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Ashton Kutcher resigns from his anti-trafficking organisation – after backlash over Danny Masterson letters

Ashton Kutcher has resigned from Thorn, the anti-trafficking organisation her co-created with his ex-wife Demi Moore.

The actor sent a letter to his fellow board members earlier this week, after receiving a slew of backlash for their letters in support of Danny Masterson.

Earlier this month, the couple’s That ’70s Show co-star was sentenced to serve 30 years to life in prison for raping two women.

Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Netflix

Back in June, the actor was convicted of two counts of forcible rape in 2003.

The actor was initially charged with raping a 23-year-old woman in 2001, a 28-year-old woman in 2003, and another 23-year-old woman the same year.

However, he was only found guilty of two counts of rape after a jury failed to reach a verdict on the third count.

All of the attacks, which he denied, are said to have taken place at his Hollywood home.

In a letter issued to Thorn’s board members, Ashton wrote: “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.”

“I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve.”

The actor reminded fans that he’s “worked for 15 years to fight for people who are sexually exploited,” noting that “victims of sexual abuse have been historically silenced”.

Ashton, who co-founded Thorn back in 2012 alongside his ex-wife Demi Moore, acknowledge his character statement of Danny “is yet another painful instance of questioning victims who are brave enough to share their experiences.”

Ashton and his wife Mila Kunis

Ashton added: “This is precisely what we have all worked to reverse over the last decade. The mission must always be the priority.”

The actor offered his “heartfelt apology to all victims of sexual violence and everyone at Thorn who [he] hurt by what [he] did.”

He also expressed his apologies to “the broader advocacy community,” saying he is “deeply sorry,” before promising to “support Thorn’s work” from afar.

In a brief statement in adjacent to Ashton’s letter, Thorn admitted that the “last few days have challenged [them] in new ways,” before acknowledging they are “grateful” for Ashton’s “significant” contributions, and that they “would not be the Thorn that [they] are today” without him.

Ashton and his wife Mila Kunis

Last week, Ashton and Mila issued a joint apology about letter they sent to the judge of Danny’s trial, in which Ashton referred to his former co-star as a “role model”.

In a video shared via Instagram, Ashton began: “We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson.”

“We support victims,” Mila added. “We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future.”

Her husband then explained that Danny’s family reached out to them to write character letters to “represent the person that we knew for 25 years”.

“The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system, or the validity of the jury’s ruling,” Mila explained.

“They were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or re-traumatize them in any way,” Ashton chimed in.

“We would never want to do that. And we’re sorry, that has taken place.”

Mila concluded the video, saying: “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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A post shared by Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk)


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