Ashton Kutcher accepted the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award at the Ron Pearson Center on Saturday, and described his 2011 cheating scandal as character-building.


“I’m probably the first guy to get this award who had a deferred judgment for a felony burglary for trying to break into my high school,” said the 39-year-old actor in his acceptance speech. “I’m probably also the first guy to get this award who ever got pulled over by a state trooper while tripping on mushrooms…. 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.”

Though now married to Mila Kunis, Kutcher was married to Demi Moore for six years, and was accused of cheating amid rumors of infidelity. The pair split in 2011 and divorced in 2013. “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have decided to end my six-year marriage to Ashton,” Moore said at the time. “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.”

Many took her words to mean that Kutcher had in fact cheated. In 2015, Scott Eastwood claimed that the woman Kutcher slept with in San Diego on his wedding anniversary was his girlfriend at the time.

Though the truth never came to light on if Kutcher did actually cheat, he says the aftermath caused him to mature. “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,” he continued in his speech.