Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis stepped down from their board positions within the anti-child sex abuse organization Thorn, resignations that come less than a week after the married couple apologized for letters of support for Danny Masterson—a former That ’70s Show co-star of the couple who was recently sentenced to 30 years to life over multiple rape convictions.
Kutcher, a co-founder of Thorn, resigned from his role as chairman of the board and Kunis resigned from her board observer position, according to a statement from the organization, which cited a September 14 letter written by Kutcher to Thorn’s board.
In the letter, Kutcher referred to his and Kunis’ praise of Masterson as an “error in judgment,” and said he would resign as chairman of the board “effective immediately.”
Kutcher and Kunis wrote letters of support for Masterson to the judge presiding over his rape trial, provoking backlash and a subsequent apology video from the couple, who said the letters weren’t meant to “question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling.”
Kutcher commented further on the character statement, saying in his letter it was “another painful instance of questioning victims who are brave enough to share their experiences,” noting the situation is what Thorn has worked to “reverse over the last decade.”
Thorn board members Ernie Allen and Suzanne Bell expressed thanks to Kutcher, with Allen calling Kutcher a “strong champion for children.”
Masterson, 47, was convicted on two counts of rape in June and sentenced last week to 30 years to life, which will make him eligible for parole after 25-and-a-half years with the possibility of a life-long prison sentence. Masterson will serve two 15-year sentences consecutively and register as a sex offender. The actor avoided another conviction after a third count was declared a mistrial and dismissed last year, with prosecutors later saying they wouldn’t retry Masterson on the rape charge. Masterson, like the victims, was a member of the Church of Scientology, where prosecutors claimed Masterson used his internal prominence to evade the allegations’ consequences.
Kutcher and his ex-wife, Demi Moore, co-founded Thorn in 2002. The organization has removed more than 2 million potential child sexual abuse files from the open web, according to its website, which added it has identified more than 27,000 children as victims of sexual abuse.
Ashton Kutcher Steps Down as Board Chair of Anti-Child-Sex-Abuse Organization (Time)
‘That ‘70s Show’ Star Danny Masterson Sentenced To 30 Years To Life For Rape (Forbes)
Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher Apologize For Letters Praising Convicted Rapist Danny Masterson’s Character (Forbes)