The actor brought up the allegations he had cheated on Demi during his acceptance speech at Drake University's Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines.
Ashton, 39, mentioned he was getting the award despite having his “name splashed across every gossip magazine as an adulterer like five years ago.”
“Character comes out 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,” he told the crowd.
Ashton and Demi split in 2011 amid cheating allegations, and they finalized their divorce in 2013. Scott Eastwood even accused Ashton of bedding his then girlfriend, telling Andy Cohen it was “the catalyst that broke him and Demi up.”
“I had the great fortune of getting a divorce because I felt the impact of it and how much loss is in there and how much love is in there and that its not neat or clean or messy. And I understood finally my parents' divorce in a whole different way,” Ashton said.
He also thanked current wife Mila Kunis, 33, who he wed in 2015.
“This award is for you, it is for my family, it is for all four of my parents,” he said. “It's for my wife, who kicks my ass on character every day. I mean, I'm telling you, this morning I woke up and she kicked my ass on character.”
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