The Associated Press reported that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has issued a warrant for the 44-year-old actor’s arrest on charges of “three counts of rape by force or fear.”
“Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify,” his lawyer Tom Mesereau told TMZ.
“Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out,” the attorney continued. “The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”
Phillips and Masterson, who are both Scientologists, have been married since 2011. She stood by his side in 2017, when he first faced rape allegations in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Masterson denied the accusations but was fired from his Netflix show, The Ranch, 10 months later.
“I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of The Ranch,” Masterson said in a statement at the time. “From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Phillips Apparently Deleted Her Instagram Account
Though she didn’t frequently post on social media, Phillips deleted her Instagram page. She used to occasionally post about Masterson, writing a Valentine’s Day post for their daughter, Fianna.
“Happy Birthday little lady! I love you so much, my two Valentines! First ‘I love you’ ‘05 and our baby ‘2014 all the same magical day of love,” she wrote.
Masterson had tagged Phillips’ handle in various photos, though the page is no longer active. It wasn’t immediately clear if she started a new page.
2. Phillips Is the Daughter of John Phillips from the Mamas & the Papas
Phillips’ father is John Phillips, best known for his music with the Mamas & the Papas. “My dad was a great dad,” Phillips told the Guardian in 2002. “An awesome dad. He had his own problems. He took custody of me, he took me to school every single day, made me breakfast, picked me up, made me dinner.”
Her half-sisters are Mackenzie Phillips and Chynna Phillips. She also has a brother and a half brother. She is the youngest sibling.
Like her famous family members, Phillips is also an entertainer. According to her profile on IMDb, her best-known films include Almost Famous (2000), Bully (2001), Havoc (2005) and The Bridge to Nowhere (2009).
Her mother, South African actress Geneviève Waïte, died last year at 71 years old.
“Our beautiful Mother, Geneviève Waïte Phillips, passed away in her sleep,” Phillips said in a statement to People magazine. “She was a beautiful [a] soul, and born from another planet. Her ideas, her songs, her voice, and her heartbeat to a beautiful African rhythm no one else had and I am so thankful she was able to share it.”
3. Phillips Has Had Her Own Health Battles
In February 2017 the actress was revealed she was diagnosed with kidney disease. She had been dealing with the illness for years, but the family made a public announcement after she was hospitalized for a blood infection, TMZ reported. Though she needed a transplant, the family was “optimistic,” saying they found a friend who was a match.
“Bijou was born with small kidneys and has been quietly dealing with kidney disease for the last five years, including being on the transplant list,” Masterson said in a statement to Entertainment Online. “In an effort to heal her body she has led a stress-free life with a vegan diet, which eventually wasn’t enough, and she’s been privately having dialysis.”
In April of 2017, Phillips received a kidney transplant. “My lady has been slowing dying for the past 7 years of an incurable kidney disease. She was given the gift of an encore by a tall angel. Our daughter will have a mother,” Masterson wrote on Instagram. “We do not take lightly how incredibly fortunate we are. 100 percent successful transplant.”
4. Phillips Gay-Shamed ‘Mean Girls’ Star Daniel Franzese
Daniel Franzese and Phillips worked together on the movie Bully. In a Facebook post in November 2017, the Mean Girls star shared a story about Phillips to bring awareness to homophobia.
“I was harassed by Bijou Phillips the entire shoot. She body shamed me and ridiculed me about my sexuality and physically assaulted me,” he wrote. “I was scared and closeted and feared for my job.”
“… As we were shooting she kept loudly saying ‘Are you gay?!’ and laughing,” he recalled. He wrote that he reluctantly told her he was bi, noting “Q” wasn’t an option yet at the time.
“She cackled and said ‘HA! He’s bi!’ And then when I showed up to work the next day in front of the crew she was screaming ‘Oh look! The Bi guy is here!'” Franzese remembered. “I was playing straight in the film and in life and so fearful of my job because it was my first movie.”
Phillips denied being homophobic in a statement to TMZ. “I want to write to address what Daniel has said. I don’t remember that time well, those years are a blur. I was a teenager and reckless in my behavior,” she said. “I know Daniel to be a trustworthy and honest person, and to find out through social media that I was not the friend I thought I was to him made me so sad.”
She continued, “I am so mortified by this behavior and have contacted Daniel and apologized to him privately. I am not and never have been homophobic. I have nothing but love for the LGBTQ community and Daniel.”
5. Phillips & Masterson Met at a Celebrity Poker Tournament
The couple met in Las Vegas in 2005 when they were seated next to each other at a celebrity poker tournament, E! Online noted. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight.
“Every guy at the table was flirting with me but Danny,” she recounted to Paper magazine in 2009. “He wasn’t laughing at my jokes. I was like, ‘who is this Danny Masterson and what does he think he’s doing?’”
Masterson only knew Phillips for her reputation, describing her as a “little crazy girl.”
“After Vegas, and talking to her a few times, I was shocked by how unbelievably intelligent she was,” he told the magazine. “She knew every book I had ever read. I was like, this girl is amazing.”
They had some things in common, like preference in music and growing up in the limelight. Masterson grew up with Scientology and Phillips also joined the church.
After Masterson was charged with rape, former Scientologist Leah Remini — who has become a crusader to expose the secretive and controversial church — said Masterson’s charges could spell the end for Scientology.
“Finally, victims are being heard when it comes to Scientology! Praise the lord!” she tweeted, sharing a news alert from the Associated Press. “This is just the beginning Scientology, your days of getting away with it is coming to an end!”