During this weekend's ceremony, Ashton Kutcher called his young children “the greatest, greatest lesson in character in my life”

By Stephanie Petit
April 10, 2017 03:58 PM

While accepting the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award in West Des Moines, Iowa, this past weekend, Ashton Kutcher credited rumors of infidelity during his marriage to — and 2013 divorce from — Demi Moore with helping shape the man he is today.

“I’m also probably the first person to get this award for character who had, like, his name splashed across every gossip magazine as an adulterer like five years ago,” he said, alluding to his high-profile split from the 54-year-old actress.

“Character comes when those magazines tear you apart for something you may or may not have done and you gotta go out and perform tomorrow — with everyone looking at you like you might be an adulterer.”

Kutcher and Moore wed in 2005 despite their much buzzed-about 15-year age difference.

When they split six years later, a friend of the 39-year-old actor said the marriage “[had] been deteriorating for a long time.”

Moore “really wanted to save the marriage but couldn’t deal with the pain of his cheating,” added the friend.

The breakup followed reports that 22-year-old Sara Leal alleged a one-night stand with the Two and a Half Men star on his sixth wedding anniversary with Moore.

Victor Boyko/GC/Getty

The couple announced their split in separate statements.

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have decided to end my six-year marriage to Ashton,” said Moore in a statement. “As a woman, a mother and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life.”

Kutcher added, “I will forever cherish the time I spent with Demi. Marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world and unfortunately sometimes they fail.”

FROM COINAGE: See Where 6 Stars Were Before They Were Famous

While his marriage to Moore didn’t last, Kutcher found love again with his former That ’70s Show costar Mila Kunis.

The duo crossed paths at an awards show shortly after Kutcher became single again, the 33-year-old actress said on The Howard Stern Show last year.

“I see this guy and I see his back and he’s really tall,” Kunis says of seeing Kutcher. “Then he just turns around and it was literally like if we were in a movie, the music would start playing and the violins would go. I think for the first time ever he took my breath away – I was like f—, he’s good-looking.”

After catching up with each other, Kunis said the actor invited her to his housewarming party. Although it was later discovered that Kutcher had intended to set Kunis up with one of his friends, the sparks between the pair were undeniable.

“Long story short, I didn’t leave until the next morning,” she revealed. “[It was the] first time I ever slept over while I was single.”

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty

It wasn’t long before the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Wyatt Isabelle, on Oct. 1, 2014.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s the greatest thing on Earth,” the actor said while speaking of fatherhood for the first time on Conan. “We’re really privileged that we have time and can afford to take time. So we don’t have a nanny or a night nurse or any of the stuff. It’s just the two of us.”

The couple, who married in a private ceremony in July 2015, announced they were expecting their second child in July 2016.

Their son, Dimitri Portwood, was born on Nov. 30, and weighed in at 8 lbs., 15 oz.

However, Kutcher admitted to being less prepared the second time around.

“The first one, I almost became a doula. I was reading every book. I was ready. I had like a catcher’s mitt on,” The Ranch star joked. “This one, I haven’t done anything. I’m like, ‘Well, we didn’t break the first one.’ They’re really durable — that’s what you realize. They don’t break very easily.”

During this past weekend’s awards ceremony, Kutcher called his young children “the greatest, greatest lesson in character in my life.”

“When my wife and I had these kids and we got to share that amazing, amazing, amazing honor, my first response was, I wanted to call my parents and say, ‘I’m sorry, because I never knew how much you loved me,’ ” he quipped.