Ashton Kutcher received an award back in his hometown of West Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, and he delivered an emotional thank you speech in which he discussed his divorce from Demi Moore and the rumors that surrounded it. He also teared up while talking about his twin brother, his parents, his wife Mila Kunis, and their kids.
Kutcher, 39, was the recipient of the Robert D. Ray Pilliar of Character Award, and he said he debated whether or not to accept the award. During his speech, he listed off some of the mistakes he’d made in his life, such as getting arrested when he was 18-years-old for attempting to break in to his high school and being pulled over by a police officer while high.
“I’m also probably the first person to get this award for character who had his name splashed across every gossip magazine as an adulterer like five years ago,” he told the crowd.
He later added, “Character comes when those magazines tear you apart for something you may or may not have done, and you’ve got to go out and perform tomorrow with everyone looking at you like you might be an adulterer.”
He said his split from Moore was a learning experience that he was fortunate to have.
“I had the great fortune to fail again, and again and again…. I had the great fortune of getting a divorce because I felt the impact of it and I felt how much loss is in there, and I felt how much love is in there… and I understood, finally, my parents’ divorce…”
Kutcher choked up while discussing his twin brother.
“My brother was born with cerebral palsy, and he taught me that… people aren’t actually all created equal. The constitution lies to us. We’re all created incredibly [unequal]… but we all have the equal capacity to love one another, and my brother taught me that.”
He then raved about his wife. He said Kunis “kicks my ass on character every day."
The star wrapped up his speech, his voice unsteady, by discussing how he felt when he welcomed his two children into the world.
“The greatest lesson on character in my life are my kids,” he said. “That’s the real deal… [When we had them] my first response was I wanted to call my parents and say ‘I’m sorry because I never knew how much you love me.’”