Danny Masterson wants to make sure his ex-wife, Bijou Phillips, is granted both full legal and physical custody of their 9-year-old daughter, Fianna Francis Masterson, while he serves his 30-year prison sentence. The only thing he’s asking for is visitation rights – which would be done at the prison, of course.
The news comes just one month after Phillips filed for divorce after 11 years of marriage and six weeks after he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping two women in 2003. According to legal documents obtained by TMZ – among other outlets – Masterson is listing their date of separation as September 15.
Phillips had originally left the separation date as ‘TBD’ when she filed for divorce and cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the reason behind the divorce – which came just one week after the sentencing. It also comes after initial reports indicated that Bijou Phillips was going to continue to stand by her hubby’s side.
Bijou’s attorney – Peter A. Lauzon – released a statement at the time that said his client has ‘decided to file for divorce from her husband during this unfortunate time,’ adding that her ‘priority remains with her daughter.’ The divorce came as a shock because she had supported Masterson throughout the trial.
“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,” Lauzon continued in the statement, shared by TMZ.
One week after Danny Masterson was sentenced, a report by PEOPLE magazine suggested that a divorce was off the table. “She has had a very difficult time since the conviction. She loves Danny and has no plans to file for divorce. She will be by his side for it all,” a source close to the situation said at the time.
Since there appears to be no love lost between the two, TMZ thinks the couple might be getting a divorce in an effort to protect their daughter and might ‘try to hold on to any possible assets that may be impacted if civil cases are filed against Danny in the future.’ Danny nor Bijou have confirmed that, but it’s possible.
Why is Danny Masterson Going to Prison?
For those of you who haven’t been following along with the Danny Masterson rape trial, then you’re probably wondering how we got here today. It all started in 2020 when Masterson was arrested after being accused of raping three women at his home (in Hollywood Hills, CA) between 2001 and 2003.
The first trial started on October 11, 2022 with both sides resting their case a month later. After weeks of deliberations, the jury remained deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial. The second trial started on April 24, 2023 and only lasted three weeks before Masterson’s fate was, once again, in the jury’s hands.
The jury found Masterson guilty of two counts of forcible rape after two weeks of deliberations, but they were deadlocked on the third count and it was ultimately dismissed. He was facing a maximum of 30 years to life in prison, which is what the judge ended up sentencing him to six weeks ago (Sept. 7).
“Mr. Masterson, I know that you’re sitting here steadfast in your claims of innocence, and thus, no doubt feeling victimized by a justice system that has failed you,” the judge said. “But Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s voice, and choice.
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