8 Scandals Involving Ben Affleck

Photo by A.M.P.A.S. / Rex Features

Who can resist Ben Affleck? We’re totally into his handsome scruff, his mischievous smirk and his boyish smile — and it helps that he’s also a writer, director and Oscar winner (remember Good Will Hunting?). But he’s not exactly an innocent boy-next-door (that title might belong to his fellow Boston compatriot and best friend Matt Damon). Here are 8 scandals that Ben Affleck, our newest Batman, has been involved with in some form or another:

8. Ben and Jennifer Garner Decided to Divorce – But Why?

You probably already knew about this one: Last month, Ben and wife Jennifer Garner decided to call it quits after being married for ten years and having three children together. The big question is this: Why? Was there a specific incident that was the last straw? The couple’s formal statement wasn’t too illuminating: “After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce,” they said. “We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding.” Many have speculated that the divorce came about because of Ben’s alleged infidelity, but there may be some other reasons, too, including the scandals below.

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7.  Ben Was Late Picking Up Kids From School

Has Ben been a good father to Violet, Seraphina and Samuel? According to Life & Style Magazine, Jennifer was recently filming a movie called Nine Lives in Toronto when she got a call that Ben was 40 minutes late to pick up their children from school. “She had to scramble to arrange another ride for them,” an inside source explained. Now, it seems like this could happen to anyone, and traffic in Los Angeles certainly doesn’t help people stay on schedule — but perhaps this is an example of a pattern of behavior. Reports say that Jennifer is fighting for full custody of their children.

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6. Ben Was Banned From a Casino For Counting Cards

Ben has admitted that he was banned from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in April 2014 after he was caught counting cards. “That is true,” he dished in the October 2014 issue of Details magazine. “I took some time to learn the game and became a decent blackjack player. And once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack.” He continued: “I mean the fact that being good at the game is against the rules at a casino should tell you something about a casino. There’s a lot of hospitality, backslapping, when they think you’re gonna come in and dump money, and if they think you might leave with some money, it’s like, ‘You know what? Why don’t you try craps or roulette?'” Technically, counting cards is not against the law — but casinos don’t like it. Ben also said that he doesn’t gamble on a lot of things, which runs counter to the rumors that he has a gambling problem. “I don’t bet on football games, and I don’t gamble at all, really, outside of that,” he said. “But I knew with blackjack that there’s a way you can improve your odds. And so I started trying to learn. And then I just got to a point in my life where I’m like, ‘If I’m going to do something, I’m going to try and do it really well.'” We can’t really argue with that logic. The Hard Rock responded to the scandal with the following statement: “Mr. Affleck, a valued guest of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, is not banned from our property and is welcome back any time.”

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5. Ben Tried to Hide That His Ancestors Were Slave Owners

When Ben participated in the PBS genealogy show Finding Your Roots, he discovered some unsettling news: some of his ancestors from Georgia were slave owners. Hacked Sony emails later posted by WikiLeaks revealed that Ben was successful in covering up the revelation, convincing reluctant executive producer Henry Louis Gates to keep the information out of the episode’s final cut. Ben later apologized in an official statement, saying, “I didn’t want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. I was embarrassed. The very thought left a bad taste in my mouth.”

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4. Ben Hinted At Marriage Problems in Oscar Speech

In 2013, Ben won the Best Picture Oscar for Argo, which he directed. In his mostly joyful speech, though, he thanked Jennifer Garner in a way that made some people worried about the state of their marriage. “I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good,” he said. “It is work but the best kind of work and there’s no one I’d rather work with.” Jennifer told The Telegraph that his comments made some of her friends concerned. “I had a friend call and say, ‘Are you OK?'” she said. “I know Ben, I knew he meant it as the hugest, warmest compliment in the world. I think he was saying, ‘Look, what we have is really real and I value it above all and I’m in it with you and I know you are in it with me.’ That’s the way I took it.'” Ben later clarified his remarks to Access Hollywood: “All marriages, all relationships to a certain extent, require your work. They require work and investment,” he explained. But Jennifer said she was never worried about what he said in his Oscar speech. “Poor guy,” she remarked. “It’s so horrible to put yourself out there — he didn’t have to worry about it from my point of view.”

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3. Ben’s Night With Strippers Ended His Engagement to J-Lo

Before Ben & Jen (Garner), there was Ben & Jen (Lopez). Ben and Jen Lopez began dating in July of 2002, after meeting on the set of the critically panned movie Gigli. They eventually became engaged (and experienced a crazy amount of media scrutiny) and even set a date and location for their wedding, but Jen supposedly broke off their engagement after she heard about Ben’s crazy night with strippers. According to The Daily Mail, exotic dancer Tammy Morris (29) came forward and said that she danced with him along with three other exotic lap-dancers in a nightclub. “It’s a night I’ll never forget and I’m sure one he’ll want to forget,” she said. “He had this little boy look on his face.” Tammy also said that Ben gave them a big tip and asked them to “Keep this just between us.” (So much for that.) Tammy claimed that Ben kissed her and another woman, and that “His hands were all over two girls at the same time.”

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2. Ben Entered a Rehab Facility in 2001

Back in 2001, Ben checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation center. Then 29, Ben actually called Charlie Sheen, who was three years sober, and Charlie arranged for him to stay at famous Malibu celebrity rehab center Promises, which cost $33,850 a month at the time. Ben later explained his decision in a 2008 interview with The Daily Mail: “My father was an alcoholic and there was a cycle of addiction in my family,” he said. “He was an addiction counselor for many years and turned his life around in a very laudable way. But having such serious addiction issues has a major impact – it colors who you are and becomes part of you. I had my issues and went to rehab, which was a good thing for me.”


1. Ben and Matt Damon Were Accused of Not Writing Good Will Hunting

Ben and his longtime pal Matt Damon were practically kids when they won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Good Will Hunting in 1998 — Ben was only 25 at the time. But did he and Matt really deserve the credit? Rumors have long swirled that the screenplay was actually written by veteran screenwriter William Goldman, the mastermind behind The Princess Bride, Heat and All The President’s Men. However, Goldman claims that he didn’t write or rewrite the screenplay, he simply gave Ben and Matt advice after Rob Reiner introduced them. William says he told Ben and Matt to focus more on the characters and making it less of a thriller (the original version of the script focused more on Will’s recruitment by the NSA). He has also said he never would have written the famous “It’s not your fault” scene that featured Matt and Robin Williams.

Source: Good Will Hunting

Amanda Young