Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis support Danny Masterson ahead of rape sentencing

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Los Angeles, September 9 (IANS) Hollywood star couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have written in support of the rape accused actor Danny Masterson, ahead of his sentencing, vouching for his character.

Kutcher and Kunis wrote letters in an effort to urge the judge for a lesser sentencing. In Kutcher’s letter, he referred to Masterson as a "role model", while Kunis vouched for Masterson’s "exceptional character", calling him as an “outstanding older brother figure,” in documents obtained by Variety.

Both the actors have previously worked with Masterson. Kutcher and Kunis starred in ‘That ’70s Show’ with him, which ran for eight seasons and 200 episodes between 1998 and 2006.

Kutcher then again starred with Masterson on the web series, ‘The Ranch’, though Masterson was written out of the show in its third season, after being accused of sexual assault in 2017.

On September 8, Danny Masterson was sentenced to a maximum 30 years imprisonment to life in downtown Los Angeles, which is the maximum under the US law for rape. He will be eligible for parole when he is 77-years-old.

Kutcher wrote in his letter: “While I’m aware that the judgement 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."

“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. Thank you for taking the time to read this," he added.

Kunis wrote: “I wholeheartedly vouch for Danny Masterson’s exceptional character and the tremendous positive influence he has had on me and the people around him. His dedication to leading a drug-free life and the genuine care he extends to others make him an outstanding role model and friend.”

“One of the most remarkable aspects of Danny’s character is his unwavering commitment to discouraging the use of drugs. His influence on me in this regard has been invaluable. In an industry where the pressures and temptations of substance use can be overwhelming, Danny played a pivotal role in guiding me away from such destructive paths. His dedication to avoiding all substances has inspired not only me but also countless others in our circle,"  Kunis added.

Kutcher and Kunis are among two of the 50 people, who wrote in support of Masterson. Other stars from ‘That 70’s Show’, who wrote to the judge include Debra Jo Rupp, who played Kitty on the sitcom, and Kurtwood Smith, who played Red.

Masterson’s famous family members wrote letters in his support, including his siblings Alanna Masterson, Christopher Masterson, Jordan Masterson, as well as his brother-in-law Billy Baldwin and his wife, the actor and model, Bijou Phillips.

Others from Hollywood who wrote to the judge include actor Giovanni Ribisi; Jim Patterson, creator of Netflix’s ‘The Ranch’; Masterson’s former publicist, Jenni Weinman; and TV director, David Trainer, who worked on ‘That 70’s Show’ and ‘The Ranch’.