After Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years in prison for rape, it was revealed that some of his former That 70s Show co-stars penned letters to the judge on his behalf. Most notably, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis both wrote letters and received tons of backlash. The couple filmed an apology video and explained why they wrote the letters of support. Besides the couple, some other stars like Leah Remini took to social media to show support for the victims after Danny was sentenced.
Since the sentencing, Danny’s attorneys have revealed that they plan to challenge the verdict, as the actor has maintained his innocence. Following the trial, HollywoodLife has rounded up some of the biggest celebrity reactions to the sentencing.
Christina Ricci in response to Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’s decision to write letters on behalf of Danny Masterson. pic.twitter.com/IBd68JVAA3
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 10, 2023
Christina Ricci released a statement on social media following the verdict and the backlash to Ashton and Mila’s letters. While The Addams Family star didn’t directly mention Danny or his co-stars, she seemed to be sharing her thoughts on Mila and Ashton in an Instagram Story. “So sometimes people we loved and admired do horrible things. They might not do these things to us and we only know who they were to us but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do the horrible things and to discredit the abused is a crime,” she wrote.
She continued and explained that even though someone may have a positive experience with someone, they can still do awful things. “People we know as ‘awesome guys’ can be predators and abusers,” she wrote. “Unfortunately I’ve known lots of ‘awesome guys’ who were lovely to me but have been proven to be abusers privately. I’ve also had personal experience with this. Believe victims. It’s not easy to come forward. It’s not easy to get a conviction.”
Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis
Before Danny was sentenced, Mila and Ashton both wrote letters to the judge on behalf of their former co-star. Each highlighted positive attributes of The Ranch actor, including his relationship with his daughter and anti-drug stance. “I wholeheartedly vouch for Danny Masterson’s exceptional character and the tremendous positive influence he has had on me and the people around him,” Mila wrote in her letter, via Tony Ortega’s Substack.
At the end of his letter, Ashton also asked that his letter be considered in the sentencing. “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,” he wrote.
After it was revealed that they both wrote letters, they faced a slew of backlash, including a response from Chrissie Carnell Bixler, who was one of Danny’s accusers. “Dear Ashton, I know the secrets your ‘role model’ keeps for you. Ones that would end you. Did you forget I was there?” she wrote on her Instagram Story. She also had a direct message for Mila. “I pray you begin to process what you experienced as a child on that set. Your old interviews are very telling,” she wrote.
Following the backlash, Ashton and Mila released a video message apologizing for the letters and explaining why they wrote them. “We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” Ashton said. “[The letters] 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, that has taken place.”
The couple explained that Danny’s family asked for them to write letters that “represent the person that we knew for 25 years.” Mila concluded the video by showing support for victims. “Our heart goes out to every single person who’s ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape,” she said.
Danny’s wife, model Bijou Phillips, has stood by and supported her husband throughout the whole trial. While she has not spoken out since the sentencing, she did write a letter in support of her husband, speaking about their family and daughter. Bijou concluded by saying that they wanted Danny with them. “We need him more than you can imagine. I know he has been convicted of serious crimes. But the man I married has only been an extraordinary husband to me and a devoted father to our daughter,” she wrote.
My statement on the sentencing of Scientologist Danny Masterson:
"Sitting in court today with the women who survived Danny Masterson's predation was a surreal experience. Over the past seven decades, former Scientologists have sadly become used to Scientology using its…
— Leah Remini (@LeahRemini) September 7, 2023
Throughout Danny’s trial, Leah Remini had been vocal in support of the victims, as she called out both the actor and the Church of Scientology. When the That 70s Show star was sentenced to 30 years, Leah released a lengthy statement on X (formerly Twitter). “For over two decades, Danny Masterson avoided accountability for his crimes. While Danny was the only one sentenced, his conviction and sentence are indictments against Scientology, its operatives, and its criminal leader, David Miscavige,” she wrote in part.
She continued by saying she was “relieved” that Danny was going to prison, and thanking the victims for coming forward. “I am relieved that this dangerous rapist will be off the streets and unable to violently assault and rape women with the help of Scientology, a multi-billion-dollar criminal organization with tax-exempt status,” she wrote. “The women who survived Danny’s predation fought tirelessly for justice. Their tenacity, strength, and courage have given hope to all victims of Scientology that justice is possible. For that, we will forever be grateful.”
Other ‘That 70s Show’ Actors
While Ashton and Mila faced the most backlash, some of Danny’s other co-stars also penned letters on his behalf to the judge. Debra Jo Rupp, who played Kitty Forman on the sitcom, wrote that she “respect[s] the law” after his conviction, but still shared anecdotes about Danny saying he was “always respectful and kind.” She concluded by expressing how difficult it was to wrap her head around the sentencing. ” It’s so hard for me to express on paper but I understand that he is facing a lengthy sentence and I really wanted to tell you about these moments. He would take the time to do it for me,” she wrote.
Kurtwood Smith, who played Red Forman on the show, also wrote a letter in support of Danny. He said that the actor “treated all women on the show with respect,” including both the cast and crew. He also shared stories about working with Danny and seeing him as a father. “For all the reasons I have mentioned I consider myself fortunate to have had Danny Masterson in my life,” he wrote.
Following the sentencing, Mars Volta singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala, who is married to the accuser Chrissie Carnell Bixler, took to his Instagram to share a video thanking those who helped in the trial that ultimately led to Danny’s conviction. He also shouted out those who spoke out in support of the victims. “This is an appreciation post for the people who helped put danny masterson away for rape. Thank you for being as fearless as my wife and her sister survivors. Thank you for never wavering in your pursuit of justice. Yesterday was a heavy day,” he wrote.
While Cedric didn’t name names just yet, he also revealed that he’d be writing an “I don’t appreciate you post,” on Instagram. “It’s just a post dedicated to people that suck. No harm no foul. Just a list of bootlickers,” he wrote.
After commenting on a photo of Nicole Kidman about the actress being “human,” Amy shared — then quickly deleted — an Instagram post, in which she seemingly slammed Ashton and Mila’s apologetic video.
“I want to apologize to all the people I hurt posting a photo of Nicole Kidman and alluding to her being an alien,” Amy wrote in the since-deleted caption. “I will be asking the cast of That ’70s Show to write letters advocating for my forgiveness.”