Some Big Names Went to Bat for Masterson in Support Letters

Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis called 'That '70s Show' co-star a 'role model' who helped them avoid drugs
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2023 9:30 AM CDT
Kutcher, Kunis Called Masterson 'Role Model' in Support Letters
Ashton Kutcher, left, and Mila Kunis arrive at the Oscars on March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Nearly 50 people submitted letters in support of That '70s Show actor Danny Masterson ahead of his sentencing this week for the rape of two women in 2003, and now some of those letters are coming to light, with some big names behind them. Married couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who starred on That '70s Show with Masterson, both begged Judge Charlaine Olmedo for leniency for their friend in their notes, with Kutcher and Kunis both calling Masterson a "role model" and Kunis citing his "exceptional character," per CNN and People.

In their letters, both actors noted what they say was Masterson's dedication to stay away from drugs, and to keep others away, too. They also spoke of Masterson's friendship, honesty, and work ethic. "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 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."

Kutcher and Kunis weren't the only stars to write on Masterson's behalf: So did fellow That '70s Show stars Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp, as well as actors Billy Baldwin, Giovanni Ribisi, and Marissa Ribisi—the latter two also Scientology members like Masterson, per People and NBC News. Giovanni Ribisi wrote that he considered Masterson a "central figure in my peer group, because of his integrity, his stance against drugs, his abhorrence of violence, and most of all, the respect he demonstrates toward women and children."

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The Wrap notes the "massive online response" to the news of the letters, with many an eyebrow raised. While some thought it made sense that co-stars like Kutcher and Kunis would support their friend, others didn't have as much sympathy. "This ashton kutcher/mila kunis news is surprising, given how much they speak AGAINST sexual violence," one commenter noted. Los Angeles court reporter Meghann Cuniff—who first published the letters, along with journalist Tony Ortega—features them in full here. Masterson, who was sentenced to 30 years to life behind bars, plans to appeal his conviction. (More Danny Masterson stories.)

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