Los Angeles police investigate 'That 70s Show' actor Danny Masterson in sex assaults

Actor Danny Masterson arrives at Warner Bros. Pictures' "Gangster Squad" premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, January 7, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "That 70s Show" actor Danny Masterson is being investigated for alleged sexual assault of three women, Los Angeles police said on Friday.

But Masterson, 40, said the claims were false and dated back more than 10 years.

The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that its homicide and sexual assault section was "conducting an investigation involving the actor Danny Masterson. Three women have come forward and disclosed that they were sexually assaulted by Masterson during the early 2000s."

The statement gave no details.

Masterson started his career as a child model and actor and got his break-out role in the 1998-2006 Fox television comedy series "That 70s Show," in which he played rebel adolescent Steven Hyde.

He is currently appearing in the Netflix comedy "The Ranch" and has been married to actress Bijou Phillips since 2011.

Masterson's representatives said in a statement they were aware of the allegations, which dated back 16 and 14 years.

One involved a former girlfriend of Masterson. "The alleged incident occurred in the middle of their six-year relationship, after which she continued to be his (Masterson's) longtime girlfriend," the statement said.

Another woman made allegations against Masterson about 14 years ago, and police "interviewed numerous witnesses and determined the claim had no merit," the statement said.

"These (are) false allegations," it added.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles and Jill Serjeant in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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