Bijou Phillips filed for divorce from Danny Masterson less than two weeks after the star of the 70s show was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for rape.
The couple have been together for almost 12 years, and they have a nine-year-old daughter, Fianna.
Phillips, a 43-year-old actor, filed for divorce in Santa Barbara, California, Superior Court on Monday, citing “irreconcilable differences.” She is seeking spousal support and full custody of Fianna, while 47-year-old Masterson gets visitation rights.
“Em. Phillips decided to file for divorce from her husband at this sad moment. His priority is still his daughter,” said his lawyer Peter A. Lauzon. “This period was unimaginably difficult for marriage and family.”
Lauzon added that Phillips considers Masterson “a wonderful father to his daughter,” repeating statements that Phillips wrote in a letter asking for leniency to Masterson’s sentence.
“We need him more than you can imagine,” Phillips wrote in a letter that was made public after the sentencing. “I know that he was convicted of serious crimes. But the man I married was just a wonderful husband to me and a devoted father to our daughter.”
Phillips went on to write that Masterson “literally was my savior,” apparently referring to the care Masterson gave her and her daughter after Phillips underwent a kidney transplant in 2017.
“My daughter and I are heartbroken that he is not at home with us,” she wrote.
Phillips, along with other members of the Masterson family, sat in court for two lengthy trials, the first of which ended in an inconclusive trial, the second ended in a conviction on two of the three counts of rape in 2003.
She cried in court when the guilty verdicts were read out on May 31, and at times showed similar emotions during the sentencing hearing on September 7, when the judge sentenced Masterson to a prison sentence that would require him to be detained for 25 and a half years. six months before you become eligible for parole.
A source told People that Phillips was surprised that Masterson was found guilty.
“She wasn’t ready for the verdict. She never expected him to be found guilty,” an anonymous source said. “She couldn’t believe that he was immediately arrested and placed in a pre-trial detention center.”
Masterson insists he is innocent, and his lawyers have said they plan to appeal, arguing there were evidence problems and constitutional issues with his conviction.
Masterson was arrested in 2020 after a three-year investigation into allegations that he raped several women in the early 2000s.
He was found guilty of raping two women he met at the Church of Scientology in 2003. Both testified that he drugged their drinks and brutally raped them. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the third count of the charge, which claimed that he raped an ex-girlfriend in 2001.
Masterson starred alongside Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace in the Fox comedy “The 70s Show” from 1998 to 2006. Kutcher and Kunis faced a backlash after it was revealed that they had written letters to the judge in the Masterson case asking for a commutation of the sentence. The couple apologized for the emails in the video.
Phillips and Masterson began dating in 2004. They announced their engagement in 2009 and married in Ireland in 2011.
Phillips is the daughter of singer and songwriter The Mamas and the Papas John Phillips and actress Genevieve Waite. As a teenager, she worked as a model and released an album before taking up acting.