WATCH: Ashton Kutcher Breaks Down During Speech

Ashton chokes back tears while giving a speech at the GQ Gentlemen's Ball, where he was being honored for his charity work

Ashton Kutcher had to fight back tears during a recent public appearance -- but the marital problems he's rumored to be having with wife Demi Moore were not the cause. Global sex trafficking was. Kutcher was being honored for his charity work at the GQ Gentlemen's Ball in New York City Oct. 26, when he took the stage to speak on the topic of trafficking and sexual exploitation -- and he had a tough time holding it together. Watch the video below.

"I stumbled across an issue three years ago, and I chose to educate myself on it. And it was the issue of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation," Kutcher began.

"And it crushed me," he continued, his voice cracking as he choked back tears. "It destroyed me to think about the fact that there's a little girl or a little boy out there in the world today that a grown man is gonna take advantage of."

Kutcher, 33, and Moore, 48, founded the Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA) to, as the website says, "help end child sex slavery."

Although Demi was also being honored for her work with the foundation, she was a no-show at the gala -- which was in direct contrast to 2010, when the duo attended the ball together and packed on the PDA while strolling the red carpet. But those rooting for Kutcher and Moore to work things out shouldn't fret just yet: As keen observers may have noted, Ashton was wearing his wedding ring.

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