Not her fault. Ben Affleck is setting the record straight about past comments he made about his split from ex-wife Jennifer Garner.
“I had a really painful experience where I did an interview where I was really vulnerable and the entire pickup was something that was not only not right, it was actually the opposite of what I meant,” the Gone Girl star, 50, said in his Hollywood Reporter cover story, which was published on Thursday, March 15.
Affleck recalled the fallout from his December 2021 interview with Howard Stern where he spoke candidly about his struggles with addiction and his divorce from Garner, 50, with whom he shares daughters Violet, 17, and Seraphina, 14, and son Samuel, 11.
The Argo director explained that the public’s takeaway from his conversation with Stern, 69, was “that I was blaming [Jennifer] for my drinking.”
He added: “To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely. The point that I was trying to make was a sad one. Anyone who’s been through divorce makes that calculus of, ‘How much do we try?’”
The California native further clarified what he meant to convey at the time.
“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,” he said. “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.’ So, yeah. It’s hard.”
Affleck noted that he and the 13 Going on 30 actress — who announced their split in 2015 after 10 years of marriage — “loved each other” and “have respect for each other.”
The exes have maintained an amicable coparenting relationship over the years since calling it quits. In March 2019, the Town actor told Today’s Hoda Kotb that “of course” he still loved Garner.
“She’s wonderful. Somebody’s the mother of your kids, they’re going to be the most important, central person in your life, and that’s good,” he said.
The Alias alum, for her part, gave the Oscar winner a glowing Father’s Day shout-out via Instagram in June 2018.
“Our kids are lucky to have a dad who looks at them the way you look at them and loves them the way you love them, @benaffleck. #happyfathersday #threeluckykids #haveagreatday,” she wrote at the time.
Both Affleck and Garner have moved on since finalizing their divorce in 2018. The Good Will Hunting writer rekindled his romance with Jennifer Lopez in 2021 and exchanged vows with the “On the Floor” singer, 53, in Las Vegas in July 2022. The couple held a second wedding ceremony one month later at Affleck’s Georgia estate.
The Juno actress, meanwhile, has been dating businessman John Miller on and off since 2018. In November 2022, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that Garner and Lopez developed a bond after Affleck and the Selena star tied the knot.
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“Now that Jen and Jen have been coparenting, they’ve been getting to know each other better and have formed a very new friendship,” the insider said. “They really enjoy each other.”