In a letter sent to the board of the organization on September 14, 2023, he acknowledged that he "cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve".
The decision comes after he and wife Mila Kunis sent letters of support for their friend Danny Masterson who was found guilty on two counts of rape and sentenced to 30 years in prison. They later issued a public apology video.
"Victims of sexual abuse have been historically silenced and the character statement I submitted is yet another painful instance of questioning victims who are brave enough to share their experiences," he wrote in his resignation letter that as published by Time.
"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. I cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve."
"The mission must always be the priority and I want to offer my heartfelt apology to all victims of sexual violence and everyone at Thorn who I hurt by what I did," he continued. "And to the broader advocacy community, I am deeply sorry. I remain proud of what we have accomplished in the past decade and will continue to support Thorn’s work. Thank you for your tireless advocacy and dedication to this cause."
Ashton and Thorn co-founder Demi Moore were married for six years, divorcing in 2011.
The decision comes in the same that week that Ashton and Mila posted a video on Instagram apologizing for the "pain that has been caused" after their letters supporting their That 70s Show costsr Danny Masterson emerged.
The pair wrote letters of support for Danny before he was sentenced to 30 years behind bars on September 7.
"We support victims, we have done this historically through our work and we will continue to do so in the future," said Mila in the video, which comes after 24 hours of shock and confusion at their public support for Danny. You can watch the whole video below:
Over 50 people, including Ashton and Mila, and their co-stars Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith, provided statements in support of the That 70's Show actor. The letters were posted by Tony Ortega on his Substack. As reported widely, Mila and Ashton were aware that their letters were not to sway the judge towards Danny's innocence but to help the judge choose the sentencing.
"I wholeheartedly vouch for Danny Masterson’s exceptional character and the tremendous positive influence he has had on me and the people around him," Mila wrote in her letter. "His dedication to leading a drug-free life and the genuine care he extends to others make him an outstanding role model and friend.”
Ashton wrote: "While I’m aware that the judgement has been cast as guilty on two counts of rape by force and the victims have a great desire for justice, I hope that my testament to his character is taken into consideration in sentencing. I do not believe he is an ongoing harm to society and having his daughter raised without a present father would a tertiary injustice in and of itself. Thank you for taking the time to read this."
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