Ben Affleck Hits Back At Reports That He Blamed Jennifer Garner For His Drinking

The Gone Girl actor said he's now "very guarded" in interviews following the reported "mischaracterisation" of his comments.
Ben Affleck at the Venice Film Festival in 2021
Ben Affleck at the Venice Film Festival in 2021
Vittorio Zunino Celotto via Getty Images

Ben Affleck has clarified reports that he blamed his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, for his drinking, opening up about previous remarks he’d made years ago in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

During his interview with the US outlet, the Gone Girl actor mentioned that he has become “very guarded” whiile doing press, following what he characterised as a misinterpretation of comments he made in an interview with Howard Stern in December 2021.

The Oscar winner told the radio host at the time that he’d “probably still be drinking” if he were still married to his first wife, which immediately made headlines.

But told the Hollywood Reproter that “the entire [press] pickup was something that was not only not right, it was actually the opposite of what I meant”.

“To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely,” he insisted, explaining: “The point that I was trying to make was a sad one.”

He continued: “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.’”

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck arrive at the 2013 Oscars
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck arrive at the 2013 Oscars
Jason Merritt via Getty Images

“I think I was pretty articulate about that,” he said, calling out publications “who deliberately mischaracterised it in order to make it clickbait, and everyone else then picked it up”.

“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,’” he said. “So, yeah. It’s hard.”

During Ben’ appearance on Howard Stern’s show, the actor said of his marriage to Jennifer Garner: “Part of why I started drinking alcohol was because I was trapped.”

He told the radio host: “I was like, ‘I can’t leave ‘cause of my kids, but I’m not happy, what do I do?’. What I did was drank a bottle of scotch and fell asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution.”

He added: “We had a marriage that didn’t work ― this happens ― with somebody that I love and respect but to whom I shouldn’t be married any longer. Ultimately, we tried, we tried, we tried because we had kids. Both of us felt like we don’t want this to be the model that our kids see of marriage.”

Ben is, of course, now married to Jennifer Lopez, who he’d previously been engaged to two decades earlier.

The couple tied the knot twice last year: The first being an intimate ceremony in Las Vegas in July, followed by a much larger celebration in Georgia in front of their friends and family.

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