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TRICIA VESSEY DESCRIBES 2ND INCIDENT: Danny Masterson Trial, Day 18, afternoon break report
[This report was produced live during a court hearing with a lot going on. There will be typos. Please don't email us about typos that you find.]
After lunch session.
We will be continuing with direct examination of actress Tricia Vessey.
If you missed our earlier notice, Ms. Vessey has given the Underground Bunker permission to reveal that she is Jane Doe 4.
Also, a note: She is a witness in the case, and Masterson is not being charged on her allegations.
Tricia is back on the stand. The jury is back in.
Mueller: I want to show you a photo. People's 38. [Shows a photo of close up of Tricia's face.] Do you recognize it?
What is it?
It is a still image from a film I did.
Is that you?
Do you know when it was taken?
I would think it was 1998?
OK. Would this be roughly how you looked in 1996 when this incident occurred?
By the way, how old were you in 1996?
23 or so.
Do you recall being at a location called the Air One?
Was this a time when you had another contact with the defendant since the incident.
Air One, what is that?
It's a health food store in Los Angeles.
And you ran into him there?
I was walking home from the store.
Do you know about how long after the 1996 incident?
But it was after.
I was walking and he was driving and he pulled over. And he was telling me I shouldn't walk and wanted to give me a ride.
How did you respond.
I said I was fine walking.
Anything else stands out?
He insisted on giving me a ride, so I ended up getting a ride from him. And I guess whenever I would come in contact with him after that point, I would find myself shaking and feeling kind of....
After the incident you were shaking?
After the incident.
So how did you feel when he drove up?
I mean I felt like he just had a way of making me feel very unnerved. And kind of I would shut down every time I would interact with him, including that time.
You accepted the ride though. Why?
He was just very like, Come on, get in the car. He just directed me to do it and my nervous system sort of shuts down and I don't know, I got the ride.
Did he take you home?
Anything about the drive that was unusual?
Any conversation during the ride?
After that, there was another time where you had run into him, correct?
And I believe this was a time you had been invited to Sean Piller's home.
Yeah, Sean had recently married and bought a house and was having a daytime housewarming party. It was at a later time and my son was a year, year and a half. So he and I went to Sean's house and Danny showed up.
Were others invited?
How many when you got there?
Maybe about a dozen, little more?
When you first got there was Masterson there?
What happened when he showed up.
I was hanging out in the kitchen with Sean and my son and some other people, and Danny came in with a young woman and I don't know who she was, and he started talking to Sean. And I went to go use the bathroom, and when I came out of the bathroom, Danny was in this, there's this vanity area, the room where the actual toilet was and then a vanity area and a door to Sean's bedroom. Danny was standing in the doorway between the vanity area and the bedroom. Not saying anything. Just blocking my exit, staring at me with what I thought was a threatening stare.
When you say blocking?
He was taking up the entire doorway, with his hands on the frame.
(Mueller describes how she held her hands.)
Did you say anything or do anything?
No, I just kind of started feeling shaky. I washed my hands and tried to ignore that he was doing that. And after I finished, I just went between his arm and the doors and ducked out. I went into the kitchen where my son was with Sean, and I told everybody that I had to go, and I got my son and left.
Did Mr. Masterson move at all as you tried to get passed him?
How long would you say he was standing there blocking the door.
I would say about a minute. I washed and jetted out pretty quickly.
And during that minute was he watching you?
Was anyone else in the bathroom at the time?
Sean Piller, did he have a friendship with Masterson at that time?
How long were you there before Masterson showed up.
Maybe about an hour.
Were you aware that he was coming?
When you left with your son did you explain to anyone why you were leaving?
Did anyone ask you why you were leaving?
No, just sort of, where are you going?
Why did you leave?
I was disturbed by Danny, by what he did, and I didn't feel comfortable being there.
Before that, had there been any talk between him and you?
I want to talk a little about JD2. You said you know her.
Through a mutual actor friend that I had worked with.
Was there a time in 2013 when you and JD2 had gotten together to just talk about things.
Yes, she was coming to New York. Her aunt had passed away, so we got together to have tea.
Just the two of you?
Was there any, did JD2 at that time tell you anything that got your attention?
Um, yeah. She told me that Danny Masterson raped her.
Did she talk about details?
No. At that point we had finished having tea and she wanted to go into some shops. So we were in a public place. I sort of changed the subject because I understood that she was a Scientologist. (Obj, sustained)
How did the subject come up?
She just told me.
And did you inquire any further about it?
Did you tell her what had happened to you in 1996?
After this 2013 meeting, were you in contact with JD2 at any time after that?
Not until I think maybe 2018 or, I don't remember exactly when it was.
Did you say 2018 or 2019?
I said 2018. I don't exactly know when it was.
In person, on the phone?
