Danny Masterson's Trial Moving Forward. How Ex-Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley Could Get Roped In

The legal team representing former That ‘70s Show star Danny Masterson has recently made attempts to squash his impending trial over accusations of rape and more, from falling back on previously failed tactics to using billionaire Rick Caruso’s anti-Scientology ads as justification to delay the proceedings. Such pleas were rejected by Judge Charlaine Olmedo, however, who confirmed the actor’s trial would go forward as planned, while making other rulings on the case. But it appears there may be plans in place for the prosecution to call up former Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley as a witness.

Danny Masterson’s trial is set to begin on Tuesday, October 11, barring any successful last-minute attempts to stall things. He’s facing three charges of forcible rape involving three women, with the alleged crimes taking place from 2001-2003, which could land him in prison for upwards of 45 years if he’s found guilty of all three. And it appears there’s a chance the case could be tipped in one direction or another by Lisa Marie Presley, who’d earlier this year publicly supported the release of Austin Butler as her father in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis

According to Tony Ortega’s The Underground Bunker, while Judge Olmedo reportedly denied the prosecution’s request to bring in another female accuser as an expert witness, it’s expected that Presley will be called in as a witness at some point in the trial. Details about her potential connections aren’t known, for obvious reasons, but her involvement would likely confirm suspicions that she was the “Lisa” being referenced during Masterson’s preliminary hearing in 2021. 

During the hearing, the victim identifying as Jane Doe 1 made multiple references to a friend named “Lisa,” who was connected to a friend of Masterson’s named Luke Watson, an actor that Presley was romantically tied to in the late 1990s. Both of them were heavily involved with the Church of Scientology at the time, with Presley remaining a follower until 2016, when she abruptly exited tied to her attempts to call leader David Miscavige out for the treatment of his father Ron, who’d burned many bridges upon leaving the Church in 2012. 

Jane Doe 1 claimed that after Danny Masterson sexually assaulted her in 2003, he demanded she not tell anyone, saying in part:

You’re not going to tell fucking Lisa. You’re not going to fucking tell anybody.

Despite suspicions that Lisa Marie Presley was being referenced, she hadn't been specifically tied to the trial in any way. As such, her arrival in the courtroom could have major reverberations depending on what she'd be testifying about. 

Masterson’s last regular TV role before everything went widely public was alongside his former That ‘70s Show co-star Ashton Kutcher for The Ranch, which is still available to stream with a Netflix subscription. The actor will not be involved with the streaming service’s upcoming sequel series That ‘90s Show, which wrapped filming in July after bringing back other co-stars such as Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis and more. Albeit only for super-limited returns.

With the trial kicking off on October 11 with jury selection, more details will likely be coming soon, though it’s unclear how long the legal drama could play out before a verdict is reached.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.