‘My behavior is my responsibility’: Ben Affleck reflects on ‘painful’ speculation he blamed ex-wife Jennifer Garner for his alcoholism after explosive 2021 interview – and says he ‘loves and respects actress’
Ben Affleck has reflected on ‘painful’ speculation he blamed ex-wife Jennifer Garner for his alcoholism in a 2021 interview with Howard Stern, which saw the star state he felt ‘trapped’ in his marriage.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Thursday, the 50-year-old actor, writer and director looked back at an interview in which he opened up about his struggles with addiction and the dissolution of his marriage.
In the original interview, Affleck stated that ‘Part of why I started drinking was because I was trapped,’ which led viewers — and even some of his ex-wife Jennifer Garner’s friends — to think that he was blaming his ex for his drinking problems.
The Armageddon star described the uproar over the Stern interview as painful, and stressed that the takeaway from much of the public was ‘actually the opposite of what I meant.’
Affleck got on the subject after showering his current wife Jennifer Lopez, 53, with compliments over her unparalleled mastery of social media and interviews.
Sticking up for her: Ben Affleck has reflected on ‘painful’ speculation he blamed ex-wife Jennifer Garner for his alcoholism in a 2021 interview with Howard Stern, which saw the star state he felt ‘trapped’ in his marriage.; seen in 2014
Reversal of fortune: In his new cover interview, Affleck said the coverage of a 2021 Howard Stern interview he did was ‘actually the opposite of what I meant’
‘I view these things as land mines, where if you say one wrong thing, your career might be over,’ he explained. ‘I had a really painful experience where I did an interview where I was really vulnerable, and the entire pickup was something that was not only not right, it was actually the opposite of what I meant.’
He continued: ‘The idea [was] that I was blaming my wife for my drinking. To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely.’
Affleck clarified that he had been trying to make a ‘sad’ point in the earlier interview.
‘Anyone who’s been through divorce makes that calculus of, How much do we try?‘ he continued.
Affleck and Garner, 50, announced that they were separating in 2015, and their divorce was finalized three years later.
‘We loved each other. We care about each other. We have respect for each other,’ he said of his relationship with his ex. ‘I was trying to say, “Hey, look, I was drinking too much, and the less happy you become, whether it’s your job, your marriage, it’s just that as your life becomes more difficult, if you’re doing things to fill a hole that aren’t healthy, you’re going to start doing more of those things.” I think I was pretty articulate about that.’
He continued, claiming that publications had ‘deliberately mischaracterized [his remarks] in order to make it clickbait, and everyone else then picked it up, and it didn’t matter how many times I said, “I do not feel this way. I’m telling you, I don’t blame my ex-wife for my alcoholism.” So, yeah. It’s hard.’
Shortly after he made the original remarks, Affleck was beset by criticism, some of it coming from Garner’s own friends who also seemed to have interpreted his interview uncharitably.
Taking responsibility: He continued: ‘The idea [was] that I was blaming my wife for my drinking. To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely’
Tough conversations: Affleck clarified that he had been trying to make a ‘sad’ point in the earlier interview. ‘Anyone who’s been through divorce makes that calculus of, How much do we try? ‘ he continued
Close to home: Following his Stern interview, friend of Garner anonymously berated him to Page Six while interpreting his comments as a condemnation of his ex. ‘It’s disgusting’ said one person who had known Ben and Jen; seen in 2014
‘It’s disgusting,’ one source who knows both Affleck and Garner well told Page Six in December of 2021.
‘Jen has been the only one picking him up time and time again when he’s done horrible things — fallen off the wagon or worse,’ they said. ‘Jen stood by him because she loves him. This is the mother of his children.’
Another source close to Garner shared their disappointment and also seemed to believe that Affleck was blaming her for his addiction to alcohol.
‘Anyone who knows addict behavior knows how untrue those comments could be for any addict, but particularly Ben,’ the source claimed.
‘It’s one of the first tenets of AA not to place blame for your disease.’
In his interview with Stern, Affleck had said that he ‘probably still would’ve been drinking’ if he had stayed married to Garner, which also fueled outrage, as some readers and viewers interpreted that as blaming his ex.
He also explained why he had felt ‘trapped’ in the final days of his previous marriage.
‘I can’t leave because of my kids, but I’m not happy, what do I do?’ And what I did was [I] drank a bottle of scotch and fell asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution,’ he said.
In addition to Garner’s friends, social media users lashed out at the Argo actor and director.
‘You were a drunk before you married her!’ read one particularly cruel comment on Twitter, while another person described him as a ‘scum bag’ because they thought he was ‘blaming’ his ex-wife.
Widespread outrage: Social media users also lashed out at Affleck after seemingly misinterpreting his comments
Blame game: Mirroring earlier tweets, another disgruntled fan wrote: ‘@BenAffleck sounds like your blaming your ex-wife for your drinking! Scumbag!’
Comes naturally to her: While looking back on his bad interview experience, Ben also praised his new wife Jennifer Lopez for being a master of social media and publicity — something he struggles with; seen in February 2022
Elsewhere in his new THR interview, Affleck explained that he is no longer interested in mega-budget franchise films like Justice League because they keep him away from his children for too long, especially when they choose to shoot in locations across the country — or the globe — to take advantage of tax breaks.
He shares Violet, 17; Seraphina, 14; and Samuel, 11 with Garner.
‘One of the reasons I [started a production company with longtime friend Matt Damon was], I’m divorced. I share custody. I don’t want to go to Austin and New Orleans and Georgia anymore and not see my kids,’ he explained. ‘It just doesn’t work. These years are too important.
‘If I miss them, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. And then I thought, “OK, well, if I’m in Los Angeles and I’m in an office and I’m doing this work, I can step out for the basketball game or the jazz performance.” So I protect those things.’
Source: Read Full Article