Hollywood couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis wrote letters of support for their That ’70s Show co-star Danny Masterson as he awaited sentencing after being convicted of raping two women nearly 20 years ago.
The letters, which were reported by Good Morning America and obtained by independent journalist Tony Ortega, were ostensibly designed to minimize Masterson’s prison time but don’t appear to have worked since the actor was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison, which was the expected maximum prison term for the case.
Ashton Kutcher’s letter emphasized the positive influence Masterson had on Kutcher during their time together on the long-running Fox sitcom That ’70s Show.
“As a role model, Danny has consistently been an excellent one,” Kutcher wrote, according to a copy obtained by Ortega. “I attribute not falling into the typical Hollywood life of drugs directly to Danny. Any time that we were to meet someone or interact with someone who was on drugs, or did drugs, he made it clear that that wouldn’t be a good person to be friends with.”
He added: “I do not believe he is an ongoing harm to society and having his daughter raised without a present father would a tertiary injustice in and of itself.”
Kunis also praised Masterson for encouraging her to avoid drugs.
“Danny’s steadfastness in promoting a drug-free lifestyle has been a guiding light in my journey through the entertainment world and has helped me prioritize my well-being and focus on making responsible choices,” she wrote.
“His genuine concern for those around him and his commitment to leading by example make him an outstanding role model and friend.”
That ’70s Show actors Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp also submitted letters of support.
Jim Patterson — the writer and creator of the Netflix sitcom The Ranch, on which Masterson starred just prior to the rape accusations — called the actor “funny, kind and always makes time for others no matter their level on the show.”
Fellow actor Giovanni Ribisi — who like Masterson is a member of the Church of Scientology — described his friend as an ” ethical, honest person, who lived with the highest standards in work and family.”
“I know Danny has been convicted of two counts of forcible rape. I only ask that you consider his daughter in his sentencing. He is a good father and he is important to her and her upbringing,” Ribisi wrote.
Masterson’s lawyers have stated they will appeal the sentencing.