By her side. Jennifer Garner’s friends slammed Ben Affleck for the “disgusting” comments he made about their divorce.
Ben—who was married to Jen from June 2005 to October 2018—came under fire on December 13, 2021, when he seemed to claim that he “would probably still be drinking” if he didn’t divorce Jen. “That was part of why I started drinking alcohol, I was trapped,” he said on an interview on The Howard Stern Show. “I was like, ‘I can’t leave because of my kids, but I am not happy. What do I do?’ What I did was drink a bottle of scotch on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution.”
Ben—who also told Stern that he and Jen “would have ended up at each other’s throats” if their marriage continued—also revealed that the real reason the two divorced was because they simply “grew apart.” “The truth was, we took our time, we made a decision, we grew apart. We had a marriage that did not work. This happens,” he said. “It is somebody I love and respect, but to whom I should not be married any longer.” He continued, “And then we said, ‘You know what? We tried. We tried, because we had kids.’ And then both of us felt like, ‘We don’t want this to be the model that our kids see of marriage.'”
When it came time to end their relationship, Ben confirmed that he and Jen—who share kids Violet, 16, and Seraphina, 12, and son Samuel, 9—”did it amicably,” though he confirmed that he and his ex-wife have had “moments of tension” since their split. “Did we have moments of tension? Did we have disagreements over the custody? Was stuff difficult for us? Did we get angry? Yes,” he said. “But fundamentally it was always underpinned with respect. I knew she was a good mom. I hope that she knew that I was a good dad. I was. I had to get sober, I knew that too and I acknowledged that. I said, ‘You’re right. I’ve got to quit drinking.'”
After the interview, a source close to Jen called Ben’s comments “disgusting” in an interview with Page Six. “It’s disgusting,” the insider said. “Jen has been the only one picking him up time and time again when he’s done horrible things—fallen off the wagon or worse.” The source continued, “Jen stood by him because she loves him. This is the mother of his children.”
Another source close to Jen also slammed Ben for seemingly blaming Jen for his alcoholism. “Anyone who knows addict behavior knows how untrue those comments could be for any addict, but particularly Ben. It’s one of the first tenets of AA not to place blame for your disease,” the insider said.
A source also told In Touch on December 14, 2021, that Jen saw Ben’s comments about their divorce as “disrespectful” and a “slap in the face.” “Jen isn’t particularly happy with Ben’s wording on the subject of why they divorced,” the insider said. “He gave an interview saying he felt ‘trapped’ in the marriage, Jen wouldn’t have used that phrase or even opened up publicly like that. It was disrespectful.” The source continued, “If you think about it, it’s kind of a slap in the face to Jen and their kids.”
Ben responded to the backlash over his comments about his divorce from Jen in an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on December 15, 2021, where he denied that he “blamed” his alcoholism on Jen. “I had gone on and said how much we respect each other and cared about each other and cared about our kids and put them first and went through our stuff,” he said. “They said that blamed my ex-wife for my alcoholism and that I was trapped in this marriage and just made me out to be the worst, most insensitive, stupid awful guy.” He continued, “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. It hurts my feelings.”
As for Ben’s current girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez, the Selena star—whom he dated from 2001 to 2004 and reunited with in 2021—wasn’t happy about Ben’s comments about his former wife. A source told Page Six at the time that J-Lo is “pissed” Ben talked about him in reference to Jen. “She is getting pulled into this because she is dating him. She doesn’t want to be dragged into this,” the source said. “She has met Jennifer Garner. She is trying to get to know her and Ben’s kids. It’s reckless and cavalier of him.” Another source, however, denied that J-Lo was upset about her Ben’s comments. “This is simply not true and the focus is on the children,” the insider said.
For more about J-Lo’s life, check out True Love by Jennifer Lopez. The 2014 memoir covers the “Jenny on the Block” singer’s career and personal life, from her start as a dancer to when she became a mom of two twins with her now-ex-husband Marc Anthony. In the book, which includes more than 200 personal photographs from J-Lo’s never-before-seen collection, the Selena actress writes about how “she confronted her greatest challenges, identified her biggest fears, and ultimately emerged a stronger person than she’s ever been” to become the pop icon we know today.
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