Letters of Leniency: Insensitive misstep for public figures, or expected contribution for a convicted friend?
I am a victim of sexual assault. My attacker was sentenced. People wrote letters to judge regarding him and his sentencing. It was a high profile case (for my area) several people in the public eye wrote on this persons behalf. My attacker was someone people loved, adored, and even looked to for help. Because people wrote letters, I didn’t feel like it diminished my trauma, as I recognized that to many people this person meant a lot to them. Monsters are not monsters to everyone and many live very double lives. I don’t hold any resentment to those who had a different experience or want to remember things in a better light-it’s how they might cope with their own reality. At the end of the day, he was found guilty and is serving time for what he did. PS- I don’t think these letters make much of a difference anyway ..
They weren’t supporting some mild misdemeanour, this was multiple rape accusations. They clearly must have thought long and hard about writing those letters and did so anyway (even if they may have thought post verdict they weren’t going to be entered for public release). So own it. The apology video muddies their opinion and Masterson’s wrongdoing (If any).
I don’t know who Masterson is, or his accusers, so I have no dog in this fight. 30 years is a long time for a first offender crime that months ago a jury didn’t feel they had sufficient evidence to review and come to a conclusion, so obviously I’m surprised by such a sentence and question it. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe the victims, it just means based on other similar convictions, it’s an outlier.
And Kutcher? He’s the epitome of a douche and always has been. I’m all for putting allegations in the context of when they occurred, but at no point in recent history has two men betting on French kissing a 14 year old without her knowledge or consent, on camera, been acceptable. You can use ‘countdowns to legal age’ as defence, but that was the media encouraging society for shock value. There was plenty of backlash about that at the time.
I appreciate HnH’s reporting because it’s honest, not because I agree with it (though I generally do). Long May it continue.
Can we all have a collective moment of empathy/prayers/kind thoughts for DM’s daughter? Regardless of your opinions on the case or feelings about those involved, their guilt or innocence, this child has the trauma of her father going away. That’s sad.
I am currently learning about how my mother was such a high functioning and prominant member in the community but committed suicide. A person can appear "normal", "kind", "a great friend", or "ethical", and still have another side to them. We are not 2 dimensional.
I understand the internet's uproar with some of the letters, however I also understand why the letters were written.
"Grow a backbone and stand your ground instead of catering to the onslaught of online attacks. People will get over it." 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
Your description of Ashton’s involvement in the murder case 22 years ago is untrue, and verifiable untrue by the LAPD. Ashton claimed to have looked in the window, saw red (possibly wine) spilled and left is untrue. Ashton entered the residence, looking for his friend, and found her stabbed 47 times. Naturally he panicked. However, instead of calling 911, he called his team, and he called Danny Masterson while sitting in his car outside her dead body, for an hour. Someone-unknown but likely everyone he called-told him to leave, go about his business and NOT call 911. Which is what he did. He attended a party. The next morning Ashton contacted the LAPD, telling them the lie, but saying he wanted to let them know his fingerprints may be on the door knob. The LAPD detectives knew who had committed the murder, but because Ashton lied, and lied under oath, his testimony made it impossible to arrest/charge Gargiulo with the murder. The defense would have known in discovery (had there been a trial then) that Ashton had so muddied the investigation, thereby screwing the prosecution for a conviction of the actual murder. Reasonable doubt pointing to Ashton who lied would have screwed the DA. Her body wasn’t visible through a window. So, 18 years later he murdered again. Then again in an attempted murder-he was caught via DNA. He was a serial murderer. CBixler was present on the other end of the line when Ashton called Danny. She knew everything including a plan to save himself and his fairly new career and fame. Unfortunately so much of your writing on this case is simply false. Knowing Hollywood and Scientology to be the ultimate liars and cover up artists, why would you not dig a little deeper. Ashton and Mila’s “apology” rather POW style video put him in the path of lots of hate and vitriol, and rightly so. His letter called a just convicted rapist a “role model”. Masterson and Kutcher are not role models in any sense. And Kutcher-once the real story is made more public-def ruined his sweet faced philanthropist reputation
I’ve been watching old interviews on the Dick Cavett show on Tubi and it’s beyond refreshing to see how blunt actors were back in the day. They said what they said and they owned it. No pandering. I wonder exactly when things got so fragile in the world timeline?
