Bijou Phillips has filed for divorce from Danny Masterson less than two weeks after the actor was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the rapes of two women in 2003.
The filing, submitted Monday in Santa Barbara, caught many off guard since there was a stream of headlines following Masterson’s sentencing that suggested Phillips would stand by her husband as she had throughout his years-long legal battles.
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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. 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,” Phillips’ lawyer, Peter Lauzon, tells The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.
Masterson was sentenced on Sept. 7 to 30 years to life in prison for the rapes of two former members of the Church of Scientology at his Hollywood Hills home in the early 2000s. During the trial, the women described in graphic detail violent assaults after they were served drinks that quickly disoriented them.
Masterson — who will be eligible for parole in roughly 25 years, when he’s 72 years old — has denied the accusations. Shawn Holley, a lawyer representing him, said the actor will appeal the conviction due to a “number of significant evidentiary and constitutional issues.”
News of the divorce filing was first reported by TMZ.
Masterson and Phillips dated for eight years before marrying at a castle in Ireland in 2011. They share a daughter, who was born in 2014. They collaborated professionally, as well, once sharing the screen together in 2009’s Made for Each Other, an independent film that also starred Danny’s brother, actor Christopher Masterson.
Phillips, the daughter of the late Mamas and the Papas frontman John Phillips, has worked as an actress, model and singer. After her husband was sentenced, a source told People that while Phillips “has had a very difficult time” since he was convicted, a split was not expected. “She loves Danny and has no plans to file for divorce. She will be by his side for it all.”
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