Ben Affleck is trying to set the record straight about comments he made about his drinking while he was married to Jennifer Garner.
After an interview Tuesday on Howard Stern's talk show, the Oscar winner received public criticism for his remarks about his alcohol use while married to Garner, from whom he separated in 2015.
“I’d probably still be drinking. It’s part of why I started drinking … because I was trapped,” Affleck said at one point.
“I was like, ‘I can’t leave because of my kids, but I’m not happy, what do I do?’” he said in another instance. “What I did was drink a bottle of scotch and fall asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution.”
The actor told Jimmy Kimmel on his show Wednesday night that he was “really happy” with his interview with Stern because he perceived it as “honest,” but he saw some backlash on Twitter after one website created a headline he believed to be clickbait.
“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,” Affleck said.
He and Garner have three children, Violet, 16, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9. They co-starred in 2003’s “Daredevil” and married in 2005 before finalizing their divorce in 2018. Affleck has not shied away from talking about his drinking and even asked Garner for help. Reports have indicated she assisted him in getting treatment.
Affleck told Kimmel he and his ex-wife maintain a good relationship and his comments to Stern 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,” he said. “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, who is reportedly back together with ex-fiancée Jennifer Lopez, said he can’t let the negative reaction go without saying something because it hit too close to home.
“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.”
Affleck added that knows he’s in the spotlight as an actor, but he takes issue when his family is targeted.
“Not with my kids. Don’t do that. It’s wrong,” he said. “It hurts me and it hurts them. Stop it.”