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Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis step down from anti-child sex abuse charity after Danny Masterson support
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/aplusk/Anna Webber/Getty Images for Netflix

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis step down from anti-child sex abuse charity after Danny Masterson support

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have stepped back from their positions at the anti-child-sex-abuse organisation Kutcher co-founded.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have stepped back from their positions at the anti-child-sex-abuse organisation Kutcher co-founded.

The celebrity couple came under fire after it came to light that they'd written character references in support of their That '70s Show co-star Danny Masterson during his rape trial, calling him an 'exceptional character' and 'role model'.

Masterson was later found guilty of two counts of rape and sentenced to 30 years in jail.

Kutcher and Kunis later apologised via a video posted to Instagram and have since decided to step down from their roles at Thorn - a company founded by Kutcher and Demi Moore 'build technology to defend children from sex abuse'.

In their apology video, Kutcher and Kunis explained 'a couple of months ago' Masterson's family 'reached out' to them and requested they write the 'character letters to represent the person that [they] knew for 25 years'.

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

The pair never thought the letters would go public and apologised if they had 're-traumatized' the 'victims' in 'any way'.

However, the couple continued to face backlash online, many people highlighting the roles they played in Thorn.

One X user wrote: "Based on Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis’s “character letters” to the judge for Danny Masterson’s SENTENCING for RAPE….I’m now suspicious AF of @thorn, their anti human/child trafficking organization."

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis apologized for their letters of support to Danny Masterson.

Thorn revealed that Kutcher would be stepping down in an update posted on Friday (15 September), sharing the actor's letter of resignation from the day before (14 September).

The letter reads: "Thorn Board,

"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.

"As you know, I have worked for 15 years to fight for people who are sexually exploited. 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. 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.

"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.

"Sincerely, Ashton Kutcher."

Kutcher wrote a letter of resignation on Thursday (14 September).
Getty Images/ Axelle/ Bauer-Griffin/ FilmMagic

Thorn went on to acknowledge Kutcher's contributions to the organisation, noting it would not be what it it today without him.

Multiple board members gave statements in support of the actor, praising him as 'a strong champion for children' and having 'worked tirelessly to protect them from sexual abuse' with 'unwavering dedication'.

It resolved: "While the last few days have challenged us all in new ways, we remain steadfast in our mission, mindful of the trust our community places in us, and confident in our collective dedication to the children we serve.

"We humbly ask for the continued support of our community, partners, and supporters as we continue our commitment to building a world where every child can be safe, curious, and happy."

Kunis' stepping away from the organisation wasn't mentioned in Kutcher's letter, however, according to TIME, she served as 'an observer on the organisation's board' and is also resigning from her position.

UNILAD has contacted Kunis' representatives for comment.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas

Topics: Ashton Kutcher, Celebrity, Film and TV, US News, Mental Health, Social Media, Twitter, Instagram