Lawyer Unveils Potential Strategy Behind Bijou Phillips' Divorce Filing From Danny Masterson

The following article includes mentions of rape.

Bijou Phillips' divorce from Danny Masterson was quite the shock, but it may have all come down to strategy. In early September 2023, the "That '70s Show" actor was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison after he was convicted of raping two women, per BBC. The case had been ongoing for years, and throughout it all, Phillips stood by her husband's side.

The couple had been in a relationship since 2006 and tied the knot in 2011. Throughout the most challenging moments of the trial, Phillips remained steadfast in her support for Masterson. Even after his sentencing, a source close to Phillips revealed to People that she had no intention of separating from her husband. The source shared, "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." It was even said that the "Almost Famous" actor worked alongside Masterson's lawyers to discuss a potential appeal.

However, mere days after People's report, the bombshell news that Phillips had filed for divorce from Masterson dropped. Phillips' attorney, Peter A. Lauzon, released a statement to People regarding the shocking split. He said, "Ms. Phillips has decided to file for divorce from her husband during this unfortunate time. Her priority remains with her daughter." The divorce may have seemed like a long time coming to many, but family law attorney Holly Davis of Austin-based Kirker Davis LLP thinks the separation could be strategic.

Bijou's divorce from Danny Masterson was complex

Family law attorney Holly Davis of Austin-based Kirker Davis LLP broke down the potential reasons why Bijou Phillips separated from Danny Masterson after his conviction. In September 2023, Phillips filed for divorce from Masterson after he was convicted of raping two women. According to Davis, it's not uncommon for couples to part ways amid legal issues, often driven by various factors, with asset considerations playing a significant role. Davis explained, "In a divorce, Danny and Bijou are going to divide their estate and once the divorce is finalized, certain bank accounts, real estate, and other assets are going to be Bijou's separate property." she added that "any future lawsuits against Danny won't be able to look to joint assets for payment, because Bijou will no longer be married to Danny." Once the divorce is finalized, Phillips will have sole ownership of her assets, eliminating any involvement in potential future legal matters concerning Masterson.

In addition, Davis believes Phillips' decision to divorce Masterson shortly after his sentencing could potentially have been "strategic." She shared, "It is possible that they decided to postpone any divorce lawsuit until the jury trial had been resolved and he had been sentenced. In this instance, Bijou would have the option to delay divorce proceedings if she thought it might be a benefit to his jury trial." Instead of becoming a possible witness or distraction in the trial, the lawyer explained the possibility that Phillips chose to delay the divorce from Masterson.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).