Actor Ashton Kutcher and his wife, Mila Kunis, announced their resignation from the Thorn organization, dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse. This is after it was revealed that both sent letters of support to Danny Masterson, who was recently sentenced to at least 30 years in prison for raping two women.
"After my wife and I spent several days of listening, personal reflection, learning, and conversations with survivors and the employees and leadership at Thorn, I have determined the responsible thing for me to do is resign as Chairman of the Board, effectively immediately," Kutcher wrote. "I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve."
Kutcher and Kunis were two of fifty people who sent character letters to the judge in Masterson's sexual assault trial.
The actor received harsh criticism because the letter was especially flattering. Ashton stated that Masterson was an "amazing friend, confidant, and, above all, an outstanding older brother figure."
He also said, "His genuine concern for those around him and his commitment to leading by example make him an outstanding role model and friend."
Both Kutcher and Masterson made the leap to fame for their participation in the series "That '70s Show," launched in the late nineties.
"Victims of sexual abuse have been historically silenced and the character statement I submitted is yet another painful instance of questioning victims who are brave enough to share their experiences," Kutcher continued in the resignation letter. "This is precisely what we have all worked to reverse over the last decade."
The actor, until today, served as chairman of the board of Thorn, an organization he co-founded in 2009 with his then-wife Demi Moore. His now wife, Mila Kunis, serves as an observer on the organization's board.
The Shocking Testimony of Masterson's Victims
The sentence against Masterson, 47, was announced last Thursday, September 7, when Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed his victims to read shocking statements in court.
The conviction against the actor came after three women testified that Masterson had raped them between 2001 and 2003 at his home in Hollywood after drugging them. At the time, the actor was at the start of a promising career for his participation in "That '70s Show."
Only one of the rape charges was declared a mistrial, the other two proved the actor's guilt. The account of one of the victims, known as Jane Doe 1, revealed the pain behind Masterson's crimes.
I’ve obtained the full victim impact statement that Jane Doe #1 aka Jen B, one of the women Danny Masterson was convicted of raping, read in court last week.
I am publishing the complete statement because it's so harrowing and detailed, and I think everyone needs to read… pic.twitter.com/eNLrm8th6k
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 11, 2023
According to her account, the rapes would not have occurred without the support of the Church of Scientology, a cult that prosecutors say helped cover up the assaults.
Both Masterson and the three women were part of this cult at the time the assaults occurred. Jane Doe 1 said she had known the actor since before the rape occurred.
According to the narration, the woman had worked part-time on the day of the rape and stopped by her friend Brie Shaffer's house after dropping her daughter off at her parents' house.
Shaffer was Masterson's assistant and was also part of the Church of Scientology.
"I got to Brie’s house around 5:00 PM. And sometime after midnight, so April 25th officially, I would end up being raped by her boss. After being drugged and raped and then waking up, I got dressed," the victim revealed at the beginning of her statement to the court.
"I still don’t recall what I wore out the door, [defense attorney] Mr. Cohen. But I do know one thing you didn’t ask me… I never could find my underwear. I know this because when I got home, I didn’t have any on. And I remember being upset and embarrassed about the idea that my underwear were somewhere at Danny’s house," the woman continued, who later revealed how the same cult caused her to see Masterson at some meetings after the abuse.
"I still remember him laughing and saying he was afraid I might knock over the lamp on his nightstand and he loved that lamp," she said.
She also recounted the harsh consequences she suffered as a result of the rape.
"The first couple of years post the attack and rape were really dark. I lost pretty much everything that I knew. I lost my religion. I lost the ability to be in contact with almost every person I had known or loved my entire life because I was deemed an enemy to the group having been declared by scientology for reporting the rape to the LAPD," she said.