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Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis respond to backlash over their letters supporting Danny Masterson

Mila Kunis, left, and Ashton Kutcher arrive at the ninth Breakthrough Prize Awards on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher said their letter supporting Danny Masterson was "not [meant] to undermine the testimony of the victims or retraumatize them in any way." (Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are "aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters" they wrote supporting Danny Masterson.

The two actors took to Instagram on Saturday to address the letters they wrote in support of their "That '70s Show" costar Masterson, who was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison on Thursday after being convicted of two counts of rape in May. Kutcher and Kunis were among the high-profile Hollywood personalities whose letters of support were included in a 108-page filing seeking leniency in Masterson's sentencing.

"The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury's ruling," said Kunis in their video testimonial.

"They were written for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or retraumatize them in any way," added Kutcher. "We would never want to do that. And we're sorry if that has taken place."

Read more: Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis asked judge for leniency in Danny Masterson's rape sentencing

The couple, who alternated lines through their joint video, pointed to their history of supporting victims in their philanthropic work and explained that they were approached by Masterson's family "to write character letters to represent the person that we knew for 25 years so that the judge could take that into full consideration relative to the sentencing."

In May, Masterson was convicted of two counts of rape following his second trial resulting from accusations made by three women he had met through the Church of Scientology. Neither Kutcher nor Kunis' letters questioned the conviction. "That '70s Show's" Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith were also among those who wrote statements in support of Masterson.

The full transcript of Kutcher and Kunis' statement is below.

Kutcher: We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson.

Kunis: We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future.

Kutcher: A couple of months ago, Danny's family reached out to us and they asked us to write character letters to represent the person that we knew for 25 years so that the judge could take that into full consideration relative to the sentencing.

Kunis: The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury's ruling.

Kutcher: They were written for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or retraumatize them in any way. We would never want to do that. And we're sorry if that has taken place.

Kunis: Our heart goes out to every single person who's ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.