Two of Danny Masterson’s former lawyers, Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum, have been sanctioned for sharing confidential discovery material with the Church of Scientology to help aid Masterson in his rape trial.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo ruled Wednesday that the former legal team leaked criminal material related to allegations from Masterson’s accusers that claim they were being stalked and harassed, reports the Hollywood Reporter.
Mesereau and Appelbaum reportedly shared the materials with attorney Vicki Podberesky, who represented the church in a lawsuit filed by the women.
Podberesky then used the information to file a complaint in the trial, claiming prosecutors were soliciting false testimony to use against Masterson.
The church’s complaint was “demonstrably false,” Judge Olmedo wrote in court documents.
Prior to Masterson’s rape conviction in May, it was revealed that a lawyer for the Church of Scientology had received criminal discovery material in the civil suit, with information including photos and texts sharing the addresses and license plate numbers of the female accusers.
Judge Olmedo said the action “flies in the face of both statutory and case law authority” and said she “made numerous statements during contested discovery hearings repeatedly telling the defense that the criminal discovery process would not be used for discovery in civil cases.”
Mesereau, a successful Hollywood defense lawyer, also represented Bill Cosby in his criminal proceedings and helped Michael Jackson win an acquittal in 2005.