A resurfaced chat show clip of Danny Masterson is cast in a frightening new light after he was sentenced to 30 years in prison and life in prison for multiple counts of rape.
The video is from 2004, when the 47-year-old actor who played the lead role That 70’s showappeared on the NBC series Late Night with Conan O’Brien . The rapes for which he was convicted occurred a year earlier.
In the clip, Masterson, then 28, is asked by O’Brien why he no longer has a Long Island accent, even though he’s from the area. Masterson tells him that it “just goes away on its own, and then there are certain words that you can’t do anything about.”
The sitcom actor who starred in the Netflix comedy The ranch, then says that his friend, actor Bodhi Elfman, is “always teasing him about his voice,” creating an impression that Elfman does of him. “Hello, my name is Danny Masterson, would you like to touch my balls?” he says.
Here, a confused O’Brien asks, “So why are you asking people to do that?” That’s the bigger question,” to which Masterson replies, “I mean, you have it, you know what I mean? Everyone should get involved.”
O’Brien then says, after a pause, “I’ve heard of you.” And you’ll soon be caught. I know you will.” Without batting an eyelid, Masterson replies, “I will.”
Masterson was found guilty of two counts of forcible rape by a jury of seven women and five men on May 31 after seven days of deliberations. The verdict was handed down Thursday (Sept. 7) by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo after she rejected a defense request for a new trial.
“Mr Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s choice and voice. “Your actions 20 years ago today were criminal, and that is why you are here,” Judge Olmedo said.
After serving 30 years, he is eligible for parole.
The Independent asked O’Brien for comment.
Rape Crisis offers support for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. You can call them on 0808 802 9999 in England and Wales, 0808 801 0302 in Scotland and 0800 0246 991 in Northern Ireland or visit their website at www.rapecrisis.org.uk.
If you are in the US, you can call Rainn at 800-656-HOPE (4673).