LOS ANGELES— Actors and spouses, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, issued an apology on social media on Saturday, September 9, for the character letters they wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo, prior to his sentencing on two counts of forcible rape.
Masterson, 47, was sentenced in Los Angeles Superior Court by Judge Olmedo on Thursday, September 7, to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women in 2003.
“We support victims…we have done this historically through our work and we will continue to do so,” Kunis said in their apology. “The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling,” Kunis continued. “They were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or retraumatize them in any way,” Kutcher added. “We’re sorry if that has taken place.”
Kutcher and Kunis were among several friends and family members who wrote letters to Judge Olemdo in hopes to help lessen Masterson’s sentence. Masterson’s wife, Bijou Phillips, actor Billy Baldwin – who is married to Phillip’s half-sister, Chynna Phillips – Masterson’s sister, Alanna Masterson and actors Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith, who starred alongside Masterson in That ‘70s Show, also wrote character letters on behalf of Masterson.
The letters received major backlash from the public and from Masterson’s victims.
“Dear Ashton, I know the secrets your “role model” keeps for you. Ones that would end you. Did you forget I was there?” Chrissie Bixler, a longtime girlfriend and accuser of Masterson said on social media. “In my opinion, you’re just as sick as your “mentor.””
“Dear Mila, I pray you begin to process what you experienced as a child on that set,” Bixler continued. “You all must forget I was there the whole time those first five years of “That 70’s Show”. I remember everything.”
Masterson was found guilty by a jury on two counts of forcible rape of two women, N. Trout and Jennifer B., back on May 31, 2023. The jury deadlocked on a third count of forcible rape of Masterson’s longtime girlfriend, Chrissie Bixler.
Both rapes reportedly occurred at Masterson’s home in Los Angeles back in 2003 – at the time, Masterson was starring as Steven Hyde in the hit show “That ‘70s Show”.
Throughout the trial, Masterson maintained his innocence. The victims also accused the Church of Scientology – in which Masterson is affiliated with and his victims were members of at the time – of protecting Masterson, by harassing them into not reporting the allegations to authorities.
N. Trout and Jennifer B. gave emotional impact statements prior to Masterson’s sentence being read:
“The world is better off with you in prison,” Trout said in court. “You relish in hurting women. It is your addiction. It is without question, your favorite thing to do,” Trout continued. “Listen to the brightness of nothing and get well. I forgive you.”
“[Masterson] has not shown an ounce of remorse for the pain he caused,” Jennifer B. said. “I’m so sorry and I’m so upset. I wish I’d reported him sooner to the police.”
Masterson, a husband and father of a nine-year old girl, will not be eligible for parole until he is 77-years-old.