"But the greatest, greatest lesson in character in my life are my kids," Ashton said in his speech. "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.'"
Ashton went on to reference his divorce from Demi Moore, and the endless rumours that he had cheated. He said it was funny that he was being awarded with a character award when he had his "name splashed across every gossip magazine as an adulterer like five years ago.
"I had the great fortune of getting a divorce because I felt the impact of it and I felt how much loss is in there and how much love is in there and that it's not neat or clean or messy," Ashton said. "And I understood, finally, my parents' divorce in a whole different way."
Ashton also spoke of his twin brother, Michael Kutcher, who was born with Cerebral Palsy.
"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. "The Constitution lies to us. we're not all created equal. We're all created incredibly inequal 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."
"When I got older, I spent years and years feeling bad about it, our inequalities," the actor said. "He also taught me that he had gifts that I didn't have. Extraordinary gifts that I didn't have, and that every time I felt sorry for him in life, I made him less. He taught me that and he gave that to me."
You can watch the full speech, which was delivered in front of a 700-strong crowd, here: