Danny Masterson's Rift With His Stepfather Explained

The following article includes mentions of rape and sexual assault.

Danny Masterson has been a Scientologist since his stepdad, Joe Reaiche, and mom, Carol Masterson, joined the organization and took her kids along for the ride. The disgraced actor remains close to his mother and siblings but no longer has contact with Reaiche. So, what's behind Masterson's rift with his stepfather?

Danny told Paper magazine that he began Scientology coursework at around age 8. Still, he really started digging into the doctrine at 15. He's become an outspoken defender of the controversial organization and is a valued and prized member. Or, was, perhaps, given his recent troubles. Danny's fall from grace has been slow but hard. Per People, in 2017, three women accused the actor of sexually assaulting them in the early aughts. On September 7, a judge slapped Danny with the maximum sentence, 30 years, after a jury found him guilty on two counts of rape.

Danny's relationship with Scientology loomed front and center throughout the trial, much to his chagrin. LA magazine reports that his Scientologist attorney unsuccessfully attempted to suppress anything related to the organization's "practices and doctrines along with its alleged wrongdoing and any expert testimony regarding the same," effectively removing any mention of Scientology from the proceedings. Danny's mom, siblings, and wife, Bijou Phillips, certainly stuck by his side; they were in court daily during his trial. However, his stepdad, Joe Reaiche, was noticeably absent.

You're family until you're not

Per the Daily Mail, Danny Masterson was nine when his mom, Carol Masterson, and stepdad, Joe Reaiche, pledged their allegiance to Scientology's Sea Org for a billion years. They moved the family to its Florida HQ in 1985 to fully immerse themselves in the organization. Reaiche and Carol welcomed Danny's half-sister, Alanna Reaiche, and half-brother, Jordan Reaiche. By all accounts, they were one big happy family. But shortly after the family moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to concentrate on the kids' Hollywood careers, it all started deteriorating.

According to Rolling Stone, Carol and Reaiche divorced in 1995. Still, he initially remained close to his ex-wife, Danny, his other step-kids, and his biological children. But in 2005, Reaiche, who had reached the highest echelons of Sea Org by age 23, was expelled from Scientology and deemed a "suppressive person." By the time he could call his kids, they'd severed all and any contact with him. They changed their last name to Masterson and haven't spoken to their father since. Danny has totally cut him out of his life, too.

Reaiche was left heartbroken but unable to remedy the situation in any way. "Don't get me wrong. Sure, it's a loss not having your children you raised, but now, in my mind, it's like they died," he told The Mail. "They're dead mentally because I can't speak to them. Not that I don't love my kids, but what do you do?"

The great divide

Joe Reaiche shared in an interview with "Growing Up Scientology" that he'd been close with Danny Masterson as a child. "Danny was 9 years old [when I married his mom].....I raised him as a stepdad. What happened afterward, with the divorce and his life, that's his decision. Good or bad, right or wrong, he lives with it," Reaiche said. "But I still was [a part of Danny's life]," he continued.

However, that all changed after Reaiche was expelled from Scientology in 2005 and branded a "suppressive person" following some unknown transgression. His ex-wife, Carol Masterson, step-kids, Danny, Christopher, and Will Masterson, and his biological kids, ‚Äč‚ÄčAlanna and Jordan Masterson, haven't spoken a word to him since. Still, he told Rolling Stone that Scientology will never turn its back on Danny, even though he's a convicted rapist. "They're all about protecting their public relations," Reaiche said. "If they turn on Danny and they turn on the family, now you've got Leah Remini times five." Funnily enough, Remini was also in court daily along with Danny's family. However, she definitely wasn't there to support the actor.

"He changed after he had [That '70s Show] in 1998. That's definitely true. Because now he's making money. Now he's... famous," Reaiche told US Weekly. "He was a good kid. He didn't like school. He was an athlete. [He] had a great father," he continued. "He turned to the dark side for whatever stupid reason that he did."