Danny Masterson hung up his clothes on set, didn't want Wilmer Valderrama to go broke: What his friends, family had to say in their letters of support

More than 20 people, including actors Ethan Suplee and Eric Balfour, wrote letters to the judge on behalf of the actor.

Actors Ethan Suplee and Eric Balfour among those who wrote letters of support for Danny Masterson. (Getty Images)
Actors Ethan Suplee and Eric Balfour among those who wrote letters of support for Danny Masterson. (Getty Images)

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis aren't the only stars who wrote letters in support of convicted rapist Danny Masterson — although they certainly are the most shocking names on the list. Tony Ortega's The Underground Bunker published more than 20 other statements from Danny's friends and family who all addressed the actor's character. All letters were crafted after the former That '70s Show star was found guilty on two of three counts of forcible rape.

Here are some of the notable names and what they said — including why one person name-checked Danny's co-star Wilmer Valderrama.

Ethan Suplee (actor)

The Remember the Titans star has known Danny for over 30 years and they worked with each other in a number of projects, including The Ranch. Like most of Danny's advocates, Suplee commented on the actor's love for his family, including wife Bijou Phillips and their 9-year-old daughter. ("My firsthand experience is that Danny is most dedicated to and driven by his family.") But the standout part of the note includes an tidbit about laundry:

As actors, our wardrobe is placed in our dressing rooms. ... The clothes are always neatly hung and displayed. When we're finished with work for the day, we leave our clothes in the dressing room, to be gathered, cleaned, and prepared for the next day. Knowing that my wardrobe was headed for a washing machine, I would just leave it in a pile on the couch. Danny saw this at the conclusion of our first day of work and he seemed horrified by it. He told me that he took great care to rehang all his wardrobe every day, that he treated all aspects of work with respect and expected me to do the same. Since that day I have never again left wardrobe in a heap for someone to collect. This may seem trivial, but it was his attitude that has stuck with me, giving the proper respect to those people and things that I work with.

Suplee, whose credits also include Babylon, John Q and Mallrats, wanted the judge to know how Danny "treated all those he worked with, with respect and professionalism."

"I humbly ask you to sentence him with consideration for how/where he could be of best use to society. Because he has value," he concluded.

Eric Balfour (actor)

Meeting as teenagers, Balfour attested to Danny's "integrity and sincerity" during their decades-long friendship. Balflour, who starred in shows like The OC and 24, wrote Danny was "always the first to protect and defend someone weaker than himself" or a person "bullied in any way."

"Danny is an incredibly loving and present father, an honorable husband, and ethical provider," he stated.

"There was never a time when if I was facing a challenging decision or gotten my heart broken when Danny wouldn’t rush to meet me, and sit, and listen, and offer an empathetic word of advise to ease my pain. This is truly the core of the person that I know," Balfour concluded in the brief statement.

Daniel Acuna (businessman)

Acuna met Danny working as Valderrama's personal assistant on That '70's Show. In an effort to showcase Danny's "consistent, steadfast, and loyal" qualities, Acuna mentioned Valderrama's spending habits.

He constantly warned his coworkers, like Wilmer, and reminded me as a part of the group that we needed to all act like professionals and be good citizens. “If one of us gets in trouble or gets caught in the spotlight for something negative, the whole cast and crew could suffer. Put the show first and your coworkers first – make wise choices.” ... Wilmer had a tendency to spend too much money, and “throw it away” on big dinners, nightclubs, alcohol, travel and friends. Danny would encourage Wilmer to be more frugal and save for the future – when Wilmer continued his spending ways, Danny told me: “Look out for him. I know he likes to pick up the tab for all of his friends, but ask everyone to throw in 20 bucks. Those small things will make the rest of his friends realize it’s not always a free ride and they need to chip in. If Wilmer continues down this path, he will be broke by 30.” He was always looking out for all of us.

Valderrama did not write a letter of support.

David Trainer (director)

Trainer worked with Danny "daily" on That '70s Show and The Ranch. He took the Kunis and Kutcher approach and honed in on Danny's behavior as a young star, like how he didn't do drugs. Danny also apparently stuck up for a fellow actress.

