Danny Masterson’s stepdad says his kids LIED to help their brother and could have perjured themselves in leniency request letters to the judge before his rape sentencing and says Scientology ‘brainwashed them’
- In letters asking for leniency, Jordan, 36, and Alanna Masterson, 35, painted their father as deadbeat and convicted rapist Danny as a parental surrogate
- In an interview this week, Joe Reaiche, 65, said he is considering suing his kids over the letters, and further accused the Clearwater Church of ‘brainwashing’
- The assertions echoed those given by Reaiche to DailyMail.com in 2015, in which the ex rugby star claimed his kids disowned him at the Church’s behest in 2005
In letters asking for leniency for their older brother, Jordan and Alanna Masterson painted their father, Joe Reaiche, as deadbeat and convicted rapist Danny as a parental surrogate.
In an interview this week, Reaiche – a former pro rugby league player-turned Scientologist who met Masterson’s mom in the 80s – said he is considering suing his kids over the letters, and further accused the Clearwater Church of ‘brainwashing’.
Delivered to The Daily Beast, the assertions harked back to statements provided by Reaiche to DailyMail.com nearly a decade ago – in which he claimed all of his Scientologist kids disowned him after he was excommunicated in 2005.
In letters to LA Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo, 36-year-old Jordan and Walking Dead star Alanna, 35, both wrote their father left them ‘for all intents and purposes’ when they were under age 10, forcing Masterson, then 16, to step up.
‘My father left for all intents and purposes when I was six years old,’ Jordan, a star on the sitcom Last Man Standing – wrote in one of the letters pleading for clemency following Masterson’s conviction for raping two women in the early 2000s. ‘My little sister was four.’
Kutcher, Kunis, Debra Jo Rupp, and Kurtwood Smith were among other who went up to bat for the former funnyman – though their accounts failed to sway Olmedo, who on Thursday hit Masterson with a 30-year-to-life sentence.
Jordan continued of his and his siblings’ life with mom Carol post-1995: ‘We were raised by a single mother who worked her entire life to provide her children with a life that we could be proud of.
‘She preached hard work and integrity, respect for self and others, kindness and patience.
‘No one embodies those qualities more than my brother Danny.’
The narrative, unveiled by reporter Tony Ortega following Masterson’s sentencing Friday, proceeded to paint a picture of a placid household during the period between the divorce and Joe’s banishment from Scientology in 2005 – during which the rising actor supposedly did the duties their father had forsaken.
‘When my father left, my brother stepped into a sort of pseudo father figure role for my little sister and me, even though he was only sixteen himself at the time.
‘Providing not only money when times were lean (which there were plenty), but wisdom and guidance,’ he wrote.
‘He set an example for us about what it was to be loving, professional and respectful. Speaking as a young man without a father, having my big brother as a lodestar was a godsend.
Taking me to baseball practice, picking me up from school, introducing me to films and music and art… While a young boy’s father can’t be replaced, I would say, in my experience, a great older brother comes really close.
‘I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my brother.’
Billing herself as Masterson’s ‘only sister and youngest sibling,’ Alana’s correspondence provided a starkly similar impression – one that dad Joe vehemently challenged on Friday.
‘My brother is facing a lengthy sentence, therefor I wanted to give you some insight into the man that shaped me into the person I am today,’ it began.
‘Danny is my best friend and helped raise me when my father left us.
‘My mom was alone providing for all of us and Danny stepped in to shoulder that burden. He helped all of us financially, but also with the daily happenings of his younger siblings.’
Citing activities like his attending of her ‘many’ ballet recitals and bringing her to sleepovers during their upbringing in LA, she also claimed the actor helped her when she was attending school at the New York Film Academy in the early 2000s – during which time she lived in his New York apartment.
She also brought up Masterson’s relationship with his nine-year-old daughter with model Bijou Phillips, Fianna, who Alanna called ‘best friends.’
‘He’s the best father and husband I know,’ Alanna insisted. ‘He’s our family’s true North Star… I hope you take into consideration all of this information in regards to your sentencing.’
