Danny Masterson’s wife Bijou Phillips is ‘heartbroken,’ pleads for mercy in actor’s rape conviction sentencing
Actress Bijou Phillips described Danny Masterson as an “extraordinary husband” in a character statement submitted after the “That ‘70s Show” star’s conviction in May on two counts of forcible rape.
On Thursday, Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison, the maximum allowed by law, and will be eligible for parole after serving more than 25 years.
Phillips “kept her sunglasses on the entire time and remained stoic” while sitting with Danny’s mother, Carol Masterson, during sentencing at the Los Angeles Superior Court, according to Entertainment Tonight.
In redacted character reference letters provided to Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo, Phillips urged the court to consider Masterson’s role in their family.
“Our daughter and I are heartbroken that he is not home with us,” she wrote.
Court sketches showed Masterson blew a kiss to Phillips before being led away following the sentencing. When Danny was convicted of rape earlier this year, Phillips cried as the verdict was read, prompting the judge to reprimand Bijou for her emotional outburst.
Phillips, a model and actress who first starred in Sublime music videos before appearing alongside Kate Hudson in “Almost Famous,” met Masterson at a celebrity poker game in 2004.
“Danny and I have been together for 19 years. We married in 2011 and our beautiful daughter was born in 2014. She is the bright spot throughout many years of crises and uncertainty,” Phillips wrote.
“I can say that Danny has literally been a life-saving partner to me.”
The fellow Scientologist noted that their daughter, Fianna, was “our miracle child” and recalled how Masterson would “read her books, take her on walks and to ballet lessons. I never once heard him complain. The two were inseparable.”
She recalled when “the investigation against him began” and how Masterson “devoted himself to finding other ways to earn a living” after he “lost his acting career.” Phillips said the family moved from Los Angeles and began a farm in Santa Ynez, where Danny grew 6,000 vines on a vineyard and became a sommelier.
“Danny has always been against drugs and helped so many friends and colleagues get sober,” she wrote. “My husband, who never smoked a joint in his life, has strong feelings about drugs that have never wavered. He tried to shield the younger actors he worked with from such temptations and offered them advice on their careers and in their lives.
“Danny is an amazing father. Our daughter and I are heartbroken that he is not home with us. It has been very difficult without him here. Even though he is now in jail, he calls her every day. He helps her with homework every night. He teaches her math with kindness and patience. She is far above grade level in all subjects, reading three grades above her own, and that is thanks to the guidance and attention of her father.
“Danny has watched her piano recitals and applauds when she practices in the living room after each song. Our daughter loves her pony on our farm, as well as our dogs and cats. But more than anything, she loves her father. When he calls us each day, she ends with ‘I love you too much Daddy.’
“We need him more than you can imagine. I know he has been convicted of serious crimes. But the man I married has only been an extraordinary husband to me and a devoted father to our daughter.”
Masterson’s legal team noted after sentencing that the 47-year-old plans to appeal the court’s decision due to “substantial” errors found during the trial.”
“For the past several months, a team of the top appellate lawyers in the country has been reviewing transcripts of the trial. They have identified a number of significant evidentiary and constitutional issues which they will address in briefs to both the state and federal courts,” Masterson’s lawyer, Shawn Holley, said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital.
“The errors that occurred in this case are substantial and, unfortunately, led to verdicts that were not supported by the evidence. And though we have great respect for the jury in this case and for our system of justice overall, sometimes they get it wrong. And that’s what happened here.
“Mr. Masterson did not commit the crimes for which he has been convicted and we, and the appellate lawyers, the best and the brightest in the country, are confident that these convictions will be overturned.”
In a statement provided to Fox News Digital, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said, “This has been a long and arduous road for the victims of Mr. Masterson. They not only survived his abuse, they also survived a system that is often not kind to victims.
“I applaud their courage for coming forward and participating in this process. My hope is that this sentence will somehow bring them peace and that their bravery will be an example to others. I also want to thank the entire trial team. This was a very difficult case but due to their hard work, experience and commitment, justice was finally served today. One of my top priorities is to ensure that Los Angeles will no longer be a hunting ground for Hollywood elite who feel entitled to prey on women.”
When asked for comment on the sentencing, the Church of Scientology referred to the same statement it provided to Fox News Digital in May, claiming the introduction of religion into Masterson’s trial violated First Amendment rights.
“The Church has no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct of anyone — Scientologists or not — to law enforcement,” the statement added. “Quite the opposite, Church policy explicitly demands Scientologists abide by all laws of the land. All allegations to the contrary are totally FALSE. There is not a scintilla of evidence supporting the scandalous allegations that the Church harassed the accusers. Every single instance of supposed harassment by the Church is FALSE and has been debunked.”
Masterson initially faced up to 45 years in prison if found guilty on three counts of rape by force or fear for alleged sexual assaults that occurred between 2001 and 2003 at his Hollywood Hills home. He was found guilty on two counts of forcible rape in May, and a jury was hung on a third charge during the trial after the seven men and five women deliberated for eight days.
He was arrested in June 2020 and had been free on $3.3 million bond. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and has maintained his innocence.