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

(CNN) Ben Affleck clears up a few things.

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

“I had a really painful experience where I was doing an interview where I was really vulnerable and the whole pickup was something that was not only wrong, it was actually the opposite of what I meant.” Affleck told THR.

The actor and director faced backlash after saying he felt “trapped” in the dynamic with Garner.

“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 his drinking.

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

“The point that I was trying to make was a sad one. Anyone who’s been through a divorce makes that calculation of how hard do we try? We loved each other. We care about each other. We respect each other,” Affleck said in the new interview. “I tried to say, ‘Hey, look, I drank too much, and the less happy you get, whether it’s your job, your marriage, it’s just that as your life gets harder, if you do things to fill a gap that’s not healthy, you’ll start doing more of those things.”

The couple separated in 2015.

Affleck said he believes his quotes were “mischaracterized to make it clickbait” and “it didn’t matter how many times I said, ‘I don’t feel like that. 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 seem so serious,'” Affleck told THR. “Do I sound serious? But, as in many things, she’s really right. And she loves me. She looks out for me. She’s trying to help me.”

He also tried to clear up the speculation that sparked the “Ben Affleck having a bad time at the Grammys” meme after the pair appeared to have visibly different reactions while at the event.

Affleck said he was actually fine, but when he saw Grammy host Trevor Noah approach them, he thought, “Oh, God.”

“They framed us in this picture, but I didn’t know they were rolling. I was leaning into her and I was like, ‘As soon as they start rolling, I’m going to slide away from you and leave you sitting next to Trevor ,” Affleck explained. “She’s like, ‘You better not go.’ It’s a husband-and-wife thing. I mean, some of it is, I’m like, “Okay, who is this act?” Like I’m not following. My wife does, of course. And yes, it’s your wife’s work event.”

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