Ashton Kutcher has resigned from Thorn, the anti-child sex abuse organization that he co-founded in 2009 with then-wife Demi Moore. Kutcher served as Thorn’s chairman of the board, while his current wife, Mila Kunis, was an observer on the organization’s board. She is stepping down as well, Time reports.
Thorn published Kutcher’s letter to the board announcing his resignation. He cited the backlash he received after it was revealed he and Kunis wrote letters of support on behalf of Danny Masterson ahead of his sentencing for rape.
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“After my wife and I spent several days of listening, personal reflection, learning, and conversations with survivors and the employees and leadership at Thorn, I have determined the responsible thing for me to do is resign as Chairman of the Board, effectively immediately,” Kutcher wrote. “I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve.”
“Victims of sexual abuse have been historically silenced and the character statement I submitted is yet another painful instance of questioning victims who are brave enough to share their experiences,” Kutcher continued. “This is precisely what we have all worked to reverse over the last decade.”
“The mission must always be the priority and I want to offer my heartfelt apology to all victims of sexual violence and everyone at Thorn who I hurt by what I did,” he concluded. “And to the broader advocacy community, I am deeply sorry. I remain proud of what we have accomplished in the past decade and will continue to support Thorn’s work. Thank you for your tireless advocacy and dedication to this cause.”
Kutcher and Kunis were two of more than 50 people who wrote character letters to the judge in the Masterson sexual assault trial. Masterson was convicted of rape and sentenced to 30 years to life earlier this month. After the sentencing was announced, Kutcher and Kunis’ letters of support went public.
An excerpt from Kutcher’s letter reads: “Danny takes his job seriously. He is kind, courteous, and hard working. He treated everyone from the grips to the teamsters to the actors to the caterers as equals. As a role model, Danny has consistently been an excellent one…”
In Kunis’ letter, she called Masterson an “amazing friend, confidant, and, above all, an outstanding older brother figure,” adding: “His genuine concern for those around him and his commitment to leading by example make him an outstanding role model and friend.”
The couple posted an apology video to Instagram on Sept. 9. “We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” Kutcher said.
“We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future,” added 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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