Bijou Phillips, the wife of jailed actor Danny Masterson, has filed for divorce from the star less than two weeks after he was handed a 30-year sentence for rape.
The That ‘70s Show star, 47, was jailed last week after he was found guilty of raping two women on separate occasions in 2003, with his wife Phillips, 43, standing by him throughout the trial — until now, reports the Daily Mail.
Masterson and Phillips married in 2011 and share daughter Fianna, 9, together. Phillips filed for divorce in a California court on Monday, according to TMZ.
The first of Masterson’s two trials ended in a mistrial with a jury deadlocked on three charges of sexual assault, but he was eventually convicted on May 31 and is in jail in downtown Los Angeles’ Men’s Central Jail.
After the sentencing, Phillips was comforted by Masterson’s brother, Jordan. Her lawyer, Peter A. Lauzon, said the trial had been “unimaginably hard on the marriage and the family”, adding in a statement seen by TMZ that she had decided to file for divorce “during this unfortunate time”.
“Her priority remains with her daughter ... Mr Masterson was always present for Ms Phillips during her most difficult times of her life,” the statement continued.
“Ms Phillips acknowledges that Mr Masterson is a wonderful father to their daughter.”
Phillips went with Masterson to court in a display of support for the actor, even sending a letter to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo to ask for a more lenient sentence for her husband.
The letter, seen by the Daily Mail, called Masterson a “lifesaving” husband who had made efforts to support his family financially after losing out on acting jobs as the allegations about him became public.
She pointed out his dislike of drugs due to his Scientology beliefs, and his efforts to help out other young actors.
But hearing his victims’ testimonies in court may have struck a chord with Phillips.
The three women Masterson has been convicted of sexually assaulting shared harrowing details of their encounters with him and described being shunned and punished by the Scientology community for speaking up.
Masterson was convicted of raping two of the three women, with the jury deadlocked over the third — his ex-girlfriend.
Phillips cried as she sat in court and a close friend described awaiting her husband’s sentence as “like grieving a death”.
The friend told the Daily Mail, “She is a shell of who she has been. She is really trying to be strong for her daughter as she is trying to figure out life and what it will be like for her.
“It can only be compared to a divorce or a death for her, not being able to be with Danny the way they were.”