Still, taking up with Bruce Willis’ ex was a study in ego-sublimation: “You walk into a relationship and there’s always jealousies, like, Oh, the other guy…. and in this case the other guy is Bruce Willis! But my wife’s a smart individual, one of the smartest people I know. If she likes and respects this person, then I think I can get over my jealousy.”

Michael Kutcher, who has been out to visit the Moore-Kutcher compound in Los Angeles, says that Ashton quickly realized that “for the love of the girls, Demi included, he just had to get over that whole jealousy thing. All of them together, with Bruce, do an amazing job at raising that family.”

Kutcher sips from his wine-and-water cocktail and rubs his chin. Night has fallen; he has said his prayer and he emits a happy sigh.

“It wasn’t until I was 25 that I plugged into the idea that we all come here to earn it,” he says, “because if we don’t earn it, we don’t appreciate any of it. You know what I mean? Gravity is pushing us down. We wake up every fucking morning and gravity is pushing us down. When a kid stands up for the first time we all fucking cheer, and the kid feels good about standing, and for the rest of his life he is going to be standing up. The reason he feels good about it is because he fought against gravity and he stood up.”

There is a knock at the door. Kutcher stands up.

“It’s Demi,” his assistant shouts.

“The one call you always take,” he says.

On the phone, he tells his wife he’s running late. “I’m just a chatterbox today,” he explains.

Demi says something.

“Okay, okay, okay,” Kutcher says, nodding.

He hangs up, goes over to a bureau, and gathers his car keys and cell phone, saying, almost to himself, “She says she’s tired of sharing me. I have to go home now.”