Danny Masterson’s wife files for divorce weeks after actor sentenced to 30 years in prison for rape

Danny Masterson‘s wife Bijou Phillips has filed for divorce, less than two weeks after the That 70’s Show star was sentenced to 30 years in prison for rape.

TMZ reports the actress, 43, filed documents on Monday.

Her attorney told the publication that “this period has been unimaginably hard on the marriage“.

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Bijou Phillips and Danny Masterson

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“Ms. Phillips has decided to file for divorce from her husband during this unfortunate time. Her priority remains with her daughter,” attorney Peter A. Lauzon told TMZ.

“This period has been unimaginably hard on the marriage and the family. Mr. Masterson was always present for Ms. Phillips during her most difficult times of her life. Ms. Phillips acknowledges that Mr. Masterson is a wonderful father to their daughter.”

According to the publication, she is asking for her legal name to go back to Phillips, wants spousal support and cited irreconcilable differences on the documents. 

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Bijou Phillips and Danny Masterson

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The pair married back in 2011. Phillips and Masterson were first spotted together in 2004 at a poker tournament in Las Vegas.

They went public with their relationship in 2005 and announced their engagement in March 2009.

Phillips had been standing by her husband’s side from the very beginning of his case, which began in 2020 when he was accused of raping a 23-year-old woman sometime in 2001, and then was alleged to have raped a 28-year-old woman in April 2003.

That same year, it was claimed he raped another 23-year-old woman at his Hollywood Hills home. The actor completely denied the allegations at the time three years ago.

Just six days ago it was reported Phillips was “distraught” but had no plans to leave him.

A source recently told People, “She has had a very difficult time since the conviction.”

“She loves Danny and has no plans to file for divorce. She will be by his side for it all.”

As Masterson was being led away to prison, he blew his wife a kiss, as seen in a court sketch.

On September 7, a judge sentenced That ’70s Show star Masterson to 30 years to life in prison for the rapes of two women two decades ago.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo handed down the sentence to the 47-year-old Masterson after hearing statements from the women about the trauma they experienced and the suffering caused by the disturbing memories in the years since.

The actor, who had been in custody since May, sat in court wearing a suit. Masterson watched the women without visible reaction as they spoke.

“When you raped me, you stole from me,” said one woman who Masterson was convicted of raping in 2003. “That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit.”

“You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent,” she said. “The world is better off with you in prison.”

That '70s Show actor Danny Masterson at the CMT Music Awards, 2017

The other woman Masterson was found guilty of raping said he “has not shown an ounce of remorse for the pain he caused.” She told the judge, “I knew he belonged behind bars for the safety of all the women he came into contact with. I am so sorry, and I’m so upset. I wish I’d reported him sooner to the police.”

After an initial jury failed to reach verdicts on three counts of rape in December and a mistrial was declared, prosecutors retried Masterson on all three counts earlier this year.

Masterson waived his right to speak before he was sentenced and had no visible reaction after the judge’s decision, nor did the many family members sitting beside him. His wife Phillips was tearful earlier in the hearing.

This time, a jury of seven women and five men found Masterson guilty of two counts on May 31 after seven days of deliberations.

Both attacks took place in Masterson’s Hollywood-area home in 2003, when he was at the height of his fame on the Fox network sitcom That ’70s Show.

They could not reach a verdict on the third count, an allegation that Masterson also raped a longtime girlfriend. They had voted 8-4 in favor of conviction.

Ashton Kutcher Mila Kunis apologise defending danny masterson court letter

The sentence was the maximum allowed by law. It means Masterson will be eligible for parole after serving 25 1/2 years, but can be held in prison for life.

Prosecutors alleged Masterson used his prominence in the Church of Scientology — where all three women were also members at the time — to avoid consequences for decades after the attacks.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis wrote reference letters of support on behalf of Danny Masterson before he was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.

Masterson has maintained his innocence and plans to appeal his conviction.

-Additional reporting by AP.

Support is available from the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service at 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).