Ashton Kutcher recently posted on social media for the first time since the criticism he and his wife, Mila Kunis, faced in September for writing letters of support for their former “That ’70s Show” co-star, who had been charged with sexual assault.
The actor wished his followers a happy Thanksgiving in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday and called for people to focus on being present.
“In addition to life, love, health, & friendship. This year let’s acknowledge being present,” he wrote. “Being present isn’t responding and reacting to every inbound stimulus. It’s experiencing, then having the wherewithal to not react.”
Kutcher and Kunis came under fire in September after writing support letters to the judge overseeing actor Danny Masterson’s sexual assault case. In 2020, Masterson was charged with sexually assaulting three women during the early 2000s.
In the letters, which were sent to the judge in July but published by reporter Meghann Cuniff in September, Kutcher described Masterson as a “role model,” “extraordinarily honest and an intentional human being,” and “a person that is consistently there for you when you need him.”
He continued in the social media post, stating, “Digest, feel, learn, take inventory, & square this new experience with past experiences. Create a refined perspective to live with until something else refines it further. That’s being present.”
Kutcher added he’s “Thankful for ‘No comment,’” a likely reference to the backlash he and his wife faced a few months ago when he wrote to the judge that Masterson had been “nothing but a positive influence” on him and asked the judge to consider his testament to Masterson’s character when sentencing.
Kunis echoed similar comments about Masterson’s character in her letter, saying he was “an amazing friend, confidant, and, above all, an outstanding older brother figure” to her.
In a video posted to Kunis’ Instagram account a day after the letters were made public, the two apologized to those hurt by their support letters. They explained that Masterson’s family had asked them to write them “to represent the person that we 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.”
Kutcher added in the video alongside his wife: “They were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or retraumatize them in any way. We would never want to do that. And we’re sorry if that has taken place.”
The couple also acknowledged “the pain that has been caused by the character letters” and reaffirmed their support for victims of sexual violence, nodding to the foundation Kutcher co-created in 2009 to address human trafficking and child sex abuse.
Kutcher stepped down as chairman of the foundation’s board later that month following the Masterson letter scandal.
The jury in Masterson’s first trial for the case was deadlocked on all counts in 2021. On May 31, Masterson was found guilty of raping two women by a jury in his second trial. In September, the judge sentenced him to 30 years to life in prison.