Skip to main content

Ben Affleck Responds To Backlash Over Conversation About His Alcoholism And Marriage To Jennifer Garner

Ben Affleck talks to Tye Sheridan from behind the bar in The Tender Bar.
(Image credit: Amazon Content Services LLC)

Earlier this week Ben Affleck made some headlines following an interview with Howard Stern where he spoke openly and honestly about his struggles with alcohol during his marriage to actress Jennifer Garner. His words drew attention because, when taken out of context, it seemed like he was blaming his ex-wife for his substance issues. Affleck has now responded to the backlash just to make it clear nothing could be further from the truth. 

In an appearance last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night Ben Affleck spoke in very warm terms about his interview with Howard Stern. He talked about how it was nice to do something in depth and personal and he felt really good about the experience coming out of the interview, which made the media response to his statements all the more surprising. Affleck explained...

I had the chance to do an interview with a friend of yours, Howard Stern. It was a really cool, longform, in depth two hour interview. And because the movie is about family and all this stuff that’s meaningful to me, we talked a lot about my family, and divorce, and alcoholism. And struggling with real things, and how you have to be accountable and loving. How I work with my ex-wife and how I’m so happy with how we work together for ours kids the best that we can for them. I was really happy with it. At the end of the interview I was thrilled. I thought ‘Wow I should do more honest, exploratory, self-evaluating things.’ And then I started seeing all this stuff come on Twitter.

After talking so much about how he and his ex-wife Jennifer Garner work together for their kids, Ben Affleck was clearly shocked to see headlines that implied he blamed his ex-wife for his alcoholism. This made little sense to him because the bulk of the interview had been about how well the family supported each other. Affleck continued… 

And I looked on it, and they had literally taken a conversation I had had for two hours and made it seem as if I was saying the exact opposite of what I said. I went on and said how much we respect each other, and care about each other, and cared about our kids and put them first. And they said I had blamed my ex-wife for my alcoholism and I was trapped in this marriage. Just made me out to be the worst, most insensitive, stupid, awful guy.

While the actor did say his drinking would have likely gotten worse had he stayed married, that’s not really the same thing as blaming the marriage for the drinking. There were clearly problems in Ben Affleck’s life, but he made it clear he does not blame his ex-wife for his drinking. Just to be sure nobody could take it out of context, he made that unequivocal, saying … 

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.

Ben Affleck has been more than willing to be open and honest about his struggles and mistakes in his life. He takes responsibility for them here. He’s never been anything but supportive of Jennifer Garner.   

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.