Ben Affleck addresses his 'mischaracterized' remarks about Jennifer Garner and that Grammys moment
By Lisa Respers France, CNN
(CNN) -- Ben Affleck is clearing a few things up.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Thursday, he addressed controversy that followed comments he made in 2021 while speaking to Howard Stern about his past marriage to actress Jennifer Garner.
"I had a really painful experience where I did an interview where I was really vulnerable, and the entire pickup was something that was not only not right, it was actually the opposite of what I meant." Affleck told THR.
The actor and director faced backlash after saying he felt "trapped" in the dynamic with Garner.
"It's part of why I started drinking," Affleck told Stern. "Because I was trapped."
Affleck told THR he was not trying to blame Garner for his drinking.
"To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely," he said.
"The point that I was trying to make was a sad one. Anyone who's been through divorce makes that calculus of, How much do we try? We loved each other. We care about each other. We have respect for each other," Affleck said in the new interview. "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.'"
The couple eventually split in 2015.
Affleck said he believes his quotes were "mischaracterized it in order to make it clickbait" 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.'"
Affleck and Jennifer Lopez reunited nearly 20 years after they were first engaged and married in July 2022.
"[Jennifer Lopez] tells me today, 'Relax, be yourself. Have fun. You're actually a fun guy who is real and genuine and you just seem so serious,'" Affleck told THR. "Do I seem serious? But as in many things, she's really right. And she loves me. She's looking out for me. She's trying to help me."
He also sought to clear up the speculation that sparked the "Ben Affleck having a bad time at the Grammys"meme after the pair seemed to have visibly different reactions while at the event.
Affleck said he actually was having a good time, but as he saw Grammy host Trevor Noah approach them, he thought, "Oh, God."
"They were framing us in this shot, but I didn't know they were rolling. I leaned into her and I was like, 'As soon they start rolling, I'm going to slide away from you and leave you sitting next to Trevor,'" Affleck explained. "She goes, 'You better f---ing not leave.' That's a husband-and-wife thing. I mean, some of it is, I'm like, 'All right, who is this act?' Like, I don't keep up. My wife does, obviously. And yeah, it is your wife's work event."
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