By ANDREW DALTON
AP entertainment writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A lawyer from danny masterson challenged his longtime ex-girlfriend during cross-examination Wednesday about why her trial testimony, alleging the actor raped her in 2001, included several new details missing from the accounts she gave authorities at the start of the investigation.
“Is your testimony today that you can now remember things in 2023 that you didn’t remember in 2017?” Masterson’s attorney, Shawn Holley, asked the model and actor who is the first witness to take the stand in a Los Angeles courtroom in Masterson’s three-count rape trial.
The woman responded that her memory had not improved, but that it “opened up more than before” a day earlier when she described a seizure by Masterson, then her boyfriend of five years, at their Hollywood-area home.
She testified on Tuesday that she woke up to find Masterson on top of her and raped her, that he yelled at her to stop, that he put all his weight on her and pinned her arms, and that he finally got her to stop by pulling on her hair. He responded by hitting her in the face and spitting on her.
Holley focused on each of these elements in her cross-examination, asking why she had not mentioned in her initial interviews with LAPD detectives and a prosecutor in 2017 that she had said she was simply trying to sleep when she found Masterson. . trying to have sex with her.
“That’s the same for me,” she replied, “I’m a southerner, we say trying to when we mean you’re doing it.”
Holley also suggested that her testimony made no physical sense when she said that Masterson was looking at her with “dead eyes” the whole time as he put his full weight on her.
“I’m trying to understand how a person’s dead weight can be on your body and how their head can be suspended above your head.” Holley said.
The woman replied that “I only remember seeing his face and feeling him on me, I don’t remember where his hands were.”
Holley also asked why she didn’t mention Masterson holding her arms above her head in the hours she spent talking to police and prosecutors in 2017.
The woman explained that she did not reveal all the details in those initial interviews, and that she had not understood at the time how precise and careful she would have to be. Now that she’s given multiple interviews with officials and testified in court at both Masterson’s preliminary hearing and her first trial last year, she knows better.
“I wish I had understood that in the first interview you have with a detective or a prosecutor you have to make sure that your words are very literal and that you have to give all the details,” the woman said. “Because, respectfully, someone like you is going to challenge me on that. I don’t like to talk about things and it takes me a long time to talk about things, and I was doing the best I could and I was being honest.”
She was breathing hard, often apologetic, and occasionally emotional when questioned, but she remained composed.
The Associated Press does not usually name people who say they have been sexually abused.
The model and actor was in a relationship with Masterson from 1996 to 2002. She first went to the police to report him in late 2016.
Masterson was ultimately charged with raping three women. at his home between 2001 and 2003, when he was at the height of his fame as the star of the sitcom “That ’70s Show.”
Masterson, 47, could receive 45 years in prison if convicted on all three counts.
She has pleaded not guilty and her lawyers have said the decades-old stories told by the women are full of inconsistencies and are not credible.
Mistrial was declared at the end of his first trial in November, with less than half of the jurors voting to convict him on any of the three counts. The prosecutors chose try again when the women agreed to testify again.