Ashton Kutcher thanks wife Mila Kunis and their kids for helping him become a role model in touching speech


Ashton Kutcher credits Mila Kunis and their two kids for helping to make him a good person.

The 39-year-old actor was honored with the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award -- which recognizes "good character as a role model" -- at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, and in addition to gushing over his wife, he also opened up about a time when he had his "name splashed across every gossip magazine as an adulterer, like, five years ago."

WATCH: Scott Eastwood Reveals Shocker About Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore's Divorce

Kutcher spoke about reports that he was unfaithful to Demi Moore prior to their split in 2011, which ultimately led to their divorce in 2013. "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. "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."

22 PHOTOS
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher through the years
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Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher through the years
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19: Ashton Kutcher (L) and Mila Kunis attend game 4 of the NLCS between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 22: (L-R) Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Todd Williamson/BBMA2016/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 22: (L-R) Actors Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and singer Demi Lovato attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Todd Williamson/BBMA2016/Getty Images for dcp)
THAT 70'S SHOW (TV - 1998) DANNY MASTERSON, LAURA PREPON, ASHTON KUTCHER, TOPHER GRACE, MILA KUNIS, WILMER VALDERAMA T70S 002
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 22: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis look on from the sidelines before the game between the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 22, 2013 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Mila Kunis (L) and Ashton Kutcher attend a basketball between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 22, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
THAT 70'S SHOW (TV - 1998) TOPHER GRACE, WILMER VALDERAMA, DANNY MASTERSON, MILA KUNIS, LAURA PREPON, ASHTON KUTCHER T70S 001
Apr. 10, 2002 - Hollywood, CALIFORNIA, USA - DON STARK, DEBRA JO RUPP, KURTWOOD SMITH, WILMER VALDERRAMA, LAURA PREPON, DANNY MASTERSON, ASHTON KUTCHER, MILA KUNIS, TOPHER GRACE..THAT 70S SHOW CELEBRATES ITS 100TH EPISODE WITH A PARTY AT.SUNSET ROOM, HOLLYWOOD, CA.APRIL 10, 2002. NINA PROMMER/ 2002 K24623NP(Credit Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Mila Kunis (L) and Ashton Kutcher attend a basketball between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 22, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 03: Ashton Kutcher (L) and Mila Kunis attend a basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 3, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 03: Ashton Kutcher (L) and Mila Kunis attend a basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 3, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 27: (L-R) Actors Jordy Masterson, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher seen during day 3 of 2014 Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 27, 2014 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher arrive at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport). on September 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 25: Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis attend day 1 of 2014 Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 25, 2014 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Mila Kunis (L) and Ashton Kutcher attend a basketball game between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 5: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis attend Game Two of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 5, 2016 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 22: (L-R) Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Todd Williamson/BBMA2016/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 22: (L-R) Actors Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and singer Demi Lovato attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Todd Williamson/BBMA2016/Getty Images for dcp)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 28: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on March 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 19: Mila Kunis (L) and Ashton Kutcher attend a basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 19, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 14: Founder of A-Grade Investments Guy Oseary, Actor Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis attend The Launch Of Ashton Kutcher & Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures At SXSW on March 14, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for SOUND)
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The former Two and a Half Men star also jokingly noted in his speech that he might be the first person honored with the award who was also arrested when they were 18 for "felony burglary" -- which allegedly occurred when the Cedar Rapids native tried to break into his high school -- and being "pulled over by a state trooper while tripping on mushrooms."

MORE: Ashton Kutcher Says Demi Moore's Daughters Helped Prepare Him for Fatherhood

"It's not whether you win or lose," he said of his missteps in the past. "It's how you learn from the mistakes that you make and how you perceive the world that's coming at you."

Kutcher dedicated the award to wife Kunis, who he said "kicks my a** on character every day."

WATCH: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Adorably Announce Lineup at Dodgers Playoff Game

He even admitted that he got called out on his character that morning. "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," he shared. "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!"

45 PHOTOS
A Look Back at the Ever-Ageless Demi Moore
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A Look Back at the Ever-Ageless Demi Moore

Black and white, cheeky-chic for the European Valentine's Day premiere.

Photo Credit: Jon Furniss, WireImage/Getty Images

Breathtaking blue for the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2007.

Photo Credit: KMazur, WireImage/Getty Images

The picture of chic at GQ's The Gentlemen's Ball this year.

Photo Credit: Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Shoulder-baring black at the Hollywood Film Festival in '06.

Photo Credit: SGranitz, WireImage/Getty Images

Casual-chic with Ashton in 2004.

Photo Credit: Gregg DeGuire, WireImage/Getty Images

 

Embellished and black for a Saks event in '03.

Photo Credit: J. Vespa, WireImage/Getty Images

In slinky, floor-length black at the Fashion Group International Presents The 20th Annual Night of Stars in 2003 in NYC.

Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris, WireImage/Getty Images

Working a hot dress and boots combo at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards.

Photo Credit: KMazur, WireImage/Getty Images

Love this Marchesa moment — the fuchsia hue, the silver pumps — love it all!

Photo Credit: Charley Gallay, WireImage/Getty Images

Metallic gray mini for a film premiere in '06.

Photo Credit: Paul MorigiWireImage/Getty Images

Simply stunning in a gray, one-shouldered mini for a book launch in October 2009.

