A relationship so far in the past, one would imagine all of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher's buried secrets have been safely laid to rest. But in Hollywood, the revelations never end...
Center of Attention
When actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher announced their love, no one could get enough. It was the relationship on everyone's lips, and the paparazzi worked overtime to snap them in action.
But, as many high-profile relationships do, their spark imploded, and the couple announced their divorce after almost 10 years together. What had gone on behind the scenes? Demi and Ashton kept their lips tightly sealed. Years later, Moore finally spilled the beans and revealed it was one wild journey...
Before becoming the nation's heartthrob, Ashton Kutcher was living a simpler life in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Born Christopher Ashton Kutcher, he grew up alongside his twin brother Michael and older sister. With his brother under constant medical care, Ashton kept himself busy in his high school drama department.
When it was time for college, Kutcher enrolled in the University of Iowa to study biochemical engineering. It was here where he was scouted to be a model and when on to win the "Fresh Faces of Iowa" competition. After contemplating his next life step, he relocated to Los Angeles. The aspiring actor's journey was just beginning...
His Big Break
Immediately after setting up base in LA, Ashton was spun into a whirlwind of popularity and fame. This was due to his casting as Michael Kelso in the popular That '70s Show. His character's tumultuous relationship with Mila Kunis' character Jackie Burkhart had the fans hooked. He was also the host of MTV's Punk'd.
Kutcher's film career was also thriving, appearing in dramatic movies like The Guardian and comedies like Dude, Where's My Car? In 2011, he was announced as Charli Sheen's replacement on Two and a Half Men. He recently honored his roots and made a guest appearance on That '90s Show. Ashton was always going to be a star.
Demi Before 'Moore'
As for Kutcher's wife-to-be, she was on her own path to success, also starting from humble beginnings in Roswell, New Mexico. Born Demi Gene Guynes, she was constantly on the move due to her stepdad's career. This instability only fueled her drive for fame and fortune, and she went on to achieve precisely that.
Knowing acting was her passion, she enrolled in a drama school and practiced the art throughout her teenage years. At the same time, she built up her modeling career, signing with Elite Modeling Agency and rising through the ranks. After meeting and falling in love with musician Freddy Moore, the pair married, and the name Demi Moore was born.
Unlike Ashton, Demi did not shoot to fame with her first acting job. Before landing her big break, she had a few lesser-known roles in General Hospital and St. Elmo's Fire. Everything changed when she appeared in About Last Night... turning the star into a household name. Her performance in Ghost earned her a Golden Globe.
Come the mid-90s, Demi was officially the highest-paid Hollywood actress. She found herself being offered numerous roles, which she had the luxury of selecting carefully. After shaving her head and making waves in G.I. Jane, Moore took a well-deserved career back. Just a few years later, she came back stronger than ever.
The Hollywood rumor mill was working overtime when 25-year-old Hollywood playboy Ashton Kutcher was spotted out for dinner in LA with 41-year-old actress Demi Moore. Alongside a few friends, the pair were seen sitting close and laughing together. Two weeks later, on Memorial Day Weekend 2003, the two were seen together in Miami.
According to PEOPLE Magazine's source at the time, the two actors shared a "very romantic" kiss upon leaving the Miami restaurant. Fans everywhere were overwhelmed by the update. Were they officially together? Nothing had been confirmed, and everyone wanted to know the juicy deets.
Making Things Official
Thankfully, the fans didn't have to wait long, and the two confirmed their relationship shortly after their very public outing. Every day, it seemed, a new headline was being written about the pair. Although it was speculated that they secretly wed in Mexico, they did not make things official until a few years later.
On September 24, 2005, two years after they first met, the Hollywood stars tied the knot in LA in front of 100 friends and family members. A PEOPLE source reportedly friends with the couple described the wedding as "beautiful." Another insider noted, "There was just so much love in the room."
Acknowledging the Age-Gap
While Ashton and Demi may have been unbothered by their 15-year age gap, this fact was the subject of much controversial debate and mockery. The lovebirds were seemingly unbothered by this response, even joining in on the banter from time to time.
One such example was during Ashton's Saturday Night Live hosting stint. The young actor stood up and introduced his wife, Demi, who appeared dressed and made up as an elderly woman, walking onto the stage with her walker. If you can't beat em, join em!