Early in That ’70s Show, when the young cast was just becoming known, one of our actresses was being harassed by the manager of her gym. Danny was indignant on her behalf about this inappropriate behavior. l was 30 years older, their director and mentor, and Danny came to me with the actress to discuss how to stop the abusive behavior. He was her friend and her advocate and together we settled on a plan to stop the problem. He didn’t just disapprove of bad behavior. He wanted to stop it and make things right. He knew when peoples’ feelings were hurt, when people needed support, when he could help. That ’70s Show featured scenes of carefree kids smoking pot. But in his personal life, Danny was always strictly opposed to drugs of any kind. The cast made a pledge to each other, which they keep faithfully, never to do drugs. Danny’s personal opposition was central to that commitment. He is a man of upright values.

Chris Wadhams (musician)

The actor and singer — who also happens to be Bijou Phillips's kidney donor — wrote about how Danny helped him "get back on my feet" and "through one of the worst periods of my life" amid a divorce.

"Danny's generous and caring nature was exemplified by his offer to be a kidney donor for my son, who was diagnosed with diabetes shortly after Bijou's surgery. He has displayed heartfelt compassion during trying times for both my family and me," he wrote. "Danny has profoundly shaped my understanding of friendship, empathy, and unwavering support. I know a jury has found Danny guilty of serious charges involving rape by force. This does not represent the man I have known for over 20 years. I ask that you consider all the good that Danny has done in his life."

Christopher Masterson (brother and actor)

The Malcom in the Middle star began by writing that "sitting through both trials and listening to what was said about him was quite a trying experience."

"The things I heard were not reflective of the brother that I know and have spent my life with," Christopher added. The actor gave an example of how Danny is empathetic to others:

When I was twelve years old, I was playing with a friend after school when Danny heard me ask him if he was sad because his dog had recently died. He pulled me aside and said, “Don’t ask people questions about things that make them feel sad unless you know how to help them feel happy again.” That comment sums Danny up in a few short words. He has always, always thought about other people from the angle of “what do they need?” and sometimes, more importantly, “what do they not need?” And, when possible, “what can I do to help them fix it?”

For some reason, people often confide in Danny and tell him about their wins and losses in life. He has always made time for others when they’ve described their problems, and he always strives to be a part of their solution.

Travis Warner (film composer)

A newer friend of Danny's, the composer noted how the actor has channeled his creative energy after being canceled after the rape allegations surfaced in 2017. Masterson is a dedicated sommelier. (Bijou Phillips noted in her letter to the court that after the legal charges ended his acting career Masterson "began to work the land and grow a beautiful vineyard with 6,000 vines. ... He took classes to learn about growing grapes, wines and he became a sommelier. He also studied the business end of it.")

"He immediately got to work building a new business from the ground up. I've seen him spend countless hours working in the field, learning to be a sommelier, learning about growing vines, fermentation, and every aspect of his new enterprise. He works long hours in the field, cultivating and pruning his vineyard in order to provide for his family," Warner wrote.

"While he has been unable to work as an actor recently, I have seen him use his understanding of this art form to help others," he continued. "I saw him work with his sister Alanna in developing her character for an audition. He helped her dive deeper into the life and background of the person she was portraying. It showed me how interested he is in humanity and, as an artist, how much he loves his craft."

Peter Masterson (father)

Danny's father said he's watched his son "grow into a successful actor, a dedicated husband, and a loving father. His wife's battle with kidney disease was a challenging time, but Danny demonstrated immense patience, love, and positivity."

At age 75, Peter said "the thought of not seeing Danny outside of prison again deeply saddens me... We deeply believe in his potential to positively contribute to his family and society."

Carol Masterson (mother and manager)

In the "the most difficult letter I have ever written," Danny's mother began by saying that the two trials that concluded with convictions "is not just heartbreaking for me, it is shocking."

"Being the first born, he took on the role of being a mentor, protector, and friend to his siblings," Carol, who also acted as Danny's manager, wrote.

"The children followed in Danny’s footsteps and became actors. Like him, they all learned to work hard and be kind on set by learning all of the crew’s names, as well as other signs of respect," she said. Carol noted how Danny offered "guidance to the younger and less experienced child actors" on That '70s Show. "He mentored them, and he warned them of the dangers of drugs that ruined the lives of so many people in the industry. He did that to be there for his colleagues, which is why so many of them, from cast to crew, became close friends."

Carol noted how Danny's family depends on him.

"Because Bijou has been ill so much over the years, Danny became mother and father to their young daughter. Now, with him no longer there, it has been hard for Bijou to be home raising their daughter alone. While she has some help from family members, the burden falls on her to do what Danny always did for their daughter," she said, noting that it's up to Danny to run the family's winery business.

In conclusion, Carol asked the judge to "consider his whole life when deciding on his sentence and his family's future."

Danny was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. Read the full letters of support here.