Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have responded to criticism for writing letters supporting their former That ’70s Show co-star Danny Masterson prior to his sentencing.
Masterson received a 30-year-to-life sentence for sexual assault on Thursday.
“We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” said Kutcher who is sitting next to Kunis in an Instagram video posted to Kutcher’s account.
“We support victims,” Kunis added. “We have done this historically through our work and we will continue to do so in the future.”
Kutcher explained to his followers why he and Kunis wrote the letters: “A couple of months ago, Danny and his 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.”
“The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling,” added Kunis.
“They were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or re-traumatize them in any way,” said Kutcher. “We would never want to do that. And we’re sorry if that has taken place.”
The couple concluded their video message by reiterating their support for victims of sexual assault. “Our heart goes out to every single person who’s ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape,” Kunis said.
The letters, which were addressed to Judge Charlaine Olmedo, branded Masterson as a “positive influence” and an “extraordinarily honest and intentional human being” with an “unwavering commitment to discouraging the use of drugs.”
Kutcher and Kunis both co-starred alongside Masterson on That ’70s Show, which ran from 1998 to 2006 on Fox. Kutcher also co-starred with Masterson on Netflix’s The Ranch, which ran from 2016 to 2017. Masterson was fired from the show after he was accused of raping four women in the early 2000s, but he and Kutcher remained close. Kutcher even brought Masterson out for applause at the show’s final taping in 2019.
Masterson plead not guilty to all of his charges, including two counts of forcible rape and three counts of rape by force or fear.
You can check out Kutcher and Kunis’ Instagram video below: