The video is taken from 2004 when the 47-year-old actor, who starred in That ’70s Show, appeared on the NBC series Late Night with Conan O’Brien . The rapes he has been convicted of happened one year earlier.
In the clip, Masterson, then 28, is asked by O’Brien why he no longer has a Long Island accent despite being from the area. Masterson tells him that it “just goes away naturally, and then there’s also certain words that there’s nothing you can do about”.
The sitcom actor, who starred in Netflix comedy The Ranch, then says that his friend, the actor Bodhi Elfman, “always teases” him about his voice, launching into an impression Elfman does of him. “Hi, my name is Danny Masterson, would you like to touch my balls?” he says.
Here, a confused O’Brien asks, “So why are you asking people to do that? That’s the more important question,” to which Masterson replies: “I mean, you got ’em, you know what I mean? Everybody should grab.”
O’Brien, in what could be construed as continuing the joke, then says after a pause: “I’ve heard about you. And you’ll be caught soon. I know you will.” Without missing a beat, Masterson fires back: “I will.”
Masterson was found guilty of two counts of forcible rape by a jury of seven women and five men on 31 May, following seven days of deliberation. The sentence was handed down on Thursday (7 September) by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F Olmedo, after she had rejected a defence motion for a new trial.
“Mr Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s choice and voice. Your actions 20 years ago today were criminal, and that’s why you are here,” Judge Olmedo said.
He will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years.
The Independent has contacted O’Brien for comment.
Rape Crisis offers support for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. You can call them on 0808 802 9999 in England and Wales, 0808 801 0302 in Scotland, and 0800 0246 991 in Northern Ireland, or visit their website at www.rapecrisis.org.uk.
If you are in the US, you can call Rainn on 800-656-HOPE (4673)