You know what they say about the best-laid plans, right? Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's divorce was carefully orchestrated with publicists, lawyers, assistants, and other handlers working behind the scenes to make it seem as peaceful as possible — well, at least publicly. All that changed with the nanny news — and things have taken a decidedly bitter turn.
Here's how things quickly went from agreeable (they're still living together! they're not fighting over their fortune! they've adopted a family dog!) to acrimonious (he had a relationship with the nanny! she feels betrayed!) in a matter of weeks…
June 30: One day after their 10th wedding anniversary, Ben and Jen — parents of Violet, 9, Seraphina, 6, and Samuel, 3 — announce their divorce. "We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time, they said in a statement issued by their publicists. A "source," most likely said publicists, tells People magazine that it "should not be an ugly divorce" and the actors will "work together as co-parents and as two people who still care about each other." In fact, Ben will continue living on the same Pacific Palisades property they bought for $17.5 million in 2009 and they will seek mediation to divide their estimated $115 million fortune.
July 2: Word gets out that Ben and Jen's divorce has been so drama-free that they were in the Bahamas together with their when they made the announcement. (Just like Gwyneth and Chris!) Although they were staying in their private Bahamas resort community, photos of them looking somber mysteriously leak. A "source" tells People magazine, "The family is united and, no matter what, will protect the kids."
July 3: Ben leaves the Bahamas for L.A.. Stories start to circulate about how his vices — drinking, gambling, and cheating — played a part in the collapse of the marriage. "He's like a '50s dad," a "source" tells People. "He thinks work is your priority and providing money for your family is your priority, and raising the kids day to day and making a nice house is the wife's priority."
July 5: Jennifer leaves the Bahamas with the children and heads to Georgia, where she is shooting the faith-based film Miracles From Heaven.
July 7: Ben flies to Georgia to see the kids. He stays on the guesthouse of Jen's rental property.
July 8: People and Us Weekly magazines release cover stories about the split. The mysterious sources reveal that the couple had been separated for 10 months and that Ben had been unfaithful. He "told her he had not been committed to the marriage within the past few years" and she decided "enough is enough." Ben denies that he cheated on Jen.
July 10: Ben, wearing his wedding ring, spends a father/daughter day with Violet. An Affleck source tells People they split because Jennifer had unrealistic expectations. "When you're told you're not good enough, you start to believe it," said the source. "He couldn't deal with her expectations. Part of why this happened is her being controlling and unhappy."
July 11: Ben appears at Comic-Con in San Diego. He has on his wedding ring and tells a story about costume shopping with his son Samuel.
July 13: Ben is seen back in L.A. without his wedding ring.
July 15: Ben is spotted out in L.A. with a new muscle car. He attends the ESPY Awards.
July 20: Ben returns to Atlanta with the new family dog in tow.
July 29: Bam! Us Weekly drops the bombshell that Ben's dating the family's former nanny. His rep denies the story to Yahoo, calling it "garbage." They threaten legal action. Hours later, People magazine also reports that Christine Ouzounian — who cared for the Garner-Affleck kids earlier this year, but is no longer working for the family — told friends she was having an affair with Ben and Jen was "livid."
July 30: Ouzounian steps out in L.A. looking glamorous. She smiles for the paparazzi. One of her friends tells People, "Christine is in love with him." Ben's reps maintain that there was no romantic relationship. E! News reports that Jen found out that Ben and Ouzounian were intimate in the Bahamas and that is when she fired the caretaker.
Aug. 4: Jen takes the kids to Legoland amid reports of Ben's alleged affair.
Aug. 5: Jen is on the cover of People magazine, which has sources saying she is "deeply hurt" and "angry." One source tells the mag, "To Jen, this is the ultimate betrayal." The mag also reports that Jen found out about Ben and the nanny when they were in the Bahamas. The trip wasn't supposed to be a divorce getaway, it was a long-planned family vacation during which they would talk about the future of their marriage.An Affleck insider said that there was "no romantic relationship," noting, "Ben's friendly but it's not always meant to be flirty. This was a very close relationship with someone who was taking care of the most important people in his life. People want to fault him for that." Meanwhile, Us Weekly says Jen is "disgusted" about nanny-gate and says she won't return Ben's calls or texts. She no longer wants him to live in the guesthouse of their estate. “Discovering the extent of Ben’s relationship with Christine completely changed things," a source told the mag. A photo of Ben and Ouzounian, which was taken on July 19, is released. Entertainment Tonight later reports that Ouzounian "tipped off the paparazzi" about the rendezvous.
What's next? We can only imagine. But we're sure a lot of money is being dangled in front of the nanny to get her to tell her side of the story.