Ben Affleck is letting people know that they’ve misunderstood his comments about ex-wife Jennifer Garner.
Last week the actor appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote Tender Bar, his new film directed by George Clooney, and went into how the movie’s themes of family resonated with him. It was then that he brought up his earlier interview with Howard Stern, where many have blasted him for “blaming” Garner for his alcoholism.
“They had literally taken the conversation that I had had for two hours and made it seem as if I was doing the exact opposite of what I said,” Affleck told Kimmel. “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. And they said that I had blamed my ex-wife for my alcoholism and that I was trapped.”
He asserted that the lines taken from the interview, in which he said that if he had stayed together with Garner, they would likely be “at each other’s throats” and that he’d “probably [still] be drinking,” were taken out of context and presented as “clickbait.”
“[It] just made me out to be the worst, most insensitive, stupid, awful guy,” the 49-year-old shared. “It’s the exact opposite of who I am, what I believe, and I would never want my kids to ever say a bad word about their mom.”
“It hurts my feelings, man,” he added.
Despite the backlash, Affleck has said that the interview made him “happy,” calling it a “really cool, long-form, in-depth, two-hour interview” that he wishes to do more of.
“Because the movie is about family and all this stuff that’s meaningful to me, we talked a lot about my family, divorce, alcoholism and struggling with real things,” Affleck explained. “How you have to be accountable and loving, and how I work with my ex-wife and how I’m so proud of the way that we work together for our kids to the best that we can for them.”
The Tender Bar had its world premiere in October at the London Film Festival. It went through a limited release on December 17 and will be available for streaming on Prime Video on January 7, 2022.
Art Daniella Sison