And now he’s backtracking.
Ben Affleck is in some hot water after a recent interview. During a Dec. 14 conversation with Howard Stern, Affleck spoke openly about his sobriety, but his comments — specifically the ones he made about Jennifer Garner and their children — did not reflect well on him. And it’s not just fans on Twitter who thought so. Jennifer Lopez was reportedly mad about Affleck’s comments on Garner. So, um, is J.Lo on Team Garner after all?
Affleck told Stern he started drinking because he was unhappy in his marriage, and predicted that if he and Garner were still together, he would probably not be sober. “We’d probably be at each other’s throats. I’d probably still be drinking. Part of why I started drinking alcohol was because I was trapped,” he claimed. “I was like, ‘I can’t leave because of my kids, but I’m not happy, what do I do?’ And what I did was drank a bottle of Scotch and fell asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution.”
Affleck’s comments, though off-putting, are not that unusual for those who struggle with substance abuse. According to American Addiction Centers, “[People with alcohol use disorders] might yell or cry, and blame you for their problem.” But that doesn’t justify the commentary. Per UK Rehab, “Blaming others for substance abuse is not rational.”
That said, it’s no surprise that many people did not appreciate his quote and the implication that Garner was somehow to blame for his struggles with sobriety. One critic on Twitter reminded their followers that Garner actually drove Affleck to rehab in 2018 though the couple separated three years earlier. Another commented, “[I don’t care] what anyone says, Ben Affleck never deserved Jennifer Garner.”
Reportedly, Lopez wasn’t thrilled with Affleck’s comments, either. A source claimed to Page Six, “[Lopez] is pissed. She is getting pulled into this because she is dating him. She doesn’t want to be dragged into this.” The same insider added, “She has met Jennifer Garner. She is trying to get to know her and Ben’s kids. It’s reckless and cavalier of him.”
However, another source claimed, “This is simply not true and the focus is on the children.”
Either way, something inspired Affleck to clarify his comments. On Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Dec. 15, he claimed his comments were taken out of context. “They said 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 said.
“If it’s about my kids, I gotta just draw a line. I want to be clear: That’s not true,” he added. “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 that I would ever say a bad word about their mom. It hurts my feelings, man.” Mmm.
Here’s hoping that all iterations of Bennifer figure out a way to move forward soon — and without blame.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357).