I think it was a text message.
Was there a particular reason why you reached out?
Did you disclose anything to her at that time about your incident with Masterson?
What did you disclose? (Obj, sustained) After you disclosed your incident to her at that time (Rephrase) Did you get a response back?
And based on the response that you received, did you take any actions?
What was that?
I reached out to Det Vargas. And let him know about my incident.
And would have been about the same year?
It was shortly after I had the exchange with JD2.
Did you tell JD2 any details about your incident?
Did she tell you any details about hers?
And did you then report what happened to you to Det Vargas?
First time you ever reported to law enforcement?
Was there a reason you didn't report sooner?
What is that?
In 1996, I didn't feel like, I was told, I'm not sure how to say this without saying things I'm not supposed to say. (Rephrase, stricken)
In 1996, did you have a certain understanding of what happened that was different in 2018?
To some degree. I mean, I didn't process it in 1996, fully. I wasn't happy about it. I was upset. I understood it to be non-consensual. But I hadn't consciously actively categorized it as rape. And when I had heard about the case, it hit me. I remember thinking like, I don't know. I remember just, it hitting me fully and having to sit with that.
And at that point in time, did you have an understand that it was rape?
Do you have any concerns or fears about testifying here today?
Are those related to fears of any harassment or intimidation? (Obj, overruled)
Have you experienced to be what you believe is intimidation and harassment?
When did that begin? (Obj, overruled)
I would say the first incident a few months after I had talked to Det Vargas. Maybe four months, five months.
And you say there were a number of incidents.
There were two.
And those incidents, were they continuing today?
I don't know.
No further questions.
(Cohen asks for a sidebar.)
Judge Olmedo asks the jury to go into the jury room for just a couple of minutes.
Anson and Goldstein approach the witness and discuss something with her.
Brings the jury back in.
We are returning to direct testimony, for some reason.
Mueller: Was there a time when...
(Judge Olmedo apologizes and asks for a sidebar.)
Mueller: Was there a time when Mr. Masterson had showed up to where you were living, after the first incident, and he came to your home?
How soon did that occur after the first incident?
Probably a month?
How did he arrive?
He was in a Bronco with a bunch of other guys.
Did you know any of them?
Scott Kahn was in the Bronco.
Someone you knew?
I didn't know the others.
Were you alone in the apartment?
I was by myself.
Do you know how it is that Mr. Masterson knew where you were living?
Had you ever provided your address?
What happened when he showed up?
I was upstairs. The apartment was above garages, and so the first floor is above. I heard someone calling me. I could see Scott Kahn in the car. I came down. And, I don't know, there was just a lot of talking in the car. Then Danny got out, and they left.
Before they left, was there any discussion about why they were leaving?
No, it was just kind of a sudden thing?
Did you ask what was going on?
I don't remember the specifics. I just remember that I was kind of surprised and that it just happened.
How were you feeling at that time. This was a month after the first incident, and now he's driving up with a bunch of guys and he gets out and the others drive away.
Yeah, I was kind of shut down, the way I was around him. And he was in good spirits and really friendly.
So what happened when the others drove off?
We went upstairs and he gave me a drink.
Did he tell you that he wanted to go upstairs?
How did you feel about that.
I don't recall feeling anything.
Did you have any concerns.
I don't recall like taking it in or being able to really think about it.
You mention when he went upstairs he gave you a drink. Did he come with alcohol?
Yes. It was a flask.
What did he tell you about it.
He didn't say.
Did you have a drink?
Were you familiar with it?
I thought it was whisky.
Was he drinking as well?
I don't recall him, I don't have a specific memory of him actually drinking.
From that flask?
And who poured the drink.
I just drank out of the flask.
The flask, do you remember if it was full, half, roughly how much.
No, because it was opaque.
How big of a flask was it.
I couldn't say for certain, but it wasn't massive or anything. Just pretty standard flask.
Did you guys sit down, were you talking?
We were sitting down in my room and we were just talking.
Anything about the conversation raised any issues for you?
What happened next.
My memory became spotty. It went from we were sitting there talking, it just moved to him taking my pants and starting to have sex with me.
After you started drinking from this flask, can you tell us how you began feeling?
I mean I recall pretty quickly becoming incoherent.
What do you mean by that?
I just remember feeling extremely intoxicated, and things just sort of degrading, memory-wise. Or consciousness and what was happening.
How soon after you began drinking from this flask did you start experiencing that?
I don't know, within 15, 20 minutes?
Had you had any alcohol or drugs before he arrived?
Prior to him showing up, were you having any of those feelings that you just described?
You mentioned that your clothes started coming off.
Who was taking them off?
Danny. I have a memory of him pulling my pants off.
Do you remember getting into the bedroom.
Yeah, I think we went in there from the beginning. I had roommates, and we were just hanging out there.
