Ben Affleck on the Jennifer Garner controversy and that Grammy moment with Jennifer Lopez

(CNN) Ben Affleck clears up a few things.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Thursday, he addressed the controversy that followed comments he made in 2021 while speaking to Howard Stern about his past marriage to actress Jennifer Garner.

“I had a really painful experience when I did an interview where I was really vulnerable and the whole pickup was something that just wasn’t right, it was actually the opposite of what I meant.” Affleck told THR.

The actor and director faced backlash after saying he was “trapped” in Garner’s dynamic.

“That’s part of why I started drinking,” Affleck told Stern. “Because I was trapped.”

Affleck told THR that he wasn’t trying to blame Garner for drinking.

“To be clear, my behavior is entirely my responsibility,” he said.

“What I was trying to bring out was sad. Anyone who’s been through a divorce does the math of how hard do we try? We loved each other. We care about each other. We respect each other,” Affleck said in a new interview. “I was trying to say, ‘Hey, look, I drank too much, and the less happy you get, whether it’s your job or your marriage, it’s just because your life gets harder, if you do things that fill that unhealthy gap, you start doing more of those things.’

The couple finally divorced in 2015.

Affleck said he believed his quote was “misrepresented to make it clickbait” and “it didn’t matter how many times I said, ‘I don’t feel like this. I’m telling you, I don’t blame my ex-wife for my alcoholism.”

Affleck and Jennifer Lopez reunited nearly 20 years after they were first engaged and married in July 2022.

“(Jennifer Lopez) tells me today, “Relax, be yourself. Have fun. You’re actually a funny guy who’s real and genuine and you just look so serious,” Affleck told THR. “Do I look serious? But as with so many things, he’s actually right. And he loves me. He takes care of me. He’s trying to help me.”

He also tried to clear up the speculation that spawned the “Ben Affleck bad entertainment at the Grammys” meme after the pair appeared to have visibly different reactions at the event.

Affleck said he actually had a good time, but when he saw Grammy host Trevor Noah approaching them, he thought, “Oh my God.”

“They were framing us in this shot, but I didn’t know they were rolling. I was leaning into him and I was like, ‘As soon as they start rolling, I’m going to slide off of you and leave you sitting next to me. Trevor,” Affleck explained. “He says, ‘You better not go.’ It’s a husband and wife thing. I mean, part of it is, I’m like, “Okay, who is this?” Like, I can’t keep up. Of course my wife does. And yes, it’s your wife’s work event.”

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