Ben Affleck reveals the real reason behind his drinking problem: 'I don’t blame my ex-wife'

After previously blaming his drinking problem on his ex-wife Jennifer Garner, Hollywood actor Ben Affleck has decided to set the record straight.

Ben Affleck backtracks from blaming his ex-wife Jennifer Garner for his alcoholism
© Kevin Mazur / Getty Images
Ben Affleck backtracks from blaming his ex-wife Jennifer Garner for his alcoholism

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, American actor Ben Affleck has clarified who he blamed for his former addiction to alcohol. In 2021, he had told interviewer Howard Stern that he probably would have kept drinking if he had stayed with his ex-wife Jennifer Garner. He now feels the comment has been misinterpreted and says he wanted to set the record straight. He said:

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To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely.

Affleck then further explained,

I was trying to say, ‘Hey, look, I was drinking too much, and the less happy you become, whether it’s your job, your marriage, it’s just that as your life becomes more difficult, if you’re doing things to fill a hole that aren’t healthy, you’re going to start doing more of those things.’ I think I was pretty articulate about that.

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'Trapped' in an unhappy marriage

During that Howard Stern interview, the 50-year-old actor mentioned that the reason he started drinking was because he felt 'trapped' in his marriage to fellow actress Jennifer Garner. This led to heavy criticism from fans of both actors and former close friends of the couple.

Ben Affleck says he felt 'trapped' in his marriage to Jennifer Garner Pablo Heimplatz / Unsplash

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were married from 2005 to 2018 and share three children. The couple separated in 2015 before finalizing their divorce three years later. During their marriage, Affleck went to rehab several times. The actor wrote in a Facebook post in 2017 about his struggles with alcohol addiction and said he wanted his children to know 'there is no shame in getting help when you need it.'

I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I've dealt with in the past and will continue to confront. ...

Posted by Ben Affleck on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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An alcohol addiction poster boy

However, the actor told The Hollywood Reporter that he is more careful now when talking about his addiction, as saying one wrong thing could lead to hurtful consequences for himself or those around him, something he has learned from the backlash caused by his Howard Stern interview. He called the fallout of the interview a 'painful moment' as he was very vulnerable at the time.

Ben Affleck has also said he did not agree with what the New York Post made of the interview.

It was the New York Post who deliberately mischaracterized it in order to make it clickbait, and everyone else then picked it up, and it didn’t matter how many times I said, “I do not feel this way. I’m telling you, I don’t blame my ex-wife for my alcoholism.”

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Sources used:

The Hollywood Reporter: Ben Affleck on ‘Air,’ New CEO Gig and Those Memes: “I Am Who I Am”

PageSix: Ben Affleck backtracks on blaming Jennifer Garner for alcoholism

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