Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis explained why they wrote letters in support of former That ’70s Show costar Danny Masterson after his conviction for two counts rape.
“We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” Kutcher, 45, said alongside Kunis in a video shared via Instagram on Saturday, September 9.
“We support victims,” Kunis, 40, said. “We have done this historically through our work and we will continue to do so in the future.”
The couple, who married in 2015, made headlines after it was reported that they penned letters to Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo ahead Masterson’s Thursday, September 7, court date, where the 47-year-old was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison after being convicted of two counts of rape.
Kutcher explained that they wrote the letters at the request of Masterson’s family. “A couple of months ago, Danny and his family reached out to us, and they asked us to write character letters to represent the person that we knew for 25 years so that the judge could take that into full consideration, relative to the sentencing,” he said.
Kunis added that their messages “were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling.”
“They were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or re-traumatize them in any way,” Kutcher said. “We would never want to do that, and we’re sorry if that has taken place.”
Kunis concluded: “Our heart goes out to every single person who’s ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape.”
The letters went public on Friday, September 8, after being obtained by The Underground Bunker, which specializes in news about Scientology. “As a friend, Danny has been nothing but a positive influence on me,” Kutcher wrote.
He went on to call Masterson a “role model,” noting that he did not fall “into the typical Hollywood life of drugs” and claimed that Masterson supported firefighters affected by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“I hope that my testament to his character is taken into consideration in sentencing,” Kutcher concluded. “I do not believe he is an ongoing harm to society and having his daughter raised without a present father would [be] a tertiary injustice in and of itself.”
Kunis also praised Masterson’s “exceptional character” in her character letter. “Danny has proven to be an amazing friend, confidant, and, above all, an outstanding older brother figure to me,” she wrote. “His caring nature and ability to offer guidance have been instrumental in my growth both personally and professionally.”
Masterson, for his part, denied the rape allegations in 2017.
“From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit,” Masterson told Us Weekly in a December 2017 statement. “I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”
Masterson was arrested and charged in 2020 with three counts of rape after multiple women accused him of assaulting them in the early 2000s. He was convicted on Thursday of two counts of rape, and he plans to appeal the conviction.
Masterson’s attorney Shawn Holley argued that the actor “did not commit the crimes for which he has been convicted,” stating that she and a team of appellate lawyers “are confident that these convictions will be overturned.”
If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support. If you have experienced sexual assault, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for confidential support.