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January Jones Says Ex Ashton Kutcher Told Her She Didn't Have a Future in Acting

They dated in their early 20s, not long before she was cast in Mad Men.

Well, she certainly proved him wrong. Back the late '90s and early 2000s, when they were in their early 20s, January Jones and Ashton Kutcher were in a relationship. While she was just getting her start in Hollywood, he had already found fame with the sitcom That '70s Show. In 2007, Jones would land TV success of her own playing Betty Draper on Mad Men, a role that brought her an Emmy nomination for Lead Actress. But, apparently, Kutcher was not very supportive of his then-girlfriend's acting career or confident she'd land roles. Jones said that an ex told her he didn't think she was "going to be good at this," meaning acting, and the timeline confirms Kutcher was the boyfriend in question.

Read on to find out more about this doomed celebrity couple.

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Jones said that an ex was very unsupportive of her career.

Ashton Kutcher and January Jones at Fox TV TCA All-Star Party in 1999
Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In 2009, during Season 3 of Mad Men, Jones opened up about the man she was with when she first moved to Los Angeles for her career. She had previously been modeling in New York.

"The guy I was dating when I first got to L.A. was not supportive of my acting," she told GQ. "He was like, I don't think you're going to be good at this. So—[expletive] you!"

She continued, "He only has nice things to say now—if anything, I should thank him. Because the minute you tell me I can't do something, that's when I'm most motivated."

The GQ profile notes that the "skeptical boyfriend" was "it turns out, a guy named Ashton Kutcher."

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She remained coy about the person's identity years later.

Jones' GQ interview came up during a 2016 appearance on Watch What Happens Live. A fan asked (via E! News), "January, have you ever talked to Ashton Kutcher since he said you couldn't act, and what do you think about his acting skills?" Jones first responded, "Ooh, ouch!" before explaining, "I said that someone I had dated previously wasn't encouraging of my acting—not that I couldn't. I don't know if that person had ever actually seen me act. But the person who wrote the interview did the math and thought it might be him, so I never really said who it was."

Jones continued, "I haven't talked to him. I'm super happy for him and his family, to be political and all that." Host Andy Cohen asked Jones to clarify if it was, in fact, Kutcher who she was talking about, and she laughed.

Kutcher apparently suspected Jones of cheating on him.

Ashton Kutcher and January Jones at the Race to Erase Multiple Sclerosis Dinner Gala in 2000
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

After he and Jones broke up, Kutcher was married to Demi Moore from 2005 to 2013. He evidently discussed his relationship with the Mad Men star with his wife, according to an anecdote Moore shares in her 2019 memoir, Inside Out. Moore wrote that she talked to Jones about Kutcher suspecting that Jones had an affair with Bruce Willis, Moore's ex, when they were filming the 2001 movie Bandits.

"Ashton was convinced they'd had a fling on set," Moore wrote (via Radar Online). She said that she brought this up to Jones years later when they were at an event together. "Are you serious?" Moore wrote that Jones responded. "I told him a hundred times, I didn't want to [expletive] that old man!"

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Jones and Kutcher moved on to relationships with other stars.

January Jones and Ashton Kutcher at a Maxim Magazine party in 2000
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Image

Jones didn't give up on dating celebrities after being discouraged by one early on in her career. She has also dated singer Josh Groban and Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis. That said, she keeps her private life mostly private. The X-Men: First Class star welcomed a son in 2011, but the identity of his father isn't publicly known.

As for Kutcher, after divorcing Moore, he reconnected with and began dating That '70s Show co-star Mila Kunis. They married in 2015 and have two children.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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