Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis address why they wrote letters supporting Danny Masterson before rape sentencing

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are speaking out about why they chose to write character letters for Danny Masterson before his sentencing of 30 years to life in prison for raping two women.

News surfaced yesterday that Kutcher and Kunis — alongside their fellow That '70s Show castmates Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith — were among those who wrote letters to Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo testifying to Masterson's character ahead of his sentencing. The couple addressed their involvement in an Instagram video posted to Kutcher's account Saturday.

"We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson," Kutcher began.

Kunis added, "We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future."

Kutcher, who played Michael Kelso on the sitcom and its recent Netflix reboot, That '90s Show, continued, "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."

Kunis maintained that their letters "were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury's ruling" in any way. Instead, Kutcher said, "they were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or re-traumatize them in any way. We would never want to do that. And we're sorry if that has taken place."

Kunis concluded, "Our heart goes out to every single person who's ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or rape."

Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Danny Masterson 'The Ranch' Netflix TV series screening, After Party, Los Angeles, America - 28 Mar 2016
Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Danny Masterson 'The Ranch' Netflix TV series screening, After Party, Los Angeles, America - 28 Mar 2016

Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Danny Masterson in 2016

In his letter, Kutcher said Masterson had been "nothing but a positive influence" on him throughout his life. "Over our 25-year relationship I don't ever recall him lying to me," he wrote. "He's taught me about being direct and confronting issues in life and relationships head-on, resolving them, and moving forward. Danny is a person that is consistently there for you when you need him."

"While I'm aware that the judgment 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 added at the end of his note. "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."

In her message, Kunis, who played Jackie Burkhart on That '70s Show, called Masterson "an amazing friend, confidant, and, above all, an outstanding older brother figure to me" over the years. "His caring nature and ability to offer guidance have been instrumental in my growth both personally and professionally."

Masterson, best known for playing Steven Hyde on the Fox series, was found guilty on two counts of rape in May after being charged in June 2020 with raping three women in separate incidents that occurred between 2001 and 2003. His first trial, which began in October 2022, was declared a mistrial that November after its jury was unable to reach a final verdict.

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