The Tea Is Spilled
On the surface, Ashton and Demi's relationship appeared to be the epitome of marital bliss. So, when the two announced their divorce in 2013, many eyebrows were raised. While it was obvious that something had gone very wrong, the public was kept in the dark as to what this had been.
For almost six years, the truth went untold. That was until Demi released her explosive memoir Inside Out in 2019 and revealed exactly what had gone down between them. With 272 pages worth of information, there was a lot to unravel. So, let's start from the very beginning...
Feeling Young Again
Not looking to omit a single detail, Moore traced her and Kutcher's love story to their very first meeting, noting the age-gap indifference. "He was 25. I was 40. But I'm telling you: we couldn't feel it. We were totally in sync, from our very first conversation…." she wrote.
"When I met Ashton, it almost felt like a do-over," she continued. "Like I could just go back in time and experience what it was like to be young, with him -- much more so than I'd ever been able to experience it when I was actually in my twenties." It was Demi's second chance at young love.
The Ultimate Proposal
Demi revealed that the couple was expecting a child, which triggered Ashton to pop the question. "He asked me to go down to the beach to watch the sunset, and then he got down on one knee and presented me with a beautiful vintage Cartier ring. I was overwhelmed."
Although she had been initially hesitant to accept, fearing he had felt obliged to propose, she soon had a change of heart. "But I loved him. And I knew he loved me," she wrote. "And I knew this baby would cement our family, bond us all on the deepest level. By the end of the night, I'd said yes."
One Happy Family
By marrying Demi, Ashton had made things official with her entire family, becoming a step-father to her three daughters, Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah Belle. Since their divorce, Demi and her ex-husband Bruce Willis had always put their children above all else, and Kutcher was now in on it too.
"We talk about everything. It's amazing," Ashton gushed about his stepdaughters. Moore praised their bond, noting that "Ashton's relationship with his own mother is really wonderful, so it made the transition to being with a woman with daughters something he didn't bat an eye at." He was ready for a child of his own.
With Kutcher anxiously awaiting the arrival of their unborn child, Moore received a heartbreaking update. "Almost six months into my pregnancy, right at the moment when we were going to start telling everyone, we went to the doctor's office. He did his usual ultrasound, but this time, there was no heartbeat," she wrote.
Moore recalled her unbearable grief when she mourned for the child she was never able to meet. "Ashton did his best to connect with me in my grief. He tried to be there for me during the miscarriage, but he couldn't really understand what I was feeling." But all was not over...
"I Was... Desperate"
Not one to quit and back down easily, Demi channeled her heartbreak into motivation and sought to give pregnancy another go. "I was still desperate to have a baby with him," she penned. Although Ashton suggested they explore alternate options to avoid another miscarriage, Demi insisted on carrying the baby herself.
"I wanted to be the fertile woman who could have his baby," she explained in the memoir. However, when the couple was having no luck conceiving naturally, the time had come to go down a different path. From IVF treatments to egg donors and surrogates, they considered it all.
Just as Demi was starting to wrap her head around the idea of alternate pregnancies, Ashton had a change of heart. To Moore's shock and surprise, her then-husband dropped a truth bomb. "Ashton told me, 'I don't think I can do this, and I don't know if this is working.' she wrote. "I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me."
"I asked him why he'd let me research a donor, go through this painful prolonged process, and make myself vulnerable in this way if he wasn't up for it. His response was simple: 'I never thought you'd go through with it.'" The man she had trusted so dearly had broken her heart.
Whatever It Takes
Desperate not to let go of their relationship, Demi did whatever it would take to keep Ashton in the picture - even if that meant indulging in his fantasies. "I wanted to show him how great and fun I could be," she recalled. "There were two different people we opened our relationship to…."
With the benefit of hindsight, Demi looked back on this time, writing, "They were good people, but it was still a mistake. Part of the point of monogamy is the energy of somebody making the sacrifice or the choice for you... As soon as another person is brought in, you are no longer being held in that sacred spot."
Running Out of Options
"I wanted this marriage to work, and I was willing to do whatever it took, to jump through any hoop," Demi defended her decisions. However, although she was giving all of herself to her husband and committing to seeing the relationship through, things were not looking good.
As far as Demi saw it, she had two options in front of her. She could either let go and allow their romance to continue in the direction it was already heading, or she could attempt to recreate the magic they once felt. A new development would soon take this choice out of her hands.
