Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher on Saturday spoke about letters they’d written searching for leniency within the jail sentence of Danny Masterson, the actor greatest identified for his function within the sitcom “That ’70s Present” who was found guilty of raping two ladies greater than 20 years in the past.
Masterson was sentenced to the maximum, 30 years to life, on Thursday.
The letters to the decide within the case, Charlaine F. Olmedo of Los Angeles Superior Court docket, which have been printed on Friday on Substacks of journalists who had covered the trial, described the couple’s friendship with Masterson.
“I don’t consider he’s an ongoing hurt to society,” Kutcher, who’s married to Kunis, wrote of Masterson in a letter dated July 27, including that “having his daughter raised and not using a current father” could be “a tertiary injustice in and of itself.”
In her letter, Kunis vouched for Masterson’s “distinctive character and the super optimistic affect he has had on me and the folks round him.”
Masterson, 47, co-starred on “That ’70s Present” with Kutcher and Kunis from 1998 to 2006. Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith, two different co-stars from the present, additionally wrote letters to the judge in assist of Masterson, praising their interactions with him whereas working collectively.
Kunis and Kutcher defended their letters in assist of Masterson in a recorded statement posted to Instagram on Saturday, saying they “weren’t written to query the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling.”
“They have been supposed for the decide to learn,” Kutcher mentioned. “And to not undermine the testimony of the victims or re-traumatize them in any method. We might by no means wish to do this and we’re sorry if that has taken place.”
The letters from Kutcher and Kunis sought to painting Masterson as somebody who was vital of drug use. Kutcher mentioned he attributed “not falling into the everyday Hollywood life of medication on to Danny.” Kunis mentioned that “Danny performed a pivotal function in guiding me away from such damaging paths.”
These statements seemed to be responding to particular allegations within the case.
Prosecutors had accused Masterson of drugging after which raping three ladies at his residence within the Hollywood Hills part of Los Angeles between 2001 and 2003. (The jury deadlocked on the cost that Masterson had raped a 3rd girl.)
Within the video assertion, Kutcher mentioned that he and Kunis have been “conscious of the ache that has been induced” by the letters. Kunis added, “Our coronary heart goes out to each single one who’s ever been a sufferer of sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape.”
The couple mentioned within the video on Instagram that Masterson’s household had requested them to put in writing the letters “to symbolize the individual that we knew for 25 years, in order that the decide might take that into full consideration relative to the sentencing.”
Tony Ortega, one of many journalists who printed the letters on his Substack, “The Underground Bunker,” wrote that “these letter writers have been most likely conscious that Choose Olmedo might actually solely select between 15 to life and 30 to life.”
“They knew they weren’t making an attempt to persuade her to let Danny stroll out of jail,” he added. One other Substack, “Authorized Affairs and Trials with Meghann Cuniff,” additionally printed the letters.
The case in opposition to Masterson drew widespread consideration, partially due to accusations that the Church of Scientology, to which Masterson belonged, had pressured his accusers to maintain quiet. The church denied that it pressured the victims.
Kutcher and Kunis of their letters described deep connections to Masterson, with Kutcher saying that Masterson had been his pal and function mannequin for 25 years.
“We’ve traveled world wide collectively, raised our daughters collectively and shared numerous household moments,” Kutcher mentioned, including “he’s amongst few those that I might belief to be alone with my son and daughter.”
Kunis added that Masterson’s “unwavering dedication to being an distinctive older brother determine to me has had a transformative affect on my life.”
Masterson will probably be eligible for parole in 20 years, in accordance with the Los Angeles County District Lawyer’s Workplace.