After endorsing convicted rapist Danny Masterson, Ashton Kutcher steps down as chairman of the Thorn organisation that fights against child sex abuse.
After receiving criticism for standing behind his That ’70s Show co-star Danny Masterson, Ashton Kutcher has resigned from his position as chairman of the board at Thorn, an organisation he co-founded to fight child sex abuse.
Masterson, a close friend of Kutcher’s, received a prison term of 30 years to life this week for raping two women. Kutcher and his wife, Mila Kunis, praised Masterson’s character and questioned his guilt in letters to LA Superior Court Charlaine Olmedo in support of Masterson.
According to E! News, the No Strings Attached actor, 45, gave a statement to Time magazine today outlining his reasons for leaving Thorn.
I have chosen the proper thing for me to do is to quit as Chairman of the Board, effective immediately, after my wife and I spent many days listening, reflecting, learning, and speaking with survivors and the staff and leadership of Thorn, he said.
“I cannot allow my oversight to detract from our efforts and the children we serve,” he continued.
In the statement, which the US news source published in full, Kutcher acknowledged that by supporting Masterson in a letter, he had compromised the organization’s goals.
The actor declared, “As you are aware, I have worked for 15 years to fight for people who are sexually exploited.
The character statement I provided is yet another terrible example of doubting victims who are bold enough to share their stories. Victims of sexual abuse have historically been silenced. Over the past ten years, we have all pushed to change just this.
In his closing statement, he expressed his “heartfelt apology to all victims of sexual violence and everyone at Thorn who I hurt by what I did.” The father of two added that he is still “proud” of the job that Thorn has accomplished over the previous ten years.
After watching a programme about child sex trafficking in Cambodia, Kutcher and his ex-wife Demi Moore created Thorn in 2012.
Due to his affiliation with the group, Kutcher was invited to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2017, where he spoke about the country’s efforts in eradicating modern slavery and human trafficking.
After his and Kunis’ letters to Judge Olmedo were made public, Kutcher made his declaration. In the letters, Kutcher called Masterson “nothing but a positive influence” and “an extraordinarily honest and intentional human being.”
The convicted rapist was afterwards described to Kunis as a “amazing friend, confidant, and above all, an outstanding older brother figure” to her.
In a subsequent video statement, the A-list pair adamantly asserts that they “support victims” and did not write the letters to “question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling.”