The Oscar winner sat down with the New York Times for an extremely candid interview where he spoke about his marriage to Garner and the disappointing ending. Affleck and Garner were officially divorced in 2018 despite splitting up in 2015. Ben, who has been very open with his addiction to alcohol, admitted that his drinking increased as his marriage fell apart.
“I drank relatively normally for a long time. What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems,” he told the NY Times.
As the interview continued, Affleck expressed that the wound left by his troubled marriage is still very much open. Jen and Ben share three children together and have come to realize that their fame makes it hard to keep their personal business private.
“The biggest regret of my life is this divorce,” Ben continued. “Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It’s just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing.”
The interviewer, reporter Brooks Barnes, really pressed him and questioned the star about his success and low points.
“It’s not particularly healthy for me to obsess over the failures — the relapses — and beat myself up,” Ben told Barnes. “I have certainly made mistakes. I have certainly done things that I regret. But you’ve got to pick yourself up, learn from it, learn some more, try to move forward.”
Garner and Affleck have remained close since the split and she has always had his back in a major way. In 2018, Jen drove Ben to his third stint in rehab and accepted him into her home after he was seen intoxicated as stumbled out of the UNICEF Masquerade Ball in West Hollywood months later.
“Relapse is embarrassing, obviously,” Affleck said. “I wish it didn’t happen. I really wish it wasn’t on the internet for my kids to see. Jen and I did our best to address it and be honest.”
Another intriguing issue that was brought up was Ben’s curious fib about his giant back tattoo being fake. Back in 2015, paparazzi photos circulated that showed Affleck with a massive tattoo of a phoenix that took up the entirety of his back. When news agencies were
trying to determine if it was legit, Ben made the hype even worse by saying it was not real.
“I resented that somebody got a picture of it by spying on me,” he declared. “It felt invasive. But you’re right. I could have said, ‘That’s none of your business.’ I guess I got a kick out of messing with ‘Extra.’ Is your tattoo real or not real? Of course, it’s real! No, I put a fake tattoo on my back and then hid it.”