Ben Affleck is setting the record straight on who he blames for his past drinking issues, stating in a new interview, “To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely.”
The Argo director, 50, told the Hollywood Reporter Thursday that he has become “very guarded” after telling Howard Stern in 2021 that he’d still be drinking if he’d stayed married to Jennifer Garner — because he feels his comments were misconstrued.
“The point that I was trying to make was a sad one,” he clarified.
“Anyone who’s been through divorce makes that calculus of, ‘How much do we try?’ We loved each other. We care about each other. We have respect for each other.”
Affleck then further explained, “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.”
When the “Good Will Hunting” star went on Stern’s radio show, he said “part” of the reason he started drinking was because he felt “trapped” in his marriage with Garner, 50.
The remarks grew criticism from fans and even close friends of his ex-wife.
“It’s disgusting,” one industry insider previously told Page Six in December 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. Jen stood by him because she loves him. This is the mother of his children.”
Soon after the interview went viral, Affleck appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to address the controversial comments.
“I don’t believe that — it’s the exact opposite of who I am, what I believe, and I would never want my kids to ever say a bad word about their mom,” the “Justice League” actor said at the time.
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Affleck and Garner were married from 2005 to 2018. They share three kids: Violet, 17, Seraphina, 14, and Samuel, 11.
The former couple first announced they were separating in 2015, and prior to finalizing their divorce three years later, Affleck went to rehab multiple times.
The “Armageddon” star had been open about the fact that he struggled with alcohol addiction, saying in a Facebook post in 2017, “I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step.”
However, Affleck appears to have become more cautious now of speaking to the press about his problems, telling the Hollywood Reporter that he views interviews as “land mines,” where “if you say one wrong thing, your career might be over.”
He called the fallout from the Stern interview a really “painful experience” because he was “really vulnerable,” and “the entire pickup was something that was not only not right, it was actually the opposite of what I meant.”
Affleck said that his current wife, Jennifer Lopez, has encouraged him, though, to just “relax,” be himself and “have fun” with the entire process.
“As in many things, she’s really right,” the “Deep Water” star concludes. “And she loves me. She’s looking out for me. She’s trying to help me. So it’s like, maybe I ought to f–cking listen to her.”