Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis apologize for letters praising convicted rapist Danny Masterson

By Brooke Villanueva Published Sep 10, 2023 2:08 pm

Warning: This article contains mentions of rape and sexual assault.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis apologized for writing letters defending convicted rapist Danny Masterson, saying that they're "aware of the pain" that it caused his victims.

"We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future," Mila said in a video posted on Ashton's Instagram page on Sunday, Sept. 10.

Ashton said that they were asked by Danny's family to describe the person they "knew for 25 years so that the judge could take that into full consideration relative to the sentencing."

"The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury's ruling," Mila noted.

"They were intended for the judge to read," Kutcher said, stressing that they submitted it "not to undermine the testimony of the victims or re-traumatize them in any way. We would never want to do that. And we're sorry if that has taken place."

In the said note, Ashton—who starred alongside Danny in retro sitcom That '70s Show—said the older actor had been "nothing but a positive influence" on him.

"I met Danny Masterson when I was 20 years old in 1998," the actor wrote, according to a letter published in US media. "He instantly became a friend, dedicated co-worker, and role model to me. And has remained as such for 25 years.

"He's an extraordinarily honest and intentional human being. Over (the) 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."

Ashton, whose letter was reportedly one of dozens submitted to the judge to ask for leniency, said he was aware his friend had been found guilty, but wanted his character reference to be taken into account in sentencing.

"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."

Fellow That '70s Show star Mila also vouched for Danny, telling the judge he had "innate goodness and genuine nature".

"Throughout our time together, Danny has proven to be an amazing friend, confidant, and, above all, an outstanding older brother figure to me," she said. "His caring nature and ability to offer guidance have been instrumental in my growth both personally and professionally."

Danny was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting his victims at his swanky Los Angeles home two decades earlier.

He was convicted in May on two counts of rape following a retrial. An initial trial on three counts deadlocked.

Judge Charlaine Olmedo on Sept. 7 ordered him to serve 15 years to life for each count, to run consecutively. That means the actor will be 77 years old before he can apply for parole.

Danny, who is married to actress Bijou Phillips and has a nine-year-old daughter, was ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life upon his release from prison.

The three women at the heart of the charges against Danny were members of the Church of Scientology at the time, as was he. (with reports from AFP)