The Rumors Were True
While the couple continually denied any rumors of infidelity, Demi revealed the truth behind the gossip in Inside Out. She noted, "I remember the night they met. We were at a bowling alley with Rumer, and when he went to switch out our shoes, she gave him her number on a napkin. Or that's what he told me at the time."
When the couple returned from the bowling alley, Kutcher had presented Demi with the note. "That is just gross. We were there with our kid, and she was there with her mother and her sister!" Demi reflected on this moment. She then noted that she later discovered Ashton had brought the 21-year-old woman into their home in her absence.
In her memoir, Demi attempted to explain Ashton's version of events, noting his response to her exposing the affair. "Because we had brought a third party into our relationship, Ashton said, that blurred the lines and, to some extent, justified what he'd done."
"I think he felt remorse, but he was also looking for a way to deflect blame, to maintain his own perception of himself as a decent family guy," she wrote. "In retrospect, I think all of this was his way of trying to get out of our marriage," she admitted all these years later.
Since the early days of her acting and modeling career, Demi had developed a problematic relationship with substances. As revealed in her book, the director and producers of St. Elmo's Fire decided to check the young actress into rehab for two weeks before filming began. She also revealed her unhealthy obsession with working out.
"I didn't feel like I could stop exercising," she said in the book, noting that she carried these habits into her marriage with Kutcher. "I wanted to be that girl. The girl who could have a glass of wine at dinner, or do a tequila shot at a party… So I tried to become that: a fun, normal girl."
It wasn't until Demi's 45th birthday that things reached their lowest point. "Late that night, we all ended up in the hot tub… If other people hadn't been there, I would have drowned," she admitted in the memoir. She recalled how a devasted Ashston had put her to bed.
"But it was also confusing," she continued. "Ashton had encouraged me to go in this direction. When I went too far, though, he let me know how he felt by showing a picture he'd taken of me [while intoxicated]." Although, at first, she thought he was joking around, later she recognized that he was shaming her for her actions.
Unfortunately, there was more trouble on the way. While away for work, a google alert notification informed Demi that her then-husband had been unloyal yet again. It had been their sixth wedding anniversary, and while she was upset to be spending the time apart, Kutcher had used his time alone to welcome a female house guest.
Looking back on the moment she confronted him over the phone, she said, "He admitted it right away." Talking to Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer, she continued. "And I think my response was, 'Are you f---ing kidding me?' That was it. And I think I could barely take a breath." But there was no time for tears because duty called.
A Brave Face
"Then I had to hang up and go walk the red carpet praying with every step that this information hadn't gone wide yet," she wrote. "That nobody would thrust a microphone in my face and ask how I felt about my husband of 6 years [seeing] a 21-year-old he'd been hanging out with in a hot tub the weekend of our anniversary."
"I really thought I might throw up," she recalled in her memoir. But she's a Hollywood star for good reason, and putting on a brave face and a smile was what she did best. She walked the red carpet of her Lifetime miniseries and acted like everything was great. Nobody knew otherwise.
Unfortunately, after six years of marriage, and eight years of romance, Demi and Ashton's relationship had come to an end. On November 17, 2011, they each released separate statements announcing their separation. Although there had been struggles, it was emotionally difficult news to deliver.
According to PEOPLE, Moore and Kutcher tried their best to fight for their love after Ashton's second cheating scandal. Ultimately, however, it wasn't meant to be, and the two understood they needed to part ways forever. The two followed different paths, and it took Demi years of healing before she was ready to reflect publicly.
To Demi's likely disappointment, Ashton found new love before the couple's divorce papers had even gone through. Reaching out to his old friend and ex-co-star Mila Kunis, the two fell fast and hard in love. While their characters had always shared a romantic interest, this was a first for their real selves.
It wasn't long before the couple said, "I do!" and the lovebirds expanded their family with kids Wyatt Isabelle and Dimitri Portwood. Unlike his previous marriage to Demi, Ashton was adamant about keeping this relationship out of the spotlight. Unknown to them, this was merely the calm before the storm…
The Unspoken Truth
In September 2019, Kutcher's ex-wife, Demi Moore, was finally ready to speak her truth, releasing her memoir Inside Out. The Hollywood actress left no stone unturned, revealing the intimate details of her life from the very beginning. As discussed, she dug deep into her marriage with Kutcher.
