Recently, Danny Masterson was convicted, back in May 2023, of raping two women, and was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. Masterson’s victims were drugged and raped, with one victim breaking down in their testimony as she recounted the event from 2003 to the court (The Los Angeles Times, October 2022).
Who is Danny Masterson and What Did He Do?
Danny Masterson was known for his role as Steven Hyde in That 70s Show, where he acted alongside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
Since the sitcom days, Masterson has been a proud, and high-profile member of the Church of Scientology since his childhood, he claims (People Magazine, March 2017).
But what does this have to do with Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis?
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis came to Danny Masterson’s defense, despite the court ruling, and wrote character letters. These were revealed to the public on Friday, 8th September.
The letters described Masterson as a “role model,” and “exceptional older brother figure” (The Washington Post, September 2023). The letters have caused outrage from the public, who did not see this coming from the famous couple who publicly stand in support of victims. Kutcher even has his own organisation called Thorn, which he co-founded, back in 2012, with fellow actor Demi Moore.
Chrissy Bixler’s Response
Since the letters were revealed, Chrissy Bixler, ex-girlfriend and victim accusing Masterson, posted on her Instagram story, in response to Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’s letters:
“Dear Ashton, I know the secrets your ‘role model’ keeps for you. Ones that would end you. Did you forget I was there? You were on speaker phone that night you called Danny on February 21, 2001. I hear everything. I heard the plan. In my opinion, you’re just as sick as your ‘mentor.'”
She then went on to address Mila separately:
“Dear Mila, I pray you begin to process what you experienced as a child on that set. Your old interviews are very telling. (I encourage everyone to watch them and decide for yourself what you hear and see. Do so before they get scrubbed from the internet.) I also know what happened in Toronto and after. Question, if that’s what you view as a normal relationship with a ‘big brother figure’ I feel very sad for you, and I hope you consider getting into therapy. You almost forget I was there the whole time those first five years of That ’70s Show. I remember everything.”
(image from The Blast, 2023).
Furthermore, Christina Ricci also weighed in, the next day, on her Instagram story, saying that “awesome guys can be predators and abusers” (Insider, September 2023). The Addams Family star went on to address the situation, saying:
"So sometimes people we have loved and admired do horrible things. They might not do these things to us, and we only know who they were to us, but that doesn't mean they didn't do the horrible things, and to discredit the abused is a crime. People we know as 'awesome guys' can be predators and abusers. It’s tough to accept but we have to. If we say we support victims - women, children, men, boys - then we must be able to take this stance."
Many fans have felt hurt by the couple’s stance seemingly in favour of the perpetrator Masterson, when Ashton Kutcher has been rallying against child abuse with his charity Thorn. Now, with all the controversy, fans have dug up dirt from the past.
Many are now starting to wonder and realise just how strange the couple’s relationship is. Many questioned the appropriateness of their relationship, as Mila Kunis started working on That 70s Show where she met Ashton Kutcher when she was 14 and he was 19.
Digging Up Dirt
An old interview clip was found, from 2002, where Ashton and Mila discuss their kiss on the show, Mila explained she was a “14-year-old little girl” and it was her “first kiss,” but that Ashton and Danny Masterson had a bet on set to “slip her some tongue.” The clip can be watched here.
And that is not all, another interview clip found a young Ashton Kutcher talking about Hilary Duff: “Hillary Duff is in Lizzie McGuire, she also has an album out, she's going to be in a movie called Cheaper By the Dozen, and she's one of the girls that we're all waiting for to turn 18 - along with the Olsen twins” (The Mirror, September 2023).
What Happened February 21, 2001?
Alongside this, a 22-year-old murder case has also been brought up.
Chrissy Bixler wrote about how she was there when Kutcher was on “speaker phone that night you called Danny on February 21, 2001.”
Fans have dug through and found an old murder case of a 22-year-old fashion student, Ashey Ellerin, who was stabbed to death, 47 times, in her Los Angeles home by Michael Gardula, also known as the Hollywood Ripper. Kutcher was brought into the trial as a witness, as he was meant to be going on a first date with Ellerin that evening, but had shown up late. He told authorities that he tried to call ahead around 10 p.m., and went to her house at 10:45 pm. When no one answered, he peeked through the windows, saw some red wine stains on the floor, and left, thinking Ashely was just mad at him because of how late he was for their date (USA Today, 2019).
Bixler’s comment, though, now has many people wondering if there is more to his story than he says. These are all speculations, as Kutcher has not commented on this, even in the apology video that he and his wife, Mila Kunis, filmed together of them retracting their letters in defence of their co-star and lifelong ‘mentor’.
Kutcher explained that the letters were meant only “for the judge to read and not to undermine the victims in any way” and Mila Kunis explained that “the letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jurys’ ruling.”
The video can be watched from here courtesy of Pop Crave on Twitter.
But it is up to the fans where we go from here.
Edited by: Anwen Venn
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