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Ashton Kutcher pays tribute to wife Mila Kunis in emotional speech

Ashton Kutcher has labelled his children "the greatest lesson in character in my life".

Ashton Kutcher has credited his wife Mila Kunis and their children for helping to shape him into the person he is today.

The 39-year-old actor, who is father to two-year-old Wyatt and four-month-old Dimitri with his spouse, was presented with the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday (08Apr17).

The gong recognised Ashton's "good character as a role model", but the actor joked he was probably the first recipient of the award "who had a deferred judgement for a felony burglary for trying to break into his high school" aged 18, got "pulled over by a state trooper while tripping on mushrooms," and had his "name splashed across every gossip magazine as an adulterer, like, five years ago". The latter remark was in reference to his marriage split from Demi Moore.

Continuing to tell the audience about his understanding of good character, Ashton explained: "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you learn from the mistakes that you make and how you perceive the world that's coming at you. Because life doesn't happen to you, it happens for you. Every single time. And as long as you have love and kindness and optimism and a pursuit of something greater in your heart, you're the lucky one. So this award is for you. It is for my family, it's for all four of my parents, it's for my wife, who kicks my a** on character every day."

Ashton then proceeded to recall one particular incident that morning which had seen Mila remind Ashton that his pride in allowing her extra time in bed is something she does on a daily basis.

"I thought I was awesome because I got up early and helped with the kids before she woke up and I let her sleep a little bit and then she's like, 'Well, now you're gonna act tired? I do it every day.' But it was a character moment, right? Because she's right!" he laughed.

Mila and Ashton first met when they starred together in sitcom That '70s Show but didn't start dating until years later, when they both ended up single. Fast forward to 2017, and Ashton is a father of two - with the actor calling his offspring "the greatest lesson in character in my life".

"When I had these kids, my wife and I had these kids and we got to share that amazing, amazing, amazing honour, 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 explained.

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