In the mid-2000s, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were one of Hollywood’s most talked about couples.
The pair went public with their relationship in 2003 and tied the knot in 2005 when Demi was 42 and Ashton was 27. Their 15-year age gap was the focus of much public chatter.
Despite experiencing a heartbreaking pregnancy loss in 2006, Ashton and Demi enjoyed a happy marriage, with the Punk’d star developing close bonds with Demi’s three daughters with her ex-husband Bruce Willis.
However, things ultimately came tumbling down in 2010 when the couple was first dogged by rumors that Ashton had cheated. They put up a united front at first but wound up announcing their split in November 2011.
Though the claims of Ashton’s infidelity were widely circulated, it wasn’t until 2019 that Demi opened up about the demise of their relationship in detail, writing in her memoir that he cheated twice — once with a 21-year-old he met during a family outing to a bowling alley.
The Ghost star claimed that Ashton tried to justify his actions by saying that the boundaries of their marriage had been blurred by the fact that they’d had threesomes together in the past.
So, just two months after he and Demi announced their divorce, Ashton had already reconnected with his longtime friend and former That 70s Show costar Mila Kunis, with the two sharing an offscreen kiss for the first time at a party at his house in January 2012.
Mila and Ashton have both maintained on separate occasions that their romantic relationship started as a purely casual fling given that they were both newly single at the time.
But, as history goes, things wound up getting serious pretty fast, and the two had moved in together by April 2012, more than a year before Demi and Ashton’s divorce was even finalized.
Of course, Ashton and Mila are now very happily married and share two children, Wyatt and Dimitri, aged 8 and 6. However, in a brand-new interview, Ashton is looking back at how he and Mila tackled the issue of his and Demi’s rocky marriage in the early days of their romance.
Speaking to Esquire, Ashton looked back at the pain of his divorce from Demi, particularly the shame he felt after his cheating scandal broke.
“Nothing makes you feel like a failure like divorce,” he said. “Divorce feels like a wholesale fucking failure. You failed at marriage.”
He recalled instances at industry events where he’d heard people talking about the rumors of his infidelities, calling the experience “humiliating and embarrassing.”
Reflecting on the demise of their marriage and the part he played in the downfall, Ashton said simply: “You own the shit you did wrong, and you go forward.”
Being that his behavior was the talk of the town, Ashton’s close friends seemingly weren’t exempt from hearing about his private escapades — including Mila.
Moving on to talk about how they went from old pals to lovers after his split from Demi, Ashton admitted that his behavior was something Mila addressed head on.
“You were an asshole,” he recalled her saying to him, prompting some self-reflection on his part.
“Yeah, you were an asshole for a good two years,” she apparently added.
And while it may have hurt to be confronted with such brutal honesty by one of his longest-standing friends, Mila’s frankness wound up serving Ashton for the best.
“The thing about Mila that made our relationship accelerate was that I had always admired her,” he said, looking back on their fast-moving romance. “Her talents, her skills, her gifts. But I knew that she didn’t need me. And she knew that I didn’t need her.”
He also added that one of the most important aspects of their relationship was that they were able to accept each other’s faults.
In the past, Mila has opened up about the “fucked up” way she ended her nine-year relationship with Macaulay Culkin, which she admitted led to a “horrible, horrible, horrible breakup.”
She’s never explicitly talked about infidelity, but she told Dax Shepard in 2018: “I fucked up. I was an asshole in my 20s and I’ll be the first to admit it. And that’s kind of something that took me a long time to come out and be like, ‘Yeah, you know what? I was a dick,’ and accept it. And I own it now.”
Perhaps alluding to this common ground from their past relationships, Ashton said he and Mila were able to connect so quickly because they “already knew all of each other’s dirt.”
Elsewhere in the wide-ranging interview, Ashton also gave a rare comment about Demi’s tell-all memoir, which was released in 2019 and was packed with details about their tumultuous marriage.
Evidently reluctant to delve much further into his thoughts on the book, Ashton said he was “fucking pissed” about the release of his ex’s memoir, admitting that his frustrations centered mainly on his family’s privacy.
“I’d finally gotten to a place where the press had really laid off me and Mila, and my life and my family. And then the next day, [the paparazzi] are at my kids’ school,” he said, adding definitively, “I don’t want to open anything up in that realm.”