Ashton Kutcher has resigned from the anti-sex trafficking organization he helped create, Thorn.
“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,” Kutcher, 45, penned in the memo shared publicly on Friday.
“I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve.”
He reminded fans that he’s “worked for 15 years to fight for people who are sexually exploited,” noting that “victims of sexual abuse have been historically silenced.”
Kutcher — who co-founded the organization in 2012 alongside his then-wife, Demi Moore — went on to acknowledge that his character statement of Masterson “is yet another painful instance of questioning victims who are brave enough to share their experiences.”
He added, “This is precisely what we have all worked to reverse over the last decade. The mission must always be the priority.”
The “Two and a Half Men” star offered his “heartfelt apology to all victims of sexual violence and everyone at Thorn who [he] hurt by what [he] did.”
Kutcher also expressed his remorse “to the broader advocacy community,” saying he is “deeply sorry.”
He concluded his message by promising to “support Thorn’s work” from afar.
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In its accompanying text, the organization admitted that “the last few days have challenged [them] in new ways.”
Still, the board is “grateful” for Kutcher’s “significant” contributions, saying they “would not be the Thorn that [they] are today” without him.
Kutcher’s decision comes shortly after his and Mila Kunis’ letters of support for their disgraced “That ’70s Show” co-star were made public.
In their respective pleas to the judge overseeing Masterson’s fate, Kutcher called the devout Scientologist “a positive influence,” “a role model” and “an extraordinarily honest and intentional human being.”
The “Punk’d” creator went on to state that he does not believe Masterson “is an ongoing harm to society” and argued that the latter’s 9-year-old daughter, Fianna, being raised without her father is a “tertiary injustice in and of itself.”
Kunis, for her part, described the “Face/Off” star as an “amazing friend,” “confidant” and “outstanding older brother figure.”
The actress, 40, claimed Masterson “has consistently displayed a profound sense of responsibility and care for those around him” and that he “demonstrates grace and empathy in every situation.”
The married couple also made sure to highlight their friend’s alleged anti-drug stance.
Amid fierce criticism and allegations of hypocrisy, Kutcher and Kunis uploaded an apologetic Instagram video last weekend in which they claimed they “support victims” and that their statements “were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling.”
The pair also noted that their letters were “intended for the judge.”
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-330-0226.
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