After narrowly escaping a mistrial, Danny Masterson was convicted of multiple counts of rape in a second trial, which resulted in the actor being sentenced to 30 years in prison this week.
One of the victims tweeted on Thursday that Kutcher and Kunis, who are married, had written letters asking the judge for leniency in the sentencing. Full copies of both letters were published by reporter Meghann Cuniff on Friday.
The letters will be leaked soon, but I want you all to know that post Danny Masterson's conviction & after they read all of the gruesome sworn-under-oath testimony of 5 of Danny's victims, Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis submitted letters to the judge asking her for leniency on Danny
— Niesha Trout (@nieshatrout) September 8, 2023
In his July letter, Kutcher described Masterson as a “role model” and someone who has had “nothing but a positive influence” on him. He later added that the actor is an “extraordinarily honest and an intentional human being” and “a person that is consistently there for you when you need him.”
“Over 25 year relationship [sic] I don’t ever recall him lying to me. He’s taught me about being direct and confronting issues in life and relationships head-on, resolving them, and moving forward,” Kutcher wrote.
At the end of his letter, he asked the judge to take his testament to Masterson’s character into consideration when sentencing him.
“While I’m aware that the judgement [sic] 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,” Kutcher wrote. “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.”
Kunis echoed similar sentiments about Masterson having a positive influence on her, writing in her letter that he was “an amazing friend, confidant, and, above all, an outstanding older brother figure to me.”
“Danny Masterson’s warmth, humor, and positive outlook on life have been a driving force in shaping my character and the way I approach life’s challenges,” Kunis wrote. “His unwavering commitment to being an exceptional older brother figure to me has had a transformative impact on my life, instilling in me a sense of self-belief and encouraging me to aim for greatness, but all while maintaining a sense of humility.”
HuffPost reached out to representatives for Kutcher and Kunis for further comment but did not receive an immediate response.
Kutcher and Kunis weren’t the only ones to send letters of support to the judge.
According to “Good Morning America,” more than 50 people wrote letters in support of Masterson. This included Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith, who played Kitty and Red Forman on “That’s ’70s Show,” and Masterson’s wife, Bijou Phillips Masterson, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Kutcher had acknowledged Masterson’s rape allegations earlier this year in an interview with Esquire, in which he said he wanted his former co-star “to be found innocent of the charges brought against him.”
He clarified that he didn’t want Masterson to be let off the hook for alleged crimes, but rather for him to be truthfully revealed as innocent. Kutcher declined to comment on what he thought the verdict should be in the trial, which hadn’t yet occurred.
“Ultimately, I can’t know. I’m not the judge. I’m not the jury. I’m not the DA. I’m not the victim. And I’m not the accused. And so, in that case, I don’t have a space to comment. I just don’t know,” Kutcher told Esquire.
Masterson, 47, was charged with sexual assault of three women in June 2020. He underwent two trials, with the first one ending in November 2022 with the jury deadlocked on all counts. In the second trial, the actor, who is also a prominent Scientologist, was found guilty on two counts of forcible rape on May 31. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on an additional count of rape involving a third woman.
“Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s choice and voice. Your actions 20 years ago were criminal, and that’s why you are here,” Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo told Masterson on Thursday before announcing his sentence, according to Cuniff.
Masterson’s legal team intends to appeal the judge’s sentencing decision.