Ashton Kutcher, who wrote a letter in support of fellow That ’70s Show star, convicted rapist Danny Masterson, has resigned from his role as board chair for Thorn, the organization he cofounded in 2012 with his then-wife, Demi Moore, to fight child sex trafficking. Time reports that Kutcher’s current wife, That ’70s Show’s Mila Kunis, is also stepping down from a role as an observer on the org’s board.
“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 wrote in a letter to the board.
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“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. I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve.”
He also sought to show his contrition to survivors of sexual abuse. “The mission must always be the priority and I want to offer my heartfelt apology to all victims of sexual violence and everyone at Thorn who I hurt by what I did,” he wrote. “And to the broader advocacy community, I am deeply sorry.”
Earlier this month, a judge sentenced Masterson to 30 years in prison after a jury convicted him of two counts of forcible rape. In a letter to the judge, Kutcher described Masterson as “an extraordinarily honest and intentional friend,” “a positive influence,” and a “role model.” “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,” he wrote, “I hope that my testament to his character is taken into consideration in sentencing.” Kunis praised the convicted rapist’s “innate goodness and genuine nature.”
When the couple’s letters reached the public, they apologized for the letters – and for the letters reaching the public. They were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or retraumatize them in any way,” Kutcher said in a video with his wife. “We would never want to do that. And we’re sorry if that has taken place.”
“Our heart goes out to every single person who’s ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or rape,” Kunis said.
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