25 years since he won his first Oscar alongside his childhood best friend, Ben Affleck has been firmly in the public eye for more than half his life.
In that time, Ben has experienced his fair share of personal difficulties on the world stage, so he’s maintained a fairly transparent stance when it comes to speaking about his struggles with alcohol.
He has treatment sought multiple times in the years since for alcoholism and received professional help in 2008, 2017 and again in 2018 after his divorce Jennifer Garner has been completed.
he short relapsed in 2019 but said he wouldn’t let it “derail” him, admitting, “It happens, it’s a blip.”
And now, in an in-depth interview with the Hollywood reporter Posted yesterday, Ben reflects on the complications of navigating sobriety in the spotlight and admits he feels he’s become the face of alcoholism among celebrities.
“I became — without a wish of my own — one of the poster boys for alcoholism and actor recovery and all that,” he told the outlet, going on to admit that being so open about your struggles comes with ups and downs.
“The best part is sometimes people call me and say, ‘Hey, can you help me?’ And it makes me feel so good to do that,” he said, adding, “The big trick of the 12 steps is why they want you to help other people, because it actually helps you more.”
While acknowledging the positive aspects of his outspokenness, Ben said the advice he often gives to his celebrity peers in similar situations is to “avoid” their addiction being made public.
“You don’t have to be anybody’s figurehead,” he said. “You don’t have to fucking tell anyone. That’s why there are two words on the front of the book. They’re just as important, both of them: Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s always anonymous.”
Unfortunately, with Ben’s addiction being so public, it’s become common for fans to speculate about his health — especially after he married Jennifer Lopez in July last year.
For example a video clip from Jennifer and Ben, who appear to be having a tense conversation at the premiere of their film, forced marriageIt went viral in January after fans suspected the couple did Arguing about Ben’s drinking.
In the candid clip – which has more than amassed 10.5 million views on TikTok – Ben shakes his head at Jen drinking from a wine glass in front of him. When she seems to ignore what he is saying, he tries to say her name.
Fans began speculating that Jen accused Ben of drinking alcohol a lip reader claimed on TikTok that Ben said, “I haven’t had anything to drink, okay?” while Jen tasted his drink to double-check.
More recently, Ben has been the center of attention after he was shown looking “bored” and “miserable” while he and Jen were visiting Grammys Last month.
The couple went viral again after cameras caught them in another strained-looking exchange.
In the clip, Ben can be seen leaning in to whisper in Jens’ ear, only for her to suddenly turn her head and say something sternly to him. She then places her hand on her chest and tries to tell Ben to sit up while he immediately adjusts his posture.
Fans on Twitter had a blast hypothesizing what the couple might have “fought” over, with people speculating that Ben’s unusual behavior that night could have been down to him having been drinking.
Addressing the discourse with the Hollywood reporter This week, Ben was quick to reassure the world that he was actually having a “good time.”
“My wife went and I was like, ‘Well, there’s going to be good music. It could be fun,'” he said. “At film awards shows it’s speeches and something like sound mixing webinars. But I thought that would be fun.”
He went on to reveal what actually happened between him and Jen during that viral clip, admitting it all stemmed from a little “husband-and-wife” teasing.
“I saw [Grammy host Trevor Noah approach] and I was like, ‘Oh God.’ They framed us in this shot, but I didn’t know they were rolling. I leaned into her and