LOS ANGELES — One of the two women “That ’70s Show” star Danny Masterson was convicted of raping told NBC News on Monday that the 30 years-to-life sentence the judge imposed on the actor “seemed like justice to me.”
In her first public words since Masterson was sentenced last week, the woman who was identified at the actor’s trials as Jane Doe #1 said the penalty that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo announced “was what the law required.”
“I didn’t think it was outrageous,” she said in telephone interviews. “It was nothing extra and nothing less.”
Jane Doe #1 also praised Olmedo for reminding Masterson that “you are not the victim here.”
“The judge’s words when she addressed him were amazing,” she said. “That was optional and she chose to. … I felt heard. I really felt heard by her words to him.”
Jane Doe #1 spoke a day after Masterson’s former “That ’70s Show” co-stars Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis apologized after NBC News and other news outlets reported that the couple had written “character letters” ahead of the sentencing in support of the convicted rapist.
“We support victims, we have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future,” Kunis said in an Instagram video Saturday with her husband, Kutcher. “The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system, or the validity of the jury’s ruling.”
“We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson,” Kutcher said.
Jane Doe #1 panned their video apology.
“This video was incredibly insulting and hurtful,” she said Sunday. “My hope is that they learn radical accountability and the importance of self-education to learn when to keep their privilege in check — especially Ashton, who claims to work with victims of sex crimes. And as to Mila, I can only think of ‘Time's Up.’”
“Time's Up,” an offshoot of the #MeToo movement, is an advocacy group that has been working to combat sexual assault and harassment in the work place and elsewhere.
Masterson was sentenced last Thursday four months after he was convicted on two of the three rape counts he faced at his retrial in Los Angeles. He had been charged with raping three women — identified at trial as Jane Doe #1, Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #3 — from 2001 to 2003 at his Hollywood Hills home. The jury was deadlock on the third count.
Masterson has, through his lawyers, repeatedly denied sexually assaulting the women. And his lawyers said they intend to appeal his rape convictions.
"He’s doing as good as can be given the situation," a source close to Masterson said.
Masterson remains confined to the men's jail in Los Angeles but will soon be moved to the Wasco State Prison‑Reception Center, the source said. There, it will decided where Masterson will serve the rest of his sentence.
Jane Doe #2 has, on social media, also been critical of Kunis and Kutcher for asking Olmeda “for leniency on Danny.”
In their letters to Olmedo on behalf of Masterson, Kutcher and Kunis painted a portrait of the disgraced actor as a faithful friend and role model that was radically at odds with the ruthless predator who “drugged and raped” defenseless woman that his victims described.
Other actors who worked with Masterson on “That ’70s Show” like Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith also wrote letters to Olmedo in support of the fallen actor.
So did Masterson’s wife, Bijou Phillips, a model and actor who attended all of her husband’s trial, as well as his brother-in-law, actor William Baldwin, and brother/sister actors Giovanni and Marissa Ribisi, both of whom — like Masterson — belong to the Church of Scientology.
None of them have spoken publicly about the letters they wrote since Masterson’s conviction or about the backlash that Kunis and Kutcher addressed in their post. All have been asked for comment.
Actor Christina Ricci also weighed-in on Instagram with what appeared to be criticism for those who spoke up on behalf of Masterson, although she did not mention anyone by name.
“So, sometimes people we have loved and admired do horrible things,” she said. “They might not do these things to us and we only know who they were to us but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do the horrible things and to discredit the abused is a crime."
Ricci’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Masterson character letters surfaced after Olmedo hit the fallen 47-year-old sitcom star with a sentence that, unless it is successfully appealed, means he will not be eligible for parole until he is a senior citizen.
Masterson’s accusers had all been members of the Church of Scientology, to which he still belongs.
At his sentencing, Masterson made no remarks and listened silently as statements were presented to the court from the two women he was convicted of raping, as well as a former girlfriend whose rape accusation the jury deadlocked over in May.
In their victim impact statements, the Jane Does graphically described what Masterson did to them as well as the fallout they suffered after they accused an “untouchable” member of the Church of Scientology of being a rapist.
“I didn’t choose to be born into Scientology, just as I didn’t choose to be raped by Danny Masterson,” Jane Doe #1 said in her statement.
During the legal proceedings, Olmedo stressed repeatedly that Scientology was not on trial but allowed witnesses to testify that church officials pressured them not to talk to police about the rape allegations.
Throughout the proceedings, Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw repeatedly denied those allegations and insisted that church doctrine requires members to “abide by all the laws of the land.”
After Masterson’s sentencing, the church released a statement that did not mention Masterson by name but said the prosecution’s “introduction of religion into this trial was an unprecedented violation of the First Amendment.”
“The Church was not a party to this case and religion did not belong in this proceeding as Supreme Court precedent has maintained for centuries,” it said.
Diana Dasrath reported from Los Angeles and Corky Siemaszko from New York City.