As the world waited for Ashton to respond to the revelations, he opted for silence and let his side of the story go untold. One year later, during an appearance on WTF with Marc Maron, he went as far as to say, "There's no badness. It's all good." But how honest was this statement? As we know now, it was far from the truth.
Ashton Speaks Out
It took Ashton many years before he was able to address his ex-wife's memoir head-on. Appearing on the cover of Esquire in 2023, he sat down for an interview when Inside Out was mentioned. Unlike before, Ashton had much to say about the book's bombshell release.
He admitted, "I was f---ing pissed. 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." Before allowing himself to continue, he said, "I don't want to open anything up in that realm."
Although her husband had wanted to ignore the book and keep his opinions to himself, he told Esquire that his new wife, Mila, had some thoughts on the book's revelations. He recalled that Mila told him, "You were an *sshole." To which he replied innocently, "Was I...?"
But Kunis wasn't having any of it. "She didn't blink," Ashton admitted. She rebuked him, "Yeah, you were an *sshole for a good two years." As far as Mila could see, Ashton had grown from the experience and cleaned up his act, becoming an honorable, family man worthy of her love.
All in the Past
Showing the world that they'd all moved on from the drama, Kutcher's ex-wife and present-day wife joined forces in the AT&T Super Bowl ad in 2022. The promotional video showed Kunis and Moore laughing about the many things they have in common - from high school to Kutcher!
Although Ashton and Demi's love story had not turned out the way they dreamed, the amicable arrangement between all involved parties is certainly something to be proud of. This chapter of their lives is officially closed, and no bad blood remains between them.
To the readers' surprise, Demi noted in her memoir that despite all their struggles, her current attitude towards her ex-husband has changed. Rather than looking back on their time together with anger and treatment, she stated that she's "grateful to Ashton too, believe it or not."
"Whatever pain we went through together enabled both of us to grow into the people we are today. We continue to collaborate with our foundation, Thorn, and I'm so proud of the work we do," she confessed. Nothin' but respect for two exes burying the hatches in the name of charity!
Although Demi had put all of this heartbreak behind her, she was soon hit by a new wave of tragedy - this time regarding her second husband. "Since we announced Bruce's diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022," she began on Instagram on February 16, 2023. "...Bruce's condition has progressed."
"And we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia." As Mayo Clinic put it, FTD is an "umbrella term for a group of brain disorders that primarily affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These areas of the brain are generally associated with personality, behavior, and language." It most commonly affects people under 60.
When Bruce's medical diagnosis was first revealed to the public, it came alongside the news of the actor's temporary retirement. As his condition has deteriorated, it's now clear the Die Hard star is saying bye to Hollywood for good. Although a major loss for the industry, Demi has committed to continuing his legacy.
"Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately," Bruce's family wrote. "We know in our hearts that – if he could today -- he'd want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with [FTD]."
When news first broke of Bruce's medical condition, Demi reassured her followers that the family's happy dynamic would not change. "As Bruce always says, "Live it up" and together we plan to do just that," she wrote. Moore and Willis divorced after 11 years of marriage in 1998 but have since remained close friends.
Cementing her support further, Demi proudly attended her ex-husband's 2009 wedding to new wife, Emma Heming. "We realize we have a lifelong commitment to our kids. Our friendship continues. The institution has been set aside," Bruce said in a 2000 interview.
A Complicated Dynamic
Although they have always been a close-knit family unit, that's not to say there weren't any bumps along the way in the form of new romantic interests. After Demi and Ashton got together, Bruce told the media that his friend Will Smith had helped him deal with the jealousy he felt over their union.
"During some very dark hours, he talked to me about it. He said, "Dude, you've got to do whatever it takes to get the kids and all the spouses or the girlfriend together. You've got to show your kids it's okay," Willis told Playboy in 2007. "It was like a light went on. Ding. So Will, thanks. And thanks for all those good movies you're making."
The Next Chapter
Through all the ups and downs, Demi and Bruce have always stood by each other's side. "They always made an effort to do all of the family events still together… to still have our family be as one unit, as opposed to two separate things, which I think really made an impact," Rumer told Larry King about her parents.
And while most exes struggle to be in the same room, Moore and Willis went as far as to quarantine together during the pandemic. When it comes to the holidays, the family know no divides, blending together for one big celebration. At this challenging time, Bruce needs all the love in the world, and that's exactly what he has!