Ashton Kutcher, 45, and Mila Kunis, 40, broke their silence on Saturday, after receiving backlash for writing letters that asked the judge in Danny Masterson‘s sexual assault trial to be lenient with his sentencing. The former That ’70s Show co-stars of the actor, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison this week, sat down and filmed a video that included a public apology and an explanation on why they supported him in the first place. Ashton shared the video to his Instagram page.
“We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” Ashton first said in the video. “We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future,” Mila then added.
Ashton went on to say that Danny’s family reached out to them and asked them to write the letters to “represent the person that we knew for 25 years.”
“The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system, or the validity of the jury’s ruling,” Mila said before Ashton added, “They 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 ended the video by expressing their sympathy to all victims of sexual assault. “Our heart goes out to every single person who’s ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape,” Mila said.
Ashton and Mila’s public apology comes just two days after Danny was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty on two counts of rape. After his sentencing, it was reported that Ashton and Mila were among 50 people who wrote letters on behalf of Danny, who Ashton called a “role model, to help him get a more lenient sentence. The news immediately caused backlash from online users as well as others, including Chrissie Carnell Bixler, who previously dated Danny and was one of three women who accused him of assault during his trial.
“Dear Ashton, I know the secrets your ‘role model’ keeps for you. Ones that would end you. Did you forget I was there?” Chrissie wrote on her Instagram Stories on Sept. 8, alleging Ashton called Danny in Feb. 2001 with some sort of nefarious “plan” that she didn’t reveal. “I pray you begin to process what you experienced as a child on that set. Your old interviews are very telling,” she added in the lengthy message.