Hollywood star Ben Affleck has given a clarification regarding his recent comments about alcoholism and marriage with ex-wife Jennifer Garner.
According to People magazine, during an appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, the 49-year-old actor addressed the remarks he made on ‘The Howard Stern Show’, which included that he’d “probably still be drinking” if he stayed married to Garner.
Affleck, who shares daughters Violet and Seraphina, along with son Samuel, with Garner, told host Jimmy Kimmel: “I would never want my kids to think I would ever say a bad word about their mom.”
The actor said that he thought his interview with Stern had been “meaningful” and didn’t realise how his comments had been perceived until after it aired, adding that some listeners had “taken the conversation” and “made it seem as if I was doing the exact opposite of what I said” by focusing on only one piece of their chat.
“I had gone on and said how much we respect each other and cared about each other and cared about our kids and put them first,” he said, adding that the part of the interview that gained attention “just made me out to be the worst, most insensitive, stupid awful guy.”
While Affleck said he understands that his personal life can make headlines or his pictures can be turned into “memes,” the ‘Justice League’ actor explained that when it comes to his family, “I have to draw a line, and be clear.”
He concluded by saying, “That’s not true. I don’t believe that. It’s the exact opposite of who I am, what I believe.”
During his interview with Stern, Affleck had got candid about his struggles with drinking while being married to Garner. Recalling how his drinking habits worsened during difficult times in their relationship, Affleck said if they’d stayed together, they “would’ve ended up ... probably at each other’s throats.”
“I’d probably still be drinking. It’s part of why I started drinking ... because I was trapped,” he admitted, adding, “I was like ‘I can’t leave ‘cause of my kids, but I’m not happy. What do I do?’ What I did was drink a bottle of scotch and fall asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution.”
The actor-director has gone to rehab multiple times for alcohol addiction over the years, including in 2001, 2017, which he revealed in a post on Facebook, and 2018.
Affleck, who wed Garner in 2005 then separated from her in 2015 before finalising their divorce in 2018, also told Stern that he and the ‘13 Going on 30’ actor did everything they could to keep their marriage together, but it just didn’t work out. “The truth was, we took our time. We made the decision ... We grew apart,” Affleck explained.
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.”
While Affleck and Garner had their fair share of ups and downs over the course of their relationship, the former spouses are on good terms now. As per People magazine, Garner even joined Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, who rekindled their romance earlier this year after calling off their engagement in 2004, for some trick-or-treating fun with their kids on Halloween.