Ben Affleck opened up about his battle with alcohol addiction and his divorce from ex-wife Jennifer Garner in an emotional new interview.
The actor, in an interview with “Good Morning America” co-anchor Diane Sawyer that aired Thursday, got vulnerable about his struggles with depression and addiction. He explained that watching his father drink and seeing his family break apart when he was younger made that one of his biggest fears.
“I never thought I was going to get divorced,” he said. “I didn’t want to get divorced, I didn’t want to be a divorced person. I really didn’t want to be a split family with my children. It upset me because it meant I wasn’t who I thought I was and that was so painful and so disappointing ... In myself.”
He added: “I really don’t want my children to pay for my sins or to be afraid for me.”
Affleck also offered thanks to Garner in a statement read by Sawyer after the interview: “What I want to say publicly and privately is, ‘Thank you. Thank you for being thoughtful, considerate, responsible, and a great mom and person.’”
Affleck stars in the upcoming “The Way Back,” in which his character wrestles with alcohol addiction and its consequences. In an interview published earlier this week in The New York Times, he candidly admitted the “biggest regret of my life is this divorce.”
“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,” he told the Times.
Affleck said that when his marriage began to fall apart about “2015, 2016,″ he lost his ability to drink “normally.”
“My drinking, of course, created more marital problems,” he said.
He and Garner split in June 2015, and finalized their divorce in October 2018. They had been together since 2004 and have three children: Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel.
Need help with substance use disorder or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.