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Ashton Kutcher's brother Michael Kutcher is opening up about his feelings toward the actor for revealing his twin's cerebral palsy diagnosis to the world during a 2003 interview.
According to Mayo Clinic, cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects "movement and muscle tone or posture," and Michael Kutcher, who was diagnosed at 3 years old, says he attempted to hide it for most of his life.
"I was very angry. Very angry. I remember speaking to him about it,” Michael Kutcher told "Today" in an interview published Thursday. "I didn’t want to be the face of CP. I never talked about it."
He's no longer upset with his famous brother, who the Kutcher family refers to as his real name Chris, and is actually grateful for that interview 18 years ago.
"Chris did me the biggest favor he’s ever done because he allowed me to be myself," Michael Kutcher said, noting it allowed him to meet 5-year-old Bella, who had a more severe case of cerebral palsy. After the "That '70s Show" star's interview, Bella's mom reached out to Michael Kutcher asking if he'd be willing to speak about his experience with the disorder at a gala. He wasn't ready to share his story, but met up with the woman for coffee.
"I realized I needed to let go of the shame I felt and be a champion for people like Bella,” Michael Kutcher, who works as a spokesperson for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and an advisor at Joshin, an app that helps families find care for a person with disabilities. “I was finally ready to tell my story and I knew because of my twin, I'd have a big reach."
He also reflected on how Ashton Kutcher used to defend him against bullies after he was "called every name in the book on the playground."
“My brother picked a fight with them. He stood up for me. He wanted them to treat me with respect,” Michael Kutcher said. "And that meant a lot."
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The "Punk'd" creator would also ensure his brother would be invited to any sleepover he went to.
“Most of the time they’d say yes, but sometimes they’d say no and Chris would go, ‘Well, then I’m not coming,’ ” Michael Kutcher said. “Chris would tell me, ‘I wish I could take all of this off of you — and take it myself.' ”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ashton Kutcher's twin Michael was 'angry' actor outed his CP diagnosis