Ben Affleck says his split from Jennifer Garner is the biggest regret of his life.
The 47-year-old actor and filmmaker candidly opened up about his struggles with alcohol addiction, the separation and his career in an interview with The New York Times published on Tuesday.
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Affleck – who is an Oscar-winning screenwriter and director of the Oscars Best Picture winner Argo – described that his alcoholism and his crumbling marriage fueled each other in a vicious cycle between 2015 and 2016. The actor and Garner announced they were separating in 2015 and finalized the split in 2018.
Affleck and Garner began dating in 2004 and married the following year. The former couple share three children: 14-year-old daughter Violet, 11-year-old daughter Seraphina, and 7-year-old son Samuel.
The actor shared with the publication that he was still struggling with the guilt about the separation, but he had worked past the feelings of shame.
“The biggest regret of my life is this divorce,” he explained. “Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It’s just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing.”
After his split from Garner, the actor said he had to move forward and pick himself up and learn from his past mistakes. Affleck spent a brief time in rehab around the time of their split and after the 40-day stay at the treatment facility, he shared a statement on Instagram about his “lifelong and difficult struggle” addiction, thanked his family, loved ones, and fans for their support.
Unfortunately, Affleck suffered another relapse last October but said, at the time, he would not let this slip “derail” him.
“Relapse is embarrassing, obviously,” the actor told The New York Times, referring to the incident when he was filmed drunk at a party by TMZ. “I wish it didn’t happen. I really wish it wasn’t on the internet for my kids to see. Jen and I did our best to address it and be honest.”