Ashton Kutcher is addressing his longtime friend and “That ’70s Show” co-star Danny Masterson’s ongoing rape cases.
Kutcher, who also collaborated with Masterson on Netflix sitcom “The Ranch,” revealed that while he hopes Masterson is “to be found innocent of the charges brought against him,” he does not know whether Masterson committed those crimes or not. Masterson was accused of sexual assault in 2017 and charged in June 2020 with three counts of rape that allegedly took place between 2001 and 2003. That court case ended in a mistrial in December 2022. Masterson is facing a second trial on the aforementioned rape charges.
“Ultimately, I can’t know,” Kutcher told Esquire of Masterson’s presumed innocence before being proven guilty in the courts. “I’m not the judge. I’m not the jury. I’m not the DA. I’m not the victim. And I’m not the accused. And so, in that case, I don’t have a space to comment. I just don’t know.”
Kutcher added, “Someday, his kid is going to read about this…I wholesale feel for anybody who feels like they were violated in any way.”
The “Vengeance” and “Your Place or Mine” star recalled Masterson serving as a mentor to the young “That ’70s Show” cast members.
“He’s like, ‘One fucking rule: Don’t do anything fucking stupid and fuck this up. Because if you fuck it up, you fuck it up for everybody,'” Kutcher said, saying Masterson steered his co-stars away from drugs and out-of-control behavior.
Masterson’s Scientology beliefs and membership were included in Leah Remini’s “Scientology and the Aftermath” documentary. Remini, who left Scientology and has since been an outspoken activist against the organization, tweeted upon Masterson’s mistrial, “While this is not the outcome I wanted for the survivors of Danny Masterson’s predation, I’m glad a retrial has already been rescheduled. My heart breaks for the women who have courageously and tirelessly fought for justice for over five years. For years, they have been targeted and harassed by Scientology and its agents. They have also been targeted and harassed by their family members and friends who remained in Scientology.”
She added, “I want to remind everyone that when you’re a Scientologist, you are strictly forbidden from reporting crimes to civil authorities that other Scientologists commit against you. You are ordered only to report things to internal Scientology authorities…These women did what they were told to do. They reported their rapes to internal Scientology authorities. And after they did that, they were not only blamed and abused; they were told that they weren’t raped and ordered them never to use the word ‘rape’ again…Scientology was responsible for reporting these crimes to civil authorities but did no such thing. Instead, it covered them up. Scientology should be a co-defendant in the subsequent trial.”
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