After he went viral for seemingly blaming ex Jennifer Garner for his alcoholism, Ben Affleck is trying to explain what he *really* meant
What a week this has been for Ben Affleck. The actor (and latest boo of the inimitable Jennifer Lopez) appeared on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show for a wide-ranging, two-hour interview, where one of the topics he touched on was his journey to sobriety — much of which took place amid a public split from ex-wife Jennifer Garner. The comments Affleck made were… maybe poorly phrased, and that’s being pretty generous. In fact, a lot of people on the internet thought he sounded like he was blaming Garner for his struggles with substance abuse, and proceeded to tear him a new one. Now, he’s trying to clarify his statements.
In his Howard Stern interview, Affleck said that if he were still with Garner today, he didn’t think he would be sober.
“I’d probably still be drinking. It’s part of why I started drinking … because I was trapped,” he said. “I was like, ‘I can’t leave because 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.”
Ah, Ben Affleck. Whatever the context of that comment might have been, you have to admit it sounds pretty toxic and pretty much like he’s saying Garner was the reason he drank. Big oof, my guy.
On Wednesday, Affleck appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he said he was “really happy” with the Stern interview because he thought it was “honest,” but that he’d seen the backlash and wanted to clear some things up.
“They had literally taken the conversation I had had for two hours and made it seem as if I was saying the exact opposite of what I said,” he explained, adding that he and Garner still co-parent and maintain a good relationship, despite his comments that he said were taken out of context. “I had gone on and said how much we respected each other and cared about each other and cared about our kids and put them first and went through our stuff. And then (they) said I blamed my ex-wife for my alcoholism and that I was trapped, just made me out to be the worst, most insensitive, stupid, awful guy.”
Affleck also said he felt he needed to address the controversy because it’s too close to his kids for him to let it go.
“It’s about my kids, I got to just draw a line,” he said. “Let me be clear. 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 because I never have. I never would.”