during both criminal trials. All three women testified that the reason they took so long to report him to the police was their fear of retribution from the Church of Scientology
Jane Doe #1 burst into tears as she haltingly recounted the night in September 2002 when she woke to find Masterson allegedly penetrating her anally
They ended up in Masterson’s bed where, despite her protests, he flipped her over and started pounding her from behind ‘like a jackhammer,’ she testified, adding that she felt ‘like a limp rag doll.’
Jane Doe 3 – whom Masterson was charged with, but not convicted of raping – lived with Masterson for six years. She was only 17 when she met him and he persuaded her to become a Scientologist, she told the court.
About a year into their relationship he became very ‘controlling…and very aggressive sexually’ – she would often wake up at night and he would be on top of her, having sex with her, she said.
In one such incident in November 2001, when she woke up to find him having sex with her, she told him no and tried to push him off, the court heard.
When that didn’t work, she pulled his hair. But he retaliated by hitting her across the face and calling her ‘white trash,’ she told the jury.
Masterson’s attorney, Philip Cohen, challenged ‘inconsistencies’ in the womens’ testimony and statements to police, accusing them of ‘blatant fabrications.’
And he asserted that the three had ‘colluded,’ choreographing and ‘tweaking’ their rape stories to help get Masterson convicted – which in turn could help them win a big cash payout in the civil lawsuit they have brought against him and the Church of Scientology.