While promoting his movie The Tender Bar, Ben Affleck recently talked extra candidly to Howard Stern about his relationship with ex-wife Jennifer Garner and his alcohol addiction. He talked about how unhappy he was in their marriage, and how he believes those circumstances contributed to his reliance on alcohol.
"That was part of why I started drinking alcohol—I was trapped," Affleck told Stern. "I was like, 'I can't leave because of my kids, but I am not happy. What do I do?' What I did was drink a bottle of scotch on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution."
Although Affleck was in a bad way during his marriage to Garner, he clarified the immense "respect" he had and has for her, and wasn't in any way trying to blame her for his alcoholism. But, out of context, that's not how his words were interpreted.
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live to set the record straight, Affleck said, "It was this really cool, like, long-form, in-depth, you know, it was a two-hour interview, and because the movie is about family and all this stuff that's meaningful to me, we talked a lot about my family and, you know, divorce and alcoholism and struggling with real things and how you have to be accountable and loving, how I work with my ex-wife and how I'm so proud of the way we work together for kids, the best that we can for them, and honestly I was really happy with it. I thought, 'wow, I should do more honest, exploratory, you know, self-evaluating things.'
"And then I started seeing all this stuff come up on Twitter," he said, and mentioned a clickbait site, which he visited. "They had literally taken the conversation that I had for two hours, and made it seem as if I was saying the exact opposite of what I said. I had gone on and said, like, how much we respect each other and cared about each other and cared about our kids and put them first and went through our stuff, and they said that I had blamed my ex-wife for my alcoholism? And I was trapped? Just made me out to be, like, the worst, most insensitive, stupid, awful guy."
Affleck explained that it was fine when gossip was about him, but that his children were off limits. "When it's about my kids, I just gotta draw a line, and be really clear, like, that's not true," he told Kimmel. "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 think I would ever say a bad word about their mom." Glad that's cleared up.
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Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.
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