Ashton Kutcher hopes Danny Masterson will be ‘found innocent’ in rape retrial: ‘Ultimately, I can’t know’
Ashton Kutcher has spoken about the rape allegations made against his former co-star Danny Masterson.
Kutcher’s That ‘70s Show and The Ranch castmate Masterson appeared in court in November, charged with allegedly raping three women, including a former girlfriend, at his home between 2001 and 2003.
Back in December, the case ended in mistrial after the jury were deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict. In January, prosecutors said that they would retry Masterson on all three counts, with the new trial scheduled for March.
In an interview with Esquire, Kutcher said Masterson had been the one to mentor and keep in line the young cast on That ‘70s Show, making the legal case particularly hard for him to watch.
Explaining that he was still in touch with Masterson and regularly speaks to his brother, Kutcher said that he worried about the impact of the case on his eight-year-old daughter.
“Someday, his kid is going to read about this,” says Kutcher, while clarifying that he “wholesale feels for anybody who feels like they were violated in any way”.
The actor then said that he wanted Masterson “to be found innocent of the charges brought against him”.
“Ultimately, I can’t know,” he said. “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.”
Masterson is a member of the Church of Scientology. Two of his accusers were also members and claimed at the trial that they delayed reporting their alleged assaults because they feared reprisals from church officials.
His accusers all ultimately left the church, which has denied allegations that it worked to protect him. The defense attorney in the case, Philip Cohen, said that the accusers were using Scientology as a means to redirect attention away from holes in their case.
The actor, who has not received a credit since Netflix fired him from The Ranch in 2017, has denied all allegations against him. Masterson did not testify in the initial trial or call any witnesses.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.