Ben Affleck addresses ‘painful’ claims about Jennifer Garner

Ben Affleck has candidly reflected on the backlash he faced after appearing to partly blame his struggles with alcoholism on his marriage to Jennifer Garner, with the actor clarifying that his “behavior is [his] full responsibility”.

The Sky star, 50, sparked criticism in December 2021 when he told Howard Stern that he had felt “trapped” during his marriage to Garner, and that it was “part of the reason” he had started drinking alcohol.

“We had a marriage that didn’t work,” Affleck told Stern. “This is happening. It was someone I love and respect, but who I should no longer marry… what I did was [I] drank a bottle of whiskey and fell asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution.”

At the time, the actor, who was married to Garner from 2005 to 2018, then commented that they made the right decision to end their marriage as they would “probably be at each other’s throats” and he was “probably still drinking are”.

“Part of the reason I started drinking alcohol was because I felt trapped,” he told Stern.

Affleck reflected on the backlash he experienced after the comments, which he described as a “really painful experience,” in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where he suggested the revelations had been taken out of context and were “actually the opposite of what [he] referred to”.

The actor opened up about the experience after being asked why he’s not on social media, with Affleck explaining that he’s become “very wary” and now views the platforms and interviews as “land mines, where if you say one wrong thing, your career may be over”.

After the interviewer questioned whether Affleck was referring to the interview with Stern, the Deep water star confirmed that he was addressing the “idea that I blamed myself [ex] wife for my drink”.

“To be clear, my behavior is entirely my responsibility. The point I was trying to make was sad,” Affleck explained. “Anyone who’s been through a divorce does that math of, How much do we try? We loved each other. We care about each other. We respect each other.

“I was trying to say, ‘Hey, look, I was drinking too much, and the less happy you get, whether it’s your job, your marriage, it’s just that as your life gets harder, if you do things to fill a hole that’s not healthy, you’re going to do more of those things.’”

According to Affleck, during his interview with Stern, he thought he was “quite articulate” about his intent. However, he claimed that his comments were then “deliberately mischaracterized to make them clickbait”.

“And everyone else picked up on it, and no matter how many times I said, ‘I don’t feel that way. I’m telling you, I don’t blame my ex-wife for my alcoholism,” the actor continued. “So yes. It’s hard.”

While Affleck said he’s still wary of interviews, he said his wife Jennifer Lopez’s support and encouragement has been helpful.

According to the actor, ahead of his interview with the outlet, Lopez told him to “relax,” “be himself,” and “have fun,” reminding him that he’s a “fun guy who’s real and sincere.” , even if he often comes across as ‘serious’.

While pondering his wife’s advice, Affleck jokingly asked, “Do I seem serious?” before noting that Lopez is “really right” and that it would be wise to listen to her.

But as with many things, she’s right. And she loves me. She watches me. She’s trying to help me. So it’s like, maybe I should fucking listen to her,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Affleck has hit back at claims that he blamed his marriage to Garner on his drinking, as the actor revealed during a December 2021 interview with Jimmy Kimmel that he believes his words were twisted, and that it ” hurt [his] feelings”.

“We talked a lot about my family, you know, alcoholism, struggling with real things, how to be responsible and loving, how I work with my ex-wife, how I’m so proud of the way we work together for our kids , the best we can for them,” he continued Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“I was very happy,” he said of the interview with Stern. “I thought, ‘Wow, I should be doing more honest, exploratory, self-evaluating things.’ Then I see all these things popping up on Twitter. And I was like, ‘What is this?’”

At the time, Affleck claimed that the way his comments were interpreted by a website made him “the worst, most insensitive, stupid, horrible man,” despite telling Stern how much he and Garner “respected.” each other, cared for each other, cared for our children, put them first.”

Affleck and Garner, who share children Violet, 17, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 10, split in 2015 after 10 years of marriage. The celebrity couple officially divorced in 2018, the same year Affleck entered rehab for alcoholism.

The Missing girl star later rekindled his romance with Lopez, to whom he was engaged in the early 2000s, with the couple tying the knot in July 2022.

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