The 'That '70s Show' actor was found guilty on two counts of rape at his retrial in May
Phillips, 43, filed for divorce on Monday in a Santa Barbara, California court, according to docs obtained by PEOPLE. She cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their split after nearly 12 years of marriage, though their separation date was listed as "TBD."
Per the docs, Phillips requested she receive spousal support and to "terminate the court's ability to grant support" to Masterson, with whom she shares 9-year-old daughter Fianna. She also asked for full legal and physical custody of Fianna, and that their assets be divided up by the court as separate property.
"Ms. Phillips has decided to file for divorce from her husband during this unfortunate time. Her priority remains with her daughter," Phillips' lawyer Peter A. Lauzon tells PEOPLE in a statement.
He continues, "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. She hopes that everyone will respect her family's privacy in these difficult times."
Masterson’s defense attorney Shawn Holley did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment. TMZ was first to report the news.
The filing comes after Phillips was in the courtroom — alongside members of Masterson’s family — for the sentencing on Sept. 7, according to Variety. The actor, 47, was seen blowing a kiss to his wife before being led away to prison in a court sketch.
A source told PEOPLE last week that the actress was “distraught” over the sentencing. The insider shared that Phillips is “surrounded by family and friends” amid her husband’s legal troubles, adding, “She is in touch with his lawyer. They are planning appeals. She tries to stay hopeful.”
A jury at Los Angeles Superior Court found Masterson guilty of two counts of rape in May, per the Los Angeles Times. After jurors deliberated for more than seven days, a third count of rape resulted in a hung jury, the outlet reported.
Masterson did not register much of a reaction to the verdict, according to L.A. reporter Meghann Cuniff, who noted that his family members were "fighting back tears" and Phillips also began to cry when he was convicted.
Cuniff reported Judge Olmedo as telling her, "Can you maintain your composure? I know it's hard. But if not I need you to step outside."
Holley confirmed to PEOPLE after the verdict that Masterson planned to appeal.
A source previously told PEOPLE that Phillips was “shocked and devastated” by the conviction.
“She wasn’t prepared for the verdict. She never expected him to be found guilty,” the insider said. “She couldn’t believe that he was taken into custody right away and remanded.”
The source added that Phillips was “terrified about the sentencing.”
Masterson was charged in 2020 with forcibly raping three women in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003. He was released on a $3.3 million bail and later pleaded not guilty to all three charges in January 2021.
At the time, Masterson's attorney Tom Mesereau issued a statement to PEOPLE that said, "Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we're confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify."
"Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out," Mesereau continued. "The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false."
All of the alleged crimes occurred at Masterson's home, prosecutors say, and all three accusers took the stand to detail their allegations in May 2021 in a preliminary hearing.
Masterson was initially tried for the allegations in late 2022, but a mistrial was called after jurors were unable to come to a unanimous verdict. Ten of the 12 jurors wanted to find Masterson not guilty based on the evidence presented.
Many of the allegations against Masterson first surfaced in March 2017 when the LAPD's Robbery Homicide Division confirmed an investigation was taking place into sexual assault allegations against the actor. HuffPost then reported that November that a fourth woman had accused Masterson of raping her in the early 2000s.
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In response to the allegations, Masterson was removed from the Netflix series The Ranch, which he starred in alongside his former That '70s Show costar Ashton Kutcher. United Talent Agency also cut ties with the actor.
"This is beyond ridiculous," Masterson said in a statement to PEOPLE through his attorney at the time. "I'm not going to fight my ex-girlfriend in the media like she's been baiting me to do for more than two years. I will beat her in court — and look forward to it because the public will finally be able learn the truth and see how I've been railroaded by this woman. And once her lawsuit is thrown out, I intend to sue her and the others who jumped on the bandwagon for the damage they caused me and my family."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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