Where in the apartment were your roommates at that time?
I'm not sure.
This apartment, there's different levels?
My roommates were on the third floor. (She describes the roommates being above her.)
When you're on the bed and he's removing your clothes, what was going through your mind?
I was telling him I didn't want to have sex with him.
And how did he respond.
He was laughing and just continued on.
When he's removing your clothes, how much get removed?
I just remember my pants and underwear. I feel like I was dressed from the waist up.
Was he saying anything?
The only thing I remember him saying was when he started to penetrate me, I was telling him to stop, but I was also telling him that he didn't have a condom and I was worried about it, and the only thing I remember him saying was diseases were in the mind.
What did he do when you told him to stop.
He ignored me.
He was penetrating you?
What part of him?
What part of you?
Before your clothes come off, was there any kissing or anything like that?
So the first physical contact was after he removed your clothes.
Was there any penetration with his fingers?
I don't recall that.
What do you recall as he's penetrating you.
I went completely unconscious and I don't remember anything until the following day.
How much time went from you drinking from the flask to going unconiscious, how much time was it?
35, 40 minutes?
You had had whisky before?
Had you ever had an experience like that drinking whisky before?
Can you articulate how much you had to drink?
Not very much. A couple of swigs.
Was there something remaining in the flask?
I don't know.
How long would you say from the time he started penetrating you to when you went unconscious.
I think it went pretty quickly. I remember the last thing before losing consciousness.
And what was that?
I asked about the condom, and he said diseases were in the mind. (Asked and answered, I'll allow it.)
I'm sorry, I missed it, what did he say?
(Judge Olmedo calls for a sidebar.)
Mueller: After you passed out what was your next memory.
Woke up the next morning, and Danny was there. And he asked me to give him a ride to his baseball game.
How were you feeling?
Really shaky and out of it. Again, like a very severe hangover type feeling. Headaches, sore.
Where were you sore?
Same as before, my vagina and my anus.
When you woke up, did you have any clothes on?
Everything but my pants and my underwear.
When you woke up, do you recall how your body was positioned?
I don't. I was pretty out of it. He woke me up. I didn't wake up on my own.
Do you recall what time of the day?
And what did he say when he woke you up.
He just asked if I could give him a ride to his baseball game.
Did he say anything about what happened that night?
Did you say anything about it?
Did you then give him a ride?
During that ride, did he say anything to you that got your attention?
Not that I can remember.
No further questions.
Cohen: You have previously given an interview to Det Vargas, is that right?
And that interview was in 2019?
I don't remember the exact date and year.
Well, whenever you gave that interview you were truthful with him?
And you were truthful with the jury today?
The buildup to incident number one was this kind of really aggressive staring by Mr. Masterson.
I don't quite understand what you're saying.
(She's having a hard time understanding him, asks him to speak clearly)
At the wrap party, you talked about this very intense kind of scary stare that Masterson was giving you.
And it made you incredibly uncomfortable.
And after incident number one, when you woke up the next morning, you immediately realizes something very bad had happened between you and him.
And whether you realized it was rape or not, you realized it was without consent.
Following incident number one, you indicated that you would start shaking whenever you came in contact with him after that point.
Fair to say you were terrified of him after incident one?
I wouldn't characterize it as terrified.
Well, you would start shaking.
You were incredibly nervous.
I assume you would be frightened.
I didn't use the word frightened.
I understand, but during the staring and then after the incident, you were frightened to be around him?
I would not use the word frightened.
You weren't frightened of him.
I was, initially you said terrified, which is pretty extreme.
Well, what he did was terrifying, right?
After the first incident you didn't think of it as rape.
I hadn't processed it as rape. I testified to that pretty clearly. I was unnerved by him. He would present different aspects at different times, and I found him unnerving and confusing.
With all of that said, you would start shaking when you were around him.
Yes, as I've said many times.
Then, about a month later, you are alone in your apartment complex (Misstates) No it *doesn't* (smart tone, Olmedo tells them both to lower tone) You're alone at your apartment and the car arrives.
You said you didn't know how Masterson knew where you lived.
But after incident one, you got a ride home. Did you tell Vargas that you got a ride home so Masterson knew where you lived. (Obj) Did you tell Det Vargas that you got a ride home so that's how Masterson knew?
I don't remember saying that specifically.
Would it help to look at a transcript?
Sure. (Checks.) Yeah.
So my question is, did you tell Det Vargas that he knew where you lived as a result of incident.
I said "he might have." I mean I was clearly, when I reread that it was pretty sure if he knew where I live, because I said "I guess," for example.
Did you tell Det Vargas, Deputy DA Mueller was there too?
No? Would it help to look at the transcript?
Well I spoke to Det Vargas twice. I'm not sure which you're referring to.
