Ellen DeGeneres Gets Emotional After Ashton Kutcher Surprises Her With $4 Million Donation to Wildlife Fund
By Paige Gawley
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Ellen DeGeneres’ 60th birthday may have been back in January, but the gifts keep on coming!
On Wednesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ashton Kutcher -- the daytime talk show host's friend and neighbor -- makes a surprise appearance along with his investment partner, Guy Oseary.
While explaining that they've invested in a tech company called Ripple, Kutcher reveals that the business is making a very generous donation to The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund.
The 40-year-old actor explains how they came to decide on giving a whopping $4 million to DeGeneres' organization. “So, we were meeting with these folks and they were talking to us about the ethics of this company and this platform and how they actually really care about being an ethical company and giving a portion of this platform away to people that are doing good in the world,” Kutcher recalls.
During those talks, Kutcher remembers running into DeGeneres on the beach, and hearing about how her wife, Portia de Rossi, had established The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund, which works to save the gorillas in Rwanda, as a birthday gift to the host.
“You explained to me that if you weren’t doing this that what you would be working on is that project, right? You would be saving the gorillas,” Kutcher tells DeGeneres. “But you never ask anyone for anything ever and you said ‘At some point I’m going to need some help with this.’ And I said, ‘You’re asking me for help? You never ask anyone for help ever!’”
Oseary also heard about the project when DeGeneres called him on her birthday. “I was like, 'She’s calling me on her birthday. I hope everything is OK,'” Oseary recalls. “You wanted to share with me this incredible story, this gift of a lifetime that Portia gave you. And I promised you on that call that I’d be there to help you. [Ashton and I] are brothers and we’re here to help you.”
Kutcher further gushes over DeGeneres' generous spirit before unveiling the big donation. “We [told Ripple], ‘There’s this amazing human being and all they ever do is think about other people they can give to,” he says in praise of his friend. “Whether it’s in New Orleans, whether it’s in Montecito, whether it’s the people that come here, the people out there, you’re always thinking about everyone else and we wanted to show you that people are thinking about you.”
Overwhelmed with emotion after hearing of the $4 million donation, DeGeneres says, “That was the most amazing thing. Thank you. I love you both so much, you know that.”
Back in February, DeGeneres also teared up when de Rossi appeared on the show to present her wife with the gift of The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund.
“For your birthday, Ellen, I am bringing you and your hero, Dian [Fossey], together by building the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund," she shared. "Ellen, you will carry on Dian's legacy by giving them a permanent home in Rwanda. Now, you will join Dian as a protector and champion of these amazing animals, the mountain gorillas. Happy birthday!"
DeGeneres was both emotional and beyond grateful for the thoughtful gift.
"It’s the best gift," she said through tears. "I’ve always said -- and when we got married, Portia’s line was, 'It’s good to be loved; it’s profound to be understood' -- and, she understands me because that is the best gift that anybody could have given me. So, I love you."