I love your take on just about everything… this is an instance where I think you and I probably disagree on some of the issues. With that said, even if I disagreed with your point entirely, I’d fight to the death for your right to express your thoughts and opinions. And seriously, as a veteran, I took my oath seriously to defend the Constitution. If only people understood the stupidity of trying to silence differing opinions and voices of dissent…
Letters to a judge are based on personal perspectives. I hope I never have a friend who says “I’d totally stick up for her because she’s helped me so much, but if I do some people I don’t even know might not like me.”
I cringed as well when I saw the apologies. Come on, man. Just own it.
I typically enjoy reading the different points of view on these types of stories. This story had me cringing though on the reporting. I worked in the judicial system and yes his sentence was stronger (as should be expected for most rapists) different Counties/Judges/Juries will deliver harsher punishments. Just because his sentence was longer doesn't mean that most rapists shouldn't receive the same type of punishment. They traumatize and torture their victims. I was a huge fan of Danny Masterson, and from what I understand, new evidence (which must have been pretty damning) and new witness reports were brought into this trial that weren't allowed in the previous. From what I also understand, medical reports were submitted. I read pieces of the Jane Doe testimonies from the first trial and they were absolutely horrific and one even involved a weapon. Chrissie outed herself as one of the Jane Doe's early on in the accusations she never wanted to be anonymous, so her coming forward so strongly doesn't surprise me. I imagine if I was raped repeatedly I wouldn't be so silent when my rapist was finally convicted and if I felt people were standing up for them. The other Jane Doe's have not been as vocal in the media or social media. Also, Ashton Kutcher has somewhat of a reputation of not being a stand up guy himself. Most of the most horrible monsters have been said to be charming men, stand up guys that people "would trust with their daughters." Darkness resides in shadows. I wholeheartedly agree with Christina Ricci's statement on the matter.
Man, I could care less about Danny, let’s talk about Bijou. We all have skeletons in our closet and hers is riddled with bullying (fat shaming that guy from Mean Girls), weird father shit, talk about trauma with men. Sure she’s iconic, and has a bangin’ body and cool sexy voice but her ending up with this guy is as shady as Scientology is. And I’m here for it all! As for Ashton and Mila, I canceled him after Demi had to change her twitter handle from @Mrs.Kutcher to whatever it is now. Kutcher and Mila deserve the bed they’ve made, they play the game. they’re rich and privileged, now they can move from LA to a ranch in bumblefuck who cares and make wine. Yawn.
People are complex and multifaceted. DM may be a monster and he may also be a good friend, loving partner and caring involved dad. He can be both a horrible person and a good friend and family member. It is actually not mutually exclusive.
The justice system has place for letters like this be received and considered if people have an issue with that let them try and change the process.
Don't go after people who are capable of both loving someone who has done awful things and recognizing the harm they may have caused just because you arent capable of it yourself.
Great take on the other side. I love reading Jessica’s stuff, even if I disagree, because she provides the other side that we wouldn’t have heard or seen otherwise. We should all be hearing both sides, reviewing FACTS, and be making educated decisions that have a decent amount of common sense. Instead, I see a bunch of sheep that believe whatever the popular opinion is on social media or spewed in MSM. The state of our country is horrifying. At least we get a well-rounded take on stories from Jessica.
I read those character letters and cried. I can't imagine what his family and friends are going through. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I really dont understand Chrissie Bixler's outrage, her so called rapist is in jail and his life destroyed. Why not let his close friends and relatives speak their mind and give them peace, they lost something too..
I followed the Golden State Killer’s trial/sentencing closely as he committed many of his crimes in my neighborhood and, in fact, was living less than 4 miles from me when he was caught. During sentencing, the letters from family and friends were very similar in nature to the letters requesting leniency for Danny. As i listened to DeAngelo’s loved ones letters being read, it blew my mind that this heinous rapist and murderer who tormented (gleefully) his community and victims could also be the dad who raised his daughters and helped them through college. He was the uncle who was beloved and faithful and was the friend who’s character and nature was never - for even a minute - questioned. I even had a close friend who had been an FBI analyst and knew DeAngelo. He was gobsmacked when the news broke. All this to say…as compelling as the letters are, and as much as I believe them to be sincere and true, they in no way, tell the whole story about Danny Masterson.
I wish people would stop bowing down to the internet mob. Who cares what they say? The Ashton & Mila apology was not needed & lame. Stand your ground. I don’t think their letters said anything attack worthy.