In the bombshell interview Friday, Joe branded both of his kids’ accounts – which came alongside other fawning yarns from fellow That 70s Show alums such as Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and more – as decidedly false.
‘My son and daughter have very short memories about their dad,’ Reaiche, now living in Florida, told The Beast – before pointing out several inconsistencies he claimed proved his point.
‘Carol filed for divorce in 1995 in Los Angeles. Jordan was born in 1986. He was 9, not 6. There’s the first incorrect thing.’
Much more glaring, though, the father said, was the contention by Jordan and Alanna that suggested he had abandoned his children – a sentiment he said was erroneously implanted in their heads by the Church of Scientology.
‘They make it sound like I walked out and abandoned them, and that Danny was the hero,’ Joe recounted of the period between the divorce and his being branded a ‘suppressive person’ by the Church in 2005.
Contrary to his kids’ claims, he said during that ten year stretch – during which Masterson hit it big by landing his role in the seminal sitcom – he was a constant presence in all four of his kids’ lives, half-son Christopher, of Malcom in the Middle fame, included.
‘They were actually making money, and I was giving them money. Carol was their manager,’ he said of the four siblings, who were all raised as Scientologists.
‘I paid for their summer school at that expensive Scientology school in Oregon, Delphi. That was $5,000 each.’ the Lebanese-Australian ex athlete said.
‘I slept on couches so the kids would be fine,’ he said, adding he spent somewhere around $300,000 on the two in the years between his split and excommunication.
In 1998, three years after the divorce, Reaiche claimed he helped Masterson – then house hunting after being cast in That 70s show – to get his mortgage on the house where the rapes would later occur.
At the time, Masterson was dating a woman referred to in court as ‘Jane Doe 3’ – 37-year-old actress Chrissie Carnell-Bixler – the third woman who accused Masterson of rape during his trial. Jurors in May ended up split on that charge, after failing to agree on a verdict.
Speaking to the Beast Friday, Reaiche also cited how he was still in touch with Jordan, then a 19-year-old adult, just before he was banished by Scientology – after which point he claimed all of his kids cut him off for good.
He claimed that in 2004 – nine years after the siblings said he left them – he actually helped his son through the notoriously difficult ‘auditing’ undertaking from the church, during which candidates are probed with the purposed of ridding the individual of negative influences from past events or behaviors.
‘Jordan seems to forget that in 2004, he was getting auditing at the Celebrity Centre and it was going badly,’ he told the paper hours after his half-son’s sentencing.
‘Carol asked me to do an ethics cycle on my son. So I did my thing, I straightened him out, and he did fantastic. So I was in his life in 2004, when he was 18. Danny even complimented me on it.’
He went on to claim: ‘I went to Christmas dinner with them at the house in Glendale that year, in 2004.
‘Chris’ girlfriend, Laura Prepon, was there. I had dinner with them,’ he added of his other half-son, who also wrote to the court in a plea for mercy but his letter cut off in a reproduction of the court papers.
The next year, Scientology expelled Reaiche – following a ‘committee of evidence’ over several less than glowing statements about the Church.
When Reaiche tried to call his kids, he claimed Friday, he was repeatedly rebuffed. At the time, he was branded a ‘suppressive person’ by the religion, and says he has not heard from any of his kids or stepkids since.
A former Australian sporting hero, Reaiche spoke to DailyMail.com in 2013, during which he recalled how he climbed the ranks after marrying one of its members in Carol, raising her two children as his own before giving way to Jordan and Alanna.
All four became successful in Hollywood, with the The eldest two – Danny, 47, and, and Christopher, 43 – both getting parts in hit sitcoms around the same time, shortly before Danny’s illegal behavior began.
At the time, Reaiche, then 57, acknowledged he missed his children – but claimed he was at a loss because they been ‘brainwashed’ into believing that he is a threat to their faith by the Church.
Having not spoken to them for a decade at that point, he said their relationship was nonexistent as a result.
‘Don’t get me wrong. Sure, it’s a loss not having your children you raised, but now, in my mind, it’s like they died.
