Ashton Kutcher has stepped down as the chairman of Thorn, the organization he co-founded to combat child sexual abuse, after the actor and his wife, Mila Kunis, drew criticism for writing letters to a judge seeking leniency in the sentencing of their “That ’70s Show” co-star Danny Masterson, who was recently sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for rape.
The couple’s support of Masterson started a firestorm that prompted them to respond in a video posted to Instagram last weekend. Kutcher announced he had resigned from Thorn in a letter to its board dated Thursday and shared on the organization’s website.
“I have determined the responsible thing for me to do is resign as chairman of the board, effectively immediately,” Kutcher wrote. “I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve.”
In May, Masterson, 47, was found guilty in a Los Angeles court of raping two women in the early 2000s, at the height of his career. A judge sentenced him to the maximum penalty, 30 years to life, last week. He will be eligible for parole in 20 years, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.