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Ben Affleck Speaks Out After Backlash of Howard Stern Interview: I Don’t Blame My Alcoholism on Jennifer Garner

Ben Affleck Alcoholism Jennifer Garner Howard Stern Interview
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Shutterstock (2)

Following the aftermath of his candid interview with Howard Stern, Ben Affleck is clarifying his comments about ex-wife Jennifer Garner.

Related: Ben Affleck Howard Stern Interview Revelations

“Because the movie [The Tender Bar] is about family and all this stuff that is meaningful to me, [Howard and I] talked a lot about my family and divorce and alcoholism and struggling with real things and 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,” the 49-year-old actor began on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, December 15. “The irony is I was really happy with it.”

Affleck described going on Twitter and being surprised by the reaction to his interview.

Ben Affleck Alcoholism Jennifer Garner Howard Stern Interview 2
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck Broadimage/Shutterstock

“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,” Affleck told Jimmy Kimmel. “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.”

Related: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner: The Way They Were

After joking that he’s happy to be a “meme” when it comes to sad Batman or Dunkin Donuts, he clarified how he feels about Garner, with whom he shares daughters Violet, 16, and Seraphina, 12, and son Samuel, 9.

”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,” he said. “It hurts my feelings.”

During his appearance on the SiriusXM show on Tuesday, December 14, the Gone Girl star, who has gone to rehab for alcohol several times over the years, opened up to Stern, 67, about the end of his marriage to the 49-year-old 13 Going on 30 actress.

“Part of why I started drinking was because I was trapped,” he said, noting he would “probably still be drinking” if they stayed married. ”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 Affleck Alcoholism Jennifer Garner Howard Stern Interview 3
Howard Stern Shutterstock

He also told the host that their 2015 split was amicable.

Related: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s Best Quotes About Divorce, Coparenting

“Did we have moments of tension? Did we have disagreements over the custody? Was stuff difficult for us? Did we get angry? Yes,” Affleck 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.'”

Garner, for her part, has yet to publicly comment on the interview. Earlier this year, Affleck moved on with Jennifer Lopez, whom he was previously engaged to from 2002 to 2004. He told Stern that it “crossed my mind” not to rekindle the relationship over the inevitable public interest in the pair.

“My responsibility to my children is the highest responsibility. I don’t want to do anything that is painful or destructive to them if I can help it,” he said. “My life affects them. Me and their mom are celebrities. That is hard. That is a cross to bear.”

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