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Ben Affleck Says Negative Press Only Bothered Him Once His Kids Started Reading

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Ben Affleck opened up about how he started caring more about his public perception once his kids got old enough to read news about him

It’s not every day that Ben Affleck says something relatable. In fact, the actor is, um, rather well-known for his frequent open-mouth-insert-foot moments. And apparently, the negative press he’s received throughout his career for all those gaffes is water under the bridge for him — but not so much for his kids.

In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Affleck opened up about how he’s never been bothered by the way the media portrays him — at least, until his kids got old enough to see it.

“I got to a place where [the public perception] was so different from who I am that I just stopped reading and stopped caring,” he explained. “But then, as my kids got older and started seeing the Internet themselves, that’s the difficult part.”

Affleck continued, “Even the ‘Sad Affleck’ meme — that was funny to me. I mean, there’s nobody who hasn’t felt that way at a junket. But then my kids see it and I think, ‘Oh, are they going to think their dad is fundamentally sad or they have to worry about me?’ That’s really tough.”

Affleck shares three kids — 16-year-old Violet Anne, 13-year-old Seraphina Rose, and 9-year-old Samuel — with his ex, Jennifer Garner. The two were married from 2005 o 2018, when they split amid Affleck’s public struggles with addiction. Though he’s been open about his alcoholism in recent years, Affleck told Good Morning America last month that “life is better and I am happier the more I am around my kids.”

“We all want to pass on the best of ourselves to our children,” he said. “I don’t care who you are, I’m quite sure you feel at some point in your life you’ve taken missteps, nobody wants to transfer that to our children and that is a real task that everybody faces, whatever those issues are.”

We may not always be 100% on board with everything Affleck says, but when it comes to this, we couldn’t agree more.