Tony Ortega Responds to Aaron Smith-Levin Over Exploitation

Interviewer: “Now there was another event that occurred and something I wanted to ask you about because I’m also slightly confused about it. We had Kathleen J give testimony. She was the uncharged but historical figure, you know, witness that was brought in, who was also sexually assaulted by Daniel, allegedly by Danny Masterson. And she gave testimony to that fact. And in the course of that testimony, she mentioned you and then as the result of that there was a subpoena. And you know, you you know, dodged that good, cuz I thought that was a little disturbing, but I didn’t quite get what was the point of that?”

Tony Ortega: “So in October 2021 – so almost two full years ago – somebody, some other people seem to think it’s much more recent, but almost two years ago, Kathleen J up in Toronto tweeted that she was also a Danny Masterson victim and so I was curious about that.’

“So I contacted her, very clearly as a reporter working on a story. I had never spoken to her before. And I had a nice long conversation with her. She sent me a picture of herself from the year 2000 for my story.  Very clear what I was doing and I have a story. ‘

“Now subsequent to that, she went to the Toronto PD, she testified about how she’s been working with a memory expert. And so by the time she got called to come down to trial, she’s remembered some things that are different than what I wrote about.’

“And so she testified. And of course, the defense wanted to exploit that. They want they wanted to show the jury that what she told me two years ago is different than what she’s saying on the stand.’

“Now, as a journalist, I don’t want to be involved and I don’t care what they think of my story. I’m not there to be used to contradict a rape victim.’

“So when they brought a subpoena to me, I got a hold of my attorney that night and he wrote me a letter to give to the judge, reminding her that two years ago, they also tried to subpoena me. Tom Mesereau did, for my records involving the other victims and she had quashed it.’

“So he reminded her of that, but also, the California Constitution has a strong reporter shield law that if you’re going to drag a reporter into the case, at least have to give them some time and have a hearing about that. That’s what Scott said with that letter. I thought there’s no way, you know. This, that’s killer, and it was. So the next morning, Judge Olmedo had asked the two sides if they’d worked out something acceptable to both sides, so you don’t need this reporter and they hadn’t been able to come agreement’.

“She said, Okay, well, you know, I got a letter from Mr. Ortega’s attorney and according to the constitution, he’s right. I can’t consider this for at least five days, so we’ll have to put this whole trial on hold, closing arguments, I’ll just see you next Wednesday.’

“I mean, she I mean, you know, she was just trying to put pressure on them. And so of course, nobody wants that. And so the two sides worked out a stipulation about what my article said without me having to testify about that or anything, whether that’s going to have any effect on the jury who knows.’

“Again, my involvement was simply that I called up this woman who said she was a Danny Masterson  victim two years ago and wrote a story. And she said some different things this time. And again, people have asked me about that, some of the things she said about me…. Look, I have… we’re still waiting for a verdict? You think I’m going to say anything about that? And even after the verdict, I may not say anything, I just I refuse to put myself, even if I have a different you know, recollection of what happened, I refuse to put myself in a position of contradicting or criticizing a rape victim. And if that means some people think bad things about me?”

“Well then okay.”



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