Danny Masterson attorney crosses Jane Doe 1 while avoiding the ‘Scientology’ elephant
Yesterday was another busy one for us at the Danny Masterson trial as we watched defense attorney Philip Cohen cross-examine alleged rape victim Jane Doe 1.
In our video after yesterday’s session, we told our subscribers some of our thoughts about Cohen’s performance (and we’ve included the video below). But we had an additional thought about it we wanted to add this morning.
And that’s this: After more than a day of cross-examination, Philip Cohen has yet to use the word “Scientology.”
Given how hard he tried to get the word out of the trial altogether, we suppose that shouldn’t be surprising.
He’s also not made an issue of how much time passed between Jane Doe 1’s initial report to the LAPD in June 2004 and the investigation’s resurrection in 2016. He said that this wasn’t going to be a focus of his defense of Masterson. Instead he’s been focused entirely on the statements that Jane Doe 1 gave to the LAPD and to Deputy DA Mueller over time.
As we mentioned on the video, we’re hearing some doubts from observers in the courtroom that this has been very effective. And we also noticed in the comments yesterday that it was a little bewildering the way he jumped back and forth between 2003 and 2016 and 2004 and 2017, etcetera.
And yes, at one point we looked over while he was formulating one of those questions, and only a couple of the jurors seemed to be looking at him. Well, their opinion is the only one that matters, but we won’t hear what that is for quite a while, so let’s just sit tight.
A question that has come up, and this was something we were discussing with other reporters yesterday, was about the order of witnesses. We don’t know what Deputy DAs Mueller and Anson have in store for us, but we’re curious about a basic concept: Will they follow Jane Doe 1 with other witnesses relevant to her allegations before moving on to the next alleged victim? Or start with the three victims first?
In the preliminary hearing, the order of witnesses was Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 3, and then Jane Doe 2. We suspect that they will keep that same order for the trial. But our question is, after Jane Doe 1 is done testifying, will they immediately move to Jane Doe 3, or will they first put on witnesses related to Jane Doe 1’s allegations, such as Lisa Marie Presley and Marty Singer? Or will they have all three victims testify first and then move to Lisa Marie and Singer and Jordan Ladd and Cedric Bixler-Zavala and the rest?
We don’t know, and we’d be interested to hear from our legal contributors what they think.
Also, speaking of chatting with other reporters, it’s been a real pleasure to meet the other journalists assigned to this case. They have told us some kind things about the Bunker, and they are intensely interested in Scientology and how it relates to this case. They are pros and care about getting the story, but they’re also very pleasant people and we’ve had a very good time getting to know them.
One of them is Dominic Patten of Deadline, who has done terrific coverage of this story. And yesterday, he noticed that in the parallel civil case, Bixler v. Scientology, the church has made a new filing saying that it plans to enter new motions on the docket as the next hearing approaches on Tuesday.
We just wanted to add a note in order to clear up what might be a slight misconception about the current situation in the lawsuit which seems to be circulating on places like YouTube. The civil case has been on hold, but Scientology has been on record as opposing a stay in the lawsuit because the criminal case was going on. Scientology did want a stay, but only because it was petitioning the US Supreme Court, not because Danny was being prosecuted in criminal court. It was the plaintiffs who were asking for a stay while the criminal case was going on and Scientology actually opposed it. And now that its petition has been denied by the Supremes, Scientology is apparently raring to get the civil case going again. (However, they know that Danny doesn’t want any discovery going on while he’s on trial, so Scientology is all right with that part being on hold.)
Anyway, we’ll try to keep an eye on any new motions being filed over there, but we do admit it’s a bit tougher now that we’re kind of busy with the trial.
Also, speaking of other journalists, as we noted in one of our updates yesterday, we were finally convinced by Marjorie Hernandez of the New York Post that one of the members of the Masterson family section is, in fact, Mackenzie Phillips, the sister of Danny Masterson’s wife, Bijou Phillips. We hadn’t seen her in a while and we didn’t recognize her at first. But yes, she’s there, along with her sister. Danny’s siblings Christopher, Alanna, and Jordan were there again yesterday, but Bijou’s brother-in-law Billy Baldwin did not make another appearance this time.
And we want to thank Shorpy for suggesting something we should have done a while ago, and that’s to give you a visual of the court layout…
1. Judge Olmedo
2. Jane Doe 1
3. Court reporter
4. Court clerk
6. Danny Masterson
7. Philip Cohen
8. Karen Goldstein
9. Ariel Anson
10. Reinhold Mueller
11. The Masterson Clan
12. Your Proprietor
13. Jeffrey Augustine
14. Various reporters across the back row.
We hope that helps you visualize things as we go in for another foray. And here’s yesterday afternoon’s video, which was sent out to Substack subscribers…
Today’s session is starting late, at 10 am Pacific (1 pm Eastern, 6 pm in London) so Judge Olmedo can deal with another case, and she’s letting us out early today, at 3 pm, so we’ll be sending fewer reports as a result. But we will have another video at the end of the day here at the Substack.
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Source Code: Actual things founder L. Ron Hubbard said on this date in history
Avast, Ye Mateys: Snapshots from Scientology’s years at sea
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