They’re two of Hollywood’s biggest stars – but their ten-year marriage didn’t end the story of a typical big-screen blockbuster.
Now, six years after their split in June 2015, Ben Affleck has lifted the lid on his time with Jennifer Garner, claiming that he turned to alcohol because he felt “stuck” in their relationship.
Jen, 49, previously told Vanity Fair how she longed to make her marriage work: “It was a real wedding.
“It wasn’t for the cameras. And staying in it was a huge priority for me.”
But opening up about his battle with alcohol in his own interview this week, Ben, 49, a two-time Oscar winner, said he would drink until he fell asleep to cope with life at home.
Speaking about his split with Jennifer, with whom he has daughters Violet, 16, and Seraphina, 12, and son Samuel, nine, he began: “The truth was we took our time, we decided. we separated.
“We had a wedding that wasn’t working.
“We tried because we had kids. We didn’t want it to be a marriage model for kids.
“We did our best. I knew she was a good mother, and I hoped she knew I was a good father.”
“I had to calm down, and I accept that.”
However, he took a brutal dig at Jennifer, saying if they were still married: “We probably would have strangled each other.
“I’m probably still drinking. One of the reasons why I started drinking was because I felt trapped.”
Ben has made no secret of his issues with alcohol and received treatment for alcohol addiction in 2001 and 2017.
Poignantly, after their split in August 2017, Jennifer was seen taking him to a treatment facility to help him on his recovery journey.
Ben previously admitted that he started drinking more around 2015 and 2016, adding that he was briefly married because of his children.
In his latest interview, he explained: “I was like, ‘I can’t go because of my kids, but I’m not happy, what do I do?’
“And what I did was I drank a bottle of Scotch and fell asleep on the couch, which didn’t turn out to be a solution.
“But we both realized that we don’t want this to be the model our kids look up to when it comes to marriage.”
Ben and Jennifer became friends after meeting on the set of the film Pearl Harbor in 2000.
At the time, Jennifer was married to actor Scott Foley, 49, while Ben began dating pop star Jennifer Lopez, 52.
I can’t leave my kids but I’m not happy so what
do i do? What I did was drink a bottle of Scotch.
They reunited two years later on the set of the superhero film Daredevil, in which they both starred.
And while they were both in a relationship, Ben later claimed that it was there that he “fell in love”.
A year after Jennifer divorced Scott, with Ben and J-Lo – who began dating again this year – annulled their engagement in January 2004.
Nine months later, in October of that year, Ben and Jennifer went on their first public date before marrying in June 2005, with only two guests, on the private island of Turks and Caicos.
Fast forward a decade and their split caused a shock wave in Hollywood, with their break-up being announced just a day after their tenth wedding anniversary.
A joint statement released by the couple at the time read: “After much deliberation and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision of divorce.
“We move forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children, whose privacy we ask to respect during this difficult time.”
Rumors arose about Ben’s friendship with the couple’s nanny, 34-year-old Christine Ozunian.
However, both he and Jennifer strongly denied that anyone else was involved in their break-up.
In February 2016, Jennifer opened up about her decision to walk away from their marriage, but was steadfast in her devotion to Ben.
She told Vanity Fair: “I didn’t marry the big fat movie star, I married him.
“And I’ll go back and remake that decision. I ran to him on the beach, and I’d go again. ,
She said: “He’s the love of my life. What am I going to do about it?
“He’s the brightest, most charismatic, most generous person in any room.
“He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it’.
“But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it is cold. He can cast a lot of shadows. ,
He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it’.
Speaking on the US radio show The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday, Ben said that after his decision to participate, life got easier – although it didn’t come without challenges.
He said: “We did it amicably. We did our best.
“Did we have moments of tension? Did we have differences over custody? Was stuff difficult for us? Did we get angry?
“Yes, but fundamentally it was always held with respect.”
Ben, who is now sober, said: “The addiction treatment is suffering, you are suffering so much that something inside you goes, ‘I am done’.
“I’m lucky because I hit that point before I lost the most important things.
“Not my career or money – it was my relationship with my kids.”
Ben also talked about his rekindled relationship with J-Lo during the interview.
He said the couple had previously split due to public scrutiny.
And he said the result hit him hard.
She explained: “I felt hurt and angry and felt like a fool. , , The idea that people hate you and that together they hate you and that living together is poison and ugly and toxic and none of us want to be a part of it.
“Who else would f*** want to have them for dinner?
“And what the f*** are they doing together?”
Ben said he thought twice about rekindling their romance because of what happened two decades ago — and the effect it may have on their respective children.
He continued: “My responsibility for my children is my biggest responsibility.
“So I won’t do anything that is painful or destructive to them if I can help it.”
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