Ben Affleck Clarifies Comments About Jennifer Garner: "It's the Exact Opposite of Who I Am"

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Photo credit: George Pimentel - Getty Images
Photo credit: George Pimentel - Getty Images

Ben Affleck faced backlash yesterday after comments he made about his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, and his struggle with alcoholism during an interview on The Howard Stern Show. Now, the Tender Bar actor wants to set the record straight.

Last night, Affleck appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where he addressed the controversy around his remarks about Garner—most notably, when he said he'd "probably still be drinking" if he were still married to her.

"I had a chance to do an interview with a friend of yours, Howard Stern," Affleck told Kimmel. "Because [Affleck's upcoming film, Tender Bar] is about family and all this stuff that's meaningful to me, we talked a lot about my family and … alcoholism and struggling with real things, and how you have to be accountable and loving, and how I work with my ex-wife, and how I'm so proud of the way that we work together for our kids and do the best that we can for them. The irony is I was really happy with it. I ended the interview, I thought, Wow, I should do more honest, exploratory, self-evaluating things. And then I started seeing all this stuff come up on Twitter."

Affleck explained that he scrolled through the platform and saw "clickbait" headlines that had "taken the conversation that I had had for two hours and made it seem as if I was saying the exact opposite of what I had said."

He continued, "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 and went through our stuff. And they said that I had blamed my ex-wife for my alcoholism and that I was 'trapped' in this marriage. Just made me out to be the worst, most insensitive, stupid, awful guy."

He added that he understands the media's scrutiny of his personal life. "I get it. Me, I'm happy to be sad Batman. I'm happy to be the Dunkin' Donuts and the meme. I understand," he said, referring to memes of himself. "Really, it's about my kids I gotta just draw a line and be really clear. Like, that's not true. 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."

Recently, Affleck has been opening up about the struggles with drinking he experienced during his marriage with Garner. The two divorced in 2018.

"I'd probably still be drinking. It's part of why I started drinking … because I was trapped," Affleck told Howard Stern, per People. "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."

Affleck went to rehab for his alcohol addiction in 2001, 2017, and 2018.

"The truth was, we took our time, we made the decision … We grew apart," he continued. "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."

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