Acting couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis on Saturday took to social media to address some of the criticism they have received for sending letters of support to the Los Angeles judge overseeing the Danny Masterson rape case ahead of Masterson’s sentencing.
Kutcher, Kunis and Masterson were co-stars on the hit sitcom “That ’70s Show” from 1998 to 2006. Masterson later starred with Kutcher in the Netflix comedy series “The Ranch,” which ran for four season from 2016 to 2020. However, Masterson only appeared in the first three seasons, and wasin December 2017 after the rape allegations surfaced.
“A couple months ago, Danny’s family reached out to us and they asked us to write character letters to represent the person that we knew for 25 years, so that the judge could take that into full consideration relative to the sentencing,” Kutcher explained in a video posted to Instagram.
“We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” he added.
Kutcher and Kunis were among nearly 50 of Masterson’s colleagues, relatives and friends who wrote letters on his behalf asking for leniency in his sentencing.
Into L.A. County Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo, Kutcher called Masterson a “role model” and “an extraordinarily honest and intentional human being” who “set an extraordinary standard around how you treat other people.”
Kutcher also wrote that he believes Masterson is not an ongoing harm to society and that the accused actor is one of the few people he would trust to be alone with his children.
In, Kunis said she could “wholeheartedly vouch for Danny Masterson’s exceptional character” and said she could “sense his innate goodness” from the first time she met him.
Despite these character references, Olmedo still gave Masterson the maximum allowable sentence.
In Saturday’s message, Kutcher and Kunis said they did not mean to discount the trauma and experiences of Masterson’s victims.
“The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling,” Kunis said. “We support victims.”
“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. “And we’re sorry if that has taken place.”
Kunis ended the video acknowledging victims of sexual violence, saying: “Our heart goes out to every single person who has ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape.”