Ben Affleck backtracks on ‘sad’ claim he would have kept drinking if he’d stayed with Jennifer Garner

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.

Published Mar 17, 2023


Ben Affleck has backtracked on his “sad” claim he’d have kept drinking if he had stayed married to Jennifer Garner.

The “Gone Girl” actor, who revealed in 2017 he had gone into rehab to receive treatment for his alcohol addiction, added he only had himself to blame for drinking while looking back on his infamous chat with Howard Stern in 2021 when he appeared to partly blame Garner, 50, for his boozing.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: “To be clear: my behaviour is my responsibility, entirely.

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“The point that I was trying to make (to Howard) was a sad one.

“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.

“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.”

Affleck was slammed by critics when he told Howard “part” of the reason he started drinking was because he felt “trapped” in his marriage with the “Pearl Harbor” star – to whom he was married from 2005 to 2018.

They share three kids – Violet, 17, Seraphina, 14, and 11-year-old Samuel – and the former couple first announced they were separating in 2015.

He added to THR he now views interviews as “land mines” where “your career might be over” if you “say one wrong thing”.

He also branded the storm over his comments to shock jock Howard, 69, a “painful experience” as he was “really vulnerable” at the time, and he felt “the entire pick up” of his comments “was something that was not only not right, it was actually the opposite of what I meant”.

Affleck also said his current wife, Jennifer Lopez, 53, has encouraged him to “relax”, be himself and “have fun”, saying: “As in many things, she’s really right. 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****** listen to her.”