For Y2K power couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, 2021 has been pretty pleasant.
From their countless red carpet appearances, romantic strolls in the Upper East Side and picture-perfect blended family, it seems that the pair are stronger than ever. But that wasn’t always the case.
Now, a full 17 years after Lopez ended their highly-publicized engagement, the Batman actor is finally revealing what led to their relationship breakdown. Speaking on the Howard Stern Show, Affleck shared that the barrage of negative media attention contributed to about “50%” of their split.
“The idea that people hate you and they hate you together and that being together is poison and ugly and toxic and the thing none of us want to be part of,” Affleck revealed. Talking about his initial reaction to the breakup, the 49-year-old shared he was “f**king hurt and angry and felt like a fool.”
Since their rekindling earlier this year, it seems that paparazzi-happy couple appear to be on cloud nine. However, Affleck did (naturally) have some trepidation and reservation about getting back together with the singer.
“Well, look, my responsibility to my children is the highest responsibility I have. So I won’t do anything that’s painful or destructive to them if I can help it,” Affleck said.
Affleck also talked about the end of his marriage to Jennifer Garner, describing—pretty cruelly—how he felt “trapped” and started drinking to cope.
During the interview, Affleck commented if it wasn’t for the divorce “I’d probably still be drinking. It’s part of why I started drinking … because I was trapped.”
“I was like ‘I can’t leave ’cause of my kids, but I’m not happy, what do I do?’ What I did was drink a bottle of scotch and fall asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution.”
The actor continued, “ultimately, we tried. We tried because we had kids. Both of us felt like we don’t want this to be the model that our kids see of marriage.”
Although Garner and Affleck separated in 2015, they still remain close, with the trio (including Lopez), taking their children trick-o-treating for Halloween in Malibu.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, reach out to the Alcohol And Drug Foundation or call 1300 85 85 84