Hollywood actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have issued an apology for character letters that they wrote on behalf of ‘That ’70s Show‘ actor Danny Masterson before he was sentenced for rape this week. Notably, both the actors who starred alongside Masterson on the show sent character references to the judge in the trial in his support. In the letters, they referred to Masterson as a ”role model,” an ”outstanding older brother figure,” and spoke of his ”exceptional character.”
Faced with immense backlash, the couple shared a video on Instagram saying they were sorry for the pain they may have caused with the letters, which were made public.
Watch the video here:
The couple said the letters that asked for leniency ”were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or re-traumatise them in any way. We would never want to do that and we’re sorry if that has taken place.”
”Our heart goes out to everyone who has ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or rape,” Ms. Kunis further said, adding, ”We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future.”
Mr Kutcher also mentioned that Masterson’s family had reached out to them and asked them to write “character letters to represent the person that we knew for 25 years”.
In the letter, he wrote, ”While I’m aware that the judgment has been cast as guilty on two counts of rape by force and the victims have a great desire for justice, I hope that my testament to his character is taken into consideration 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.”
Ms Kunis, similarly wrote in her letter that Masterson is an ”amazing friend, confidant, and, above all, an outstanding older brother figure to me.”
On September 7, Masterson was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison for raping two women at his home two decades ago. The US actor was convicted in May of drugging and then raping fellow members of the Church of Scientology between 2001 and 2003 at his house in the swanky Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles.
The actor rose to fame with the 1998 launch of the retro sitcom ‘That ’70s Show,’ where he played the character of Steven Hyde alongside fellow stars Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.
He co-starred again with Mr. Kutcher on Netflix’s ‘The Ranch’, but was fired in 2017 and written off the show after Los Angeles police confirmed they were investigating multiple rape allegations against the actor.