Actor Danny Masterson is being investigated over allegations that he sexually assaulted three women more than a decade ago, Los Angeles police confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Friday.
Masterson, now 40 years old, played Steven Hyde on the hit That '70s Show, which ran from 1998 to 2006.
"The Los Angeles Police Department Robbery Homicide Division, Sexual Assault Section, is conducting an investigation involving the actor Danny Masterson," the department said. "Three women have come forward and disclosed that they were sexually assaulted by Masterson during the early 2000's."
The LAPD declined to elaborate on the circumstances of the sex assault allegations, or address a report that the women, who were allegedly drugged, came forward at the urging of actor Leah Remini because of her A&E series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
Remini has taken on the role of chief public scrutinizer of the Church of Scientology, with a highly critical book and TV series examining the impact of the church on its members.
A representative for Remini could not immediately be reached.
In a statement, Masterson's representative, Jenni Weinman Voake, called the assault allegations false and said they were meant to boost Remini’s "anti-Scientology television series." (BuzzFeed News does not generally identify alleged victims of sexual assault.)
We are aware of [alleged victim's] 16-year-old allegations. It was only after [alleged victim] was in contact with Leah Remini that she made allegations of sexual assault by Mr. Masterson.
The alleged incident occurred in the middle of their 6 year relationship, after which she continued to be his longtime girlfriend. Significantly, during their long relationship she made numerous inconsistent claims that she was previously raped by at least 3 other famous actors and musicians.
When Danny ended the relationship she continued to pursue him, even making threats to beat up his current wife Bijou Phillips unless she left him. In fact, we are informed by the Church that the only demand [alleged victim] made of the Church after Danny broke up with her was asking for their help to intervene so the breakup would not be permanent.
We are aware also that approximately 14 years ago a woman referred to in the blog made allegations of sexual assault and that the LADP interviewed numerous witnesses and determined the claim had no merit.
Based on reading the anti-Scientology blog that posted this story, these false allegations appear to be motivated to boost Leah Remini’s anti-Scientology television series since [alleged victim] only came forward after connecting with Leah Remini.
Season 1 of the show ended in January, and Masterson was never mentioned. He currently stars in the Netflix series The Ranch, which also features fellow That '70s Show actor Ashton Kutcher.
Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations.