The actress, 43, who shares 9-year-old daughter Fianna with Masterson, 47, filed paperwork to end her marriage on Monday, September 18.
“Ms. Phillips has decided to file for divorce from her husband during this unfortunate time. Her priority remains with her daughter,” Phillips’ attorney Lauzon Paluch told TMZ on Tuesday, September 19. “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’ decision comes after Masterson was found guilty on two counts of forcible rape for incidents that occurred in the early 2000s. The actor, who has vehemently denied the allegations, was sentenced to 30 years in prison earlier this month.
Phillips was noticeably by Masterson’s side during the legal proceedings. According to the Los Angeles Times, she “began sobbing” and let out a “pained cry” when the guilty verdict was read in the courtroom in May.
Ahead of the sentencing in September, which she also attended, Phillips penned an emotional letter to Judge Charlaine Olmedo, where she advocated for Masterson’s character as a “life-saving partner” to her.
“I am writing to you to ask that you consider this information when sentencing my husband, Danny Masterson,” she wrote in a letter obtained by The Underground Bunker, which specializes in news about Scientology. “I depended on Danny to take care of me and our daughter. I always felt that she would be okay because Danny is an amazing father. He was devoted to our daughter, would read her books, take her on walks and to ballet lessons. I never once heard him complain. The two were inseparable.”
Phillips, who married the actor in 2011, said she and Fianna were “heartbroken” by Masterson’s absence.
“More than anything, she loves her father. When he calls us each day, she ends with ‘I love you too much Daddy,’” she continued. “We need him more than you can imagine. I know he has been convicted of serious crimes. But the man I married has only been an extraordinary husband to me and a devoted father to our daughter.”
Shortly after the sentencing, Masterson’s attorney Shawn Holley told reporters that there were plans to appeal his sentence.
“The errors which occurred in this case are substantial and unfortunately, led to verdicts which are not supported by the evidence,” Holley claimed. “And though we have great respect for the jury in this case and for our system of justice overall, sometimes they get it wrong. And that’s what happened here.”
The odds are slim for Masterson, however, according to attorney Neama Rahmani “It is very hard to win on appeal and I don’t expect Danny Masterson to win,” Rahmani, who was not involved in Masterson’s case, exclusively told Us. “And the reason is this: [Danny’s] attorney said that he didn’t do it, but you generally can’t appeal a jury verdict when it’s a question of fact. So, [does the jury] believe Danny Masterson [or] do they believe the victims? And in this particular case, they believe two of the victims.”
Rahmani added that under California law, “sentences have to run consecutively” in cases with “multiple victims” and a “violent” sex crime. “And that’s why we had two 15-year sentences,” he noted. “Danny Masterson’s going to do at least 30 years in California state prison.”