‘They’re dead mentally because I can’t speak to them. Not that I don’t love my kids but what do you do?’
A jury of seven women and five men found Masterson guilty of two counts on May 31 after seven days of deliberations.
Both attacks took place in Masterson’s Hollywood-area home in 2003, when he was at the height of his fame on the Fox network sitcom ‘That ’70s Show’.
The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on a third count, an allegation that Masterson also raped a longtime girlfriend.
The verdict came in a second trial after a jury failed to reach verdicts on three counts of forcible rape in December and a mistrial was declared.
During proceedings, prosecutors argued Masterson had relied on his status as a prominent Scientologist to avoid accountability for his crimes.
Prosecutors alleged that Masterson used his prominence in the Church of Scientology – where all three women were also members at the time – to avoid consequences for decades after the attacks.
The women blamed the church for their hesitancy in going to police about Masterson. They testified that when they reported him to Scientology officials, they were told they were not raped, were put through ethics programs themselves, and were warned against going to law enforcement to report a member of such high standing.
‘They were raped, they were punished for it, and they were retaliated against,’ Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller told jurors at the trial. ‘Scientology told them there’s no justice for them.’
The church said in a statement after the verdict that the ‘testimony and descriptions of Scientology beliefs’ during the trial were ‘uniformly false.’
‘The Church has no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct of anyone – Scientologists or not – to law enforcement,’ the statement said.
Masterson did not testify, and his lawyers called no witnesses. The defense argued that the acts were consensual and attempted to discredit the women’s stories by highlighting changes and inconsistencies over time, which they said showed signs of coordination between them.
The women whose testimony led to Masterson’s conviction said that in 2003, he gave them drinks and that they then became woozy or passed out before he violently raped them.
Olmedo allowed prosecutors and accusers to say directly in the second trial that Masterson drugged the women, while only allowing the women to describe their condition in the first.
Masterson was not charged with any counts of drugging, and there was no toxicology evidence to back up the assertion. The issue could be a factor in a planned appeal from the defense of Masterson’s conviction.
Masterson starred with Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace in ‘That ’70s Show’ from 1998 until 2006.
He had reunited with Kutcher on the 2016 Netflix comedy ‘The Ranch,’ but was written off the show when an LAPD investigation was revealed the following year.
Kutcher’s plea for clemency for the convicted rapist, obtained this week by reporter Tony Ortega, saw the actor hail his incarcerated counterpart as a role model, while wife Kunis hailed him as a ‘dear friend.’
Fans on social media did not take too kindly too those assertions, and many made that clear on social media after several – including that of the younger Mastersons – were leaked this week.
In his letter to the judge, Kutcher wrote: ‘He’s an extraordinarily honest and intentional human being.
‘Over 25 year relationship I don’t ever recall him lying to me. He’s taught me about being direct and confronting issues in life and relationships head-on, resolving them, and moving forward.’
‘Danny is a person that is consistently there for you when you need him.
‘Not only is he a good friend to me I’ve witnessed him be a good friend to others and the kind of brother others would be lucky to have.’
Kunis, who has been married to Kutcher for eight years, said she ‘wholeheartedly’ vouched for Masterson’s ‘exceptional character’ and the ‘tremendous positive influence’ he has on those around him, including her.
Kunis said: ‘Danny Masterson’s warmth, humor, and positive outlook on life have been a driving force in shaping my character and the way I approach life’s challenges.
She went to assert that Masterson is an ‘outstanding role model’ and celebrated his strength to stay away from drugs.
‘His dedication to avoiding all substances has inspired not only me but also countless others in our circle,’ Kunis wrote.
‘Danny’s steadfastness in promoting a drug-free lifestyle has been a guiding light in my journey through the entertainment world and has helped me prioritize my well-being and focus on making responsible choices.’
She continued: ‘His unwavering commitment to being an exceptional older brother figure to me has had a transformative impact on my life, instilling in me a sense of self-belief and encouraging me to aim for greatness, but all while maintaining a sense of humility.’
‘His dedication to leading a drug-free life and the genuine care he extends to others make him an outstanding role model and friend.’