Acting couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis apologized on social media Saturday for sending letters of support to the Los Angeles judge who oversaw Danny Masterson’s rape case prior to Masterson’s conviction.
Masterson wasup to 30 years to life in prison after serving time in June of raping two women in his Hollywood Hills home about 20 years ago.
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 seasons from 2016 to 2020. , Masterson only appeared in the first three seasons, and wasin December 2017 after the rape allegations came to light.
“A few months ago, Danny’s family contacted us and asked us to write character letters to represent the person we had known for 25 years so that the judge could take that fully into account regarding sentencing,” Kutcher explained in a video posted to Instagram.
“We are aware of the pain caused by the character letters we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” he added.
Kutcher and Kunis were among nearly 50 colleagues, family members and friends of Masterson who wrote letters on his behalf asking for leniency in his sentencing.
InTo LA County Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo, Kutcher called Masterson a “role model” and “an extraordinarily fair and intentional human being” who “set an extraordinary standard for how you treat other people.”
Kutcher also wrote that he believes Masterson is not causing ongoing harm to society and that the accused actor is one of the few people he would trust to be alone with his children.
InKunis said she could “wholeheartedly vouch for Danny Masterson’s exceptional character” and that she could “feel his innate goodness” from the first time she met him.
Despite these character references, Olmedo still gave Masterson the maximum sentence allowed.
In Saturday’s apology, Kutcher and Kunis said it was not their intention to discount the trauma and experiences of Masterson’s victims.
“The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the legal system or the validity of the jury’s verdict,” Kunis said. “We support victims.”
“They were intended to be read by the judge and not to undermine the victims’ testimonies or retraumatize them in any way,” Kutcher added. “And we are sorry if that occurred.”
Kunis closed the video by acknowledging the victims of sexual assault, saying, “Our hearts go out to anyone who has ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape.”