Did you tell either of them about a ride home the next day, "so he knew where I lived."
I guess. I would emphasize, "I guess."
So Masterson and his friends are outside your house. Back in 1996, were you drinking quite frequently (Obj, sustained) Did you tell Deputy DA Mueller that when you would drink, things would happen. (Obj, sustained) So Masterson is outside your house, and he says to you, hey, do you want to have a drink?
He never said that?
Do you recall what you told Deputy DA Mueller regarding your interaction with Masterson?
I recall him showing up. I recall the group of guys.
Do you recall what you told Mr. Mueller was the conversation when he was outside your house before incident 2.
No, I don't recall telling him anything about that.
Would it help to look at a transcript.
Sure. (Checks.) OK
Do you recall he was outside your house and said 'hey, let's have a drink.'
I don't recall telling Mr. Mueller, specifically, 'let's have a drink.'
You also gave a statement to Det Vargas.
Do you recall telling him, that Masterson was outside and called up to your window
He said hey, what are you doing.
But it wasn't just him. It was others too.
And then Masterson said, do you want to hang out, correct?
I don't recall that specific statement.
Do you recall telling Det Vargas, OK.
I was, in attitude, OK, but I don't know if the conversation was specifically that.
My question is, do you recall telling Det Vargas, when he said do you want to hang out, you said OK.
Would it help to review the transcript.
No, you're reading it.
So it's your position that it wouldn't help refresh.
Well, you're reading it and it's not triggering a memory.
Let me be very clear. When Masterson said you want to hang out, was your response "OK"?
I can't say what my exact phrasing was, but he was there and wanted to hang out and I did.
And you then let Masterson into your apartment.
And went with him into your bedroom.
And none of your roommates were home.
Not to my recollection.
Were you shaking?
Let's get the time frame clear if I can please. Incident 1 and 2 both take place in 1996.
And your religion is not Scientology.
That's correct, I'm not a Scientologist.
You do not report this incident 1 and 2 to anybody. To anybody. Until 2019.
And that was a conversation you had with JD2, one of the Jane Does in this case.
In fact, following incident 1 and 2, would it be accurate that you had not thought about it one single bit since it happened.
That's not correct.
Did you tell Det Vargas that since the incidents you had not thought about it "one single bit" until 2019.
I did say that to him, but it was more that I hadn't processed it. There were multiple times that it came to mind.
I just want to be clear. When you interviewed with Det Vargas in 2019, you indicated to him your experience with Masterson, you had not thought about one single bit since it happened.
I said that.
And I asked earlier, when you spoke to him you were truthful.
Did you tell Det Vargas, even now I don't feel comfortable categorizing it as rape.
And were you truthful to him?
Did you indicate to Det Vargas that it took for you to become a 47-year-old woman to come to the conclusion that your interaction with him was non-consensual.
I don't know if that's exactly what I was saying. Is that verbatim?
Would it help to look at a transcript?
Sure. (Checks.) Yes.
Before you spoke to Det Vargas and said that it took you becoming a woman to determine that this was not consensual, the only person you had spoken to about it was JD2.
In reaching this conclusion in 2019, do you think there's a chance that that conclusion has perhaps reshaped how you look back on your experience (Obj, overruled)
It impacted how I view it. It hasn't impacted how I recall it.
You used a few different words about your experiences. One called him very demanding.
You described him as barking orders.
I don't recall, but I think it's applicable.
Did you use any of those terms with Det Vargas?
I don't recall.
I recall conveying how he was.
My question is do you recall using those terms with Mueller?
I don't recall.
After your interviews, you had some interaction with JD2.
Were you aware that JD2 has testified in this trial?
Yes, I'm aware.
Let's talk about the discussion you had with her in New York in 2013. She had told you that Masterson had raped her.
Did she tell you that she had wanted romance with him?
Did she tell you that she had been OK with him fingering her?
Did she tell you that she had stayed at his house until 6 am talking with him?
Did she tell you that when she left, she thought they were going to start dating?
Did she tell you that she expected him to call her?
Did she tell you that after three or four days she reached out to him?
Did she tell you that she actually asked him if he would set her up with a friend of his?
When she told you that he had raped her, you made no mention of any kind of your own experience with him?
As I understand, based on your prior interview, in 2017, you read some article about Mr. Masterson.
It was right before I contacted JD2. And right before I spoke with Vargas. So I don't know the exact date, but that would be the time frame.
When you interviewed with Vargas, which was in 2019, did you tell him that maybe two years ago you had seen some article about Masterson.
The article that I saw was only within like a month at the most before talking to Vargas for the first time.
OK, but did you tell him that you had seen a Facebook feed, about two years regarding Masterson?
The two years isn't accurate. I don't know where the two years is coming in.
Judge Olmedo says it's time for an afternoon recess.
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