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Ben Affleck Voices Support for Recovery Guru Accused of Sexual Misconduct

By Daniel Goldblatt

Ben Affleck is putting his reputation on the line for the recovery guru he claims turned his life around.

Affleck was a patient at the Refuge Recovery treatment center last year, which at the time was run by a man named Noah Levine, who was accused of sexual misconduct earlier this year. Levine says a police report was filed against him by an anonymous woman but no charges were ever filed.

Levine was eventually ousted from Refuge Recovery, who then sued him over trademarks relating to the business.

As part of that case, Affleck submitted a declaration on Levine's behalf and he speaks incredibly highly of him.

"Working with Noah and his Refuge Recovery program has, quite literally, turned my life around," Affleck says. "Today I am sober, happy, healthy and have custody of my three children. All of those things are a result of having Noah in my life. I don't know what I would have done without him."

He continues, "I am deeply grateful to Noah and his Refuge Recovery program for the instrumental role they played in getting me to this place. Noah's patient instruction in sobriety, Buddhism, patience, kindness, compassion and forgiveness form the bedrock of the foundation of my life today. I owe him for my professional life today, the life I have with my children, and the inner sense of equanimity I am actually able to reach from time to time!"

Affleck describes Levine as "without a doubt the person with the most integrity, the most honor, the most genuine compassion and the least motivated by self-interest I have ever known."

The "Argo" star concludes by saying, "Truly I could go on and on about Noah. In forty-six years on this planet, I have only met one or two other people about whom I could say the same amazing things that I can say about Noah. He is a gift not only to me, but also to the many scores of people I have personally known who he has helped, in addition to the thousands more he has reached through his books and the Refuge Recovery program he created."

In addition, Affleck's then-girlfriend, Lindsay Shookus, submitted her own declaration, saying, "I cannot begin to express the tremendous value that Noah's teachings and treatment counseling has had upon both me and Ben, and upon my relationship with Ben. I believe that Noah and the efforts of his addiction treatment colleagues have been one of the most important factors in Ben's recovery, and in meeting the challenges of my relationship with Ben at the time."

Affleck later clarified his declaration, telling The Blast:

I recently testified in a trademark suit regarding Refuge Recovery House. As part of my testimony, I was asked to speak to my relationship with Noah Levine as it pertained to my own stay as a patient and to the suit at hand. I will forever remain grateful for the treatment I received at Refuge Recovery House as it had such a positive impact on me and my sobriety.

I had a strictly professional relationship with Mr. Levine and do not know him outside of his capacity as a therapist. I was not and am not aware of what allegations have been made against him.

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