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Letters of Support
After Masterson was found guilty of sexual assault, Kutcher and Kunis came under fire for writing letters of support for their former costar to the case’s judge, Charlaine F. Olmedo, ahead of his sentencing.
“As a friend, Danny has been nothing but a positive influence on me,” Kutcher wrote. “Over [a] 25-year relationship I don’t ever recall him lying to me. He’s taught me about being direct and confronting issues in life and relationships head-on, resolving them, and moving forward.”
He went on to call Masterson a “role model” and praised his parenting skills and work promoting a drug-free lifestyle and supporting firefighters affected by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Kunis, for her part, praised Masterson’s “exceptional character,” noting that “his caring nature and ability to offer guidance have been instrumental in my growth both personally and professionally.”
The couple were quickly criticized for voicing their support online and addressed the backlash in an Instagram video. “We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” Kutcher said in the pair’s September 2023 upload. “We support victims,” Kunis added. “We have done this historically through our work and we will continue to do so in the future.”
Amid Kutcher and Kunis’ backlash over their letters of support for Masterson, a clip resurfaced of Kutcher making a vulgar comment about Hilary Duff on a 2003 episode of Punk’d.
“Hilary Duff is in Lizzie McGuire, she also has an album out. She’s going to be in a movie called Cheaper by the Dozen,” he stated. “And she’s one of the girls that we’re all waiting for to turn 18. Along with the Olsen twins.”
Not long after, another clip resurfaced from a joint 2002 interview with Kutcher and Kunis on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, during which Kunis recalled how Kutcher made a $10 bet to “french kiss” her on the set of That ‘70s Show. “It was like the first week. I was a 14-year-old little girl, and I was extremely scared for my life,” she explained, noting that Kutcher “never got his tongue on my mouth.”
Amid the continued fallout, Kutcher resigned from his role as chairman of Thorn, an anti-human trafficking organization he confounded with ex-wife Moore in 2009. Kunis also stepped down as an observer on Thorn’s board after she and Kutcher made waves for writing letters in support of Masterson.
“After my wife and I spent several days of listening, personal reflection, learning, and conversations with survivors and the employees and leadership at Thorn, I have determined the responsible thing for me to do is resign as Chairman of the Board, effectively immediately. I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve,” Kutcher wrote in part.