Photo Credit: Steve Granitz, WireImage/Getty Images

Asymmetrical in burnt orange for an event in August 2009.

Photo Credit: Jason Merritt, Getty Images

White hot! Making a styled appearance at Diddy's white party in July '09.

Photo Credit: Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Ahead of the curve: sporting the leopard print trend on a metallic sheath in February 2009.

Photo Credit: John Shearer, WireImage/Getty Images

Baring a little midriff at the CFDA Awards in '98.

Photo Credit: Ke.Mazur, WireImage/Getty Images

Femme in an embellished sheath at a press conference in '08.

Photo Credit: Alexander Tamargo, Getty Images

Coordinated casuals with hubby Ashton Kutcher in December '08.

Photo Credit: Angela Weiss, WireImage/Getty Images

Bold, shimmering blue for the Emmy Awards in '97.

Photo Credit: Ke.Mazur, WireImage/Getty Images

Dressed down with a dose of luxe for a Maxim party in December 2002.

Photo Credit: Albert L. Ortega, WireImage/Getty Images

A fringed scarf and fancy black separates for the Talk magazine launch party in '99.

Photo Credit: KMazur, WireImage/Getty Images

Playful print and a sophisticated silhouette for a party in 2005.

Photo Credit: Donato Sardella, WireImage/Getty Images

A metallic, knit mini — and Ashton in tow — for the premiere of Charlie's Angels 2 — Full Throttle.

Photo Credit: Albert L. Ortega, WireImage/Getty Images

Attending Interview magazine's 30th anniversary party in a plush, white coat and black separates in October '99.

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini, Getty Images

A hot, nearly nude mini in 2006.

Photo Credit: J. Vespa, WireImage/Getty Images

Channeling a vintage screen siren in fur and a creamy floor-length gown on the red carpet in 2008.

Photo Credit: Jean Baptiste Lacroix, WireImage/Getty Images

Suited up in 2001.

Photo Credit: Robin Platzer, Twin Images/Getty Images

Classic Chanel at Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel Cruise Show in 2007.

Photo Credit: Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic/Getty Images

Super sleek and sexy at a Gucci charity event in 2008.

Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur, WireImage/Getty Images

Taking in the G.I. Jane film premiere in basic black — and Bruce Willis in tow.

Photo Credit: SGranitz, WireImage/Getty Images

Shimmering in an LBD for a 2003 event.

Photo Credit: Carmen Valdes, Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Walking the red carpet in iridescent florals at the Golden Globe Awards in '97.

Photo Credit: Jim Smeal, Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Pairing an unexpected color combo in NYC in '05.

Photo Credit: Arnaldo Magnani, Getty Images

Sculptural black strapless for an appearance on MTV's live broadcast from The Youth Inaugural Ball in January '09.

Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur, WireImage/Getty Images

Enviably chic while visiting NYC in 2005.

Photo Credit: Arnaldo Magnani, Getty Images

Black and sheer for a film screening in 2005.

Photo Credit: Jim Spellman, WireImage/Getty Images

Channeling a gilded goddess at the Jacqueline Kennedy Costume Institute Gala in April 2001.

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini, Getty Images

One of my favorite casual looks — glammed-up denim with Lucy Liu at the The Matrix Reloaded premiere in '03.

Photo Credit: SGranitz, WireImage/Getty Images

Remember this?! In a paint-splattered sheath at the Yves Saint Laurent Cruise 2008 collection preview.

Photo Credit: Donato Sardella, WireImage/Getty Images

Demi stuns in a column, cobalt blue at a pre-Oscar party in March 2010.

Photo Credit: Jason Merritt, Getty Images

A gorgeous embellished Louis Vuitton for an event in June 2011.

Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris, WireImage/Getty Images

Casual-chic in leather pants and a blazer for an NYC appearance in 2011.

Photo Credit: Ray Tamarra, Getty Images

Showing off a chic, color-injected Chanel sheath at the Five NY screening in 2011.

Photo Credt: Dimitrios Kambouris, WireImage/Getty Images

A ladylike Zac Posen for the Margin Cell New York premiere in '11.

Photo Credit: Jim Spellman, WireImage/Getty Images

A ladylike Zac Posen for the Margin Cell New York premiere in

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Kutcher went on to gush over 2-year-old daughter Wyatt and 4-month-old son Dimitri, calling fatherhood, "The greatest, greatest lesson in character in my life."

WATCH: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher All Smiles in First Sighting Since Welcoming Son Dimitri

"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 recalled.

Kutcher also credited his brother, Michael Kutcher, for teaching him about love and acceptance. "My brother was born with cerebral palsy and it taught me that loving people isn't a choice and that people aren't actually all created equal," he said, getting emotional. "The Constitution lies to us. We're not all created equal. We're all created incredibly unequal to one another, in our capabilities and what we can do and how we think and what we see. But we all have the equal capacity to love one another, and my brother taught me that."

WATCH: Find Out What Ashton Kutcher Wanted to Name His Baby Boy (Before Mila Kunis 'Knocked Down' The Idea)

ET recently caught up with Kunis -- who married Kutcher in July 2015 -- at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, and she talked about being happy with the size of her family right now.

"We're solid. It's perfect, it's like, great, you know?" she shared. "I have two really healthy, really wonderful kids. Why test my luck?"

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