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Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Address Backlash to Danny Masterson Letters: “We Support Victims”

Days after the letters of support Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis wrote seeking leniency in sentencing for their That ’70s Show costar and Scientologist Danny Masterson were made public, they addressed the backlash their words caused.

Before Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison following his conviction on two rape counts in Los Angeles, several of his That ’70s Show castmates, including Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith, wrote letters to the judge that they hoped would affect sentencing. The letters were first published by legal affairs reporter Meghann Cuniff. In them, Kutcher refers to Masterson as a “role model” and “extraordinarily honest,” adding, “he is among few people that I would trust to be alone with my son and daughter,” whom he shares with Kunis. Kunis’s letter notes Masterson’s “exceptional character” and “tremendous positive influence” on her.

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Kunis and Kutcher explained their letters in support of Masterson in a video posted to Instagram on Saturday. Kutcher said that Masterson’s family had requested that they write them “to represent the person that we knew for 25 years, so that the judge could take that into full consideration relative to the sentencing.”

Kunis said that “the letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling,” adding, “We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future.”

Comments on the Instagram video were closed, but the comments section on Kutcher’s recent posts were filled with criticism of the letters, with many noting the actor’s efforts to combat sex trafficking. The letters, Kutcher said, “were intended for the judge to read, and not to undermine the testimony of the victims, or to retraumatize them in any way. We would never want to do that. And we’re sorry if that has taken place.” Added Kunis, “Our heart goes out to every single person who has ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or rape.”

Masterson was convicted after two trials; the first ended in a mistrial with a deadlocked jury in November 2022. In the second trial, Masterson was convicted of raping two of the three women. All Masterson’s accusers were members of the Church of Scientology. Prosecutors alleged that the organization helped cover up the allegations, which the church has denied.

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