Bijou Phillips reportedly filed for divorce as her husband, former That ‘70s Show actor Danny Masterson, was jailed for 30 years for raping two women between 2001 and 2003.
According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, the 43-year-old model and actor filed on Monday in a California court, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the cause and requesting that Masterson pay for her attorney fees.
Speaking to the outlet, her attorney Peter A. Lauzon said: “Ms. Phillips has decided to file for divorce from her husband during this unfortunate time. Her priority remains with her daughter.”
Her request included a plea to “terminate the court’s ability to grant support” to her husband. Additionally, she asked for full legal and physical custody of their nine-year-old daughter, Fianna, with visitation rights for Masterson.
She did not mention a prenup upon asking the court to divide their assests as separate property.
Phillips had been at the side of her husband of 12 years for the duration of his trial and she was in court as powerful victim impact statements were read out.
“When you raped me, you stole from me,” said one woman who Masterson, 47, was convicted of raping in 2003. “That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit.”
“You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent,” she added. “The world is better off with you in prison.”
The other victim told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo that the actor “has not shown an ounce of remorse for the pain he caused.”
“I knew he belonged behind bars for the safety of all the women he came into contact with. I am so sorry, and I’m so upset. I wish I’d reported him sooner to the police,” she told the court.
Following his sentencing – which means he will not be eligible for parole until he is 77 years old – he blew a kiss to Phillips, who was wearing dark glasses.
Bijou Phillips, daughter of The Mamas & The Papas musician John Phillips and his third wife Geneviève Waïte, was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, on 1 April 1980. Neither of her biological parents raised her. Instead, she was placed in upstate New York’s foster care system around the age of three because Phillips and Waïte were found “unfit” to take care of her. By age 14, she’d officially dropped out of school and emancipated herself. Three years later, when she was 17, she entered rehab.
In a 2018 Instagram post, Phillips explained how her parents continued to fight for custody while she was placed under the care of multiple foster families.
“They spent years and years fighting for custody, so I bounced around a lot,” she wrote. “When I was a kid separated from my parents, I remember my mother coming and wanting to take me and just wanting to go with her so much and screaming and crying and gripping the door, I was dragged inside, it took two adults and the door closed.”
“I didn’t see her again for months. It’s a pain I still feel and I look at my baby and can’t imagine that happening to us. My foster parents were so great... I’m still really close with my foster family and love them so much.”
Following her emancipation, Phillips moved into her own apartment near Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Per The Guardian, this marked her “party girl” time in her life, when she reportedly became addicted to heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy. She had kickstarted her modelling career at age 13, landing a Calvin Klein underwear advertisement. With no parental guidance, her own expendable income, and invites to glamorous club events, Phillips said she found it difficult to refrain from the substances being passed around her.
In conversation with The Observer in 2002, Phillips said: “I was 14 years old. What was I supposed to do? If you were 14 years old and able to live on your own in an apartment in New York City, and you got invited to all these clubs, and you got a bank account and you had a car service you could call so that you could go wherever you wanted... what would happen?”
However, when her friend Davide Sorrenti overdosed on heroin at age 20, Phillips said her father encouraged her to go to rehab.
The Almost Famous actor has two half sisters: Mackenzie, 64, and Chynna, 55. All three daughters have sought treatment inside a rehabilitation centre over the years – Bijou and Mackenzie for drug abuse, and Chynna for anxiety.
In 2009, Mackenzie said she had been the victim of an incestuous relationship with her father since she was 19, beginning with her father allegedly raping her the night before her wedding. She later said she had been forced to have an abortion as she wasn’t sure whether the baby would be her father’s child or her husband’s at the time.
In 2004, Phillips met Masterson at a poker tournament in Las Vegas.
Five years later, the pair was engaged. They tied the knot in 2011 and welcomed their daughter on Valentine’s Day in 2014.
Both on-screen artists identify as Scientologists, as do the women Masterson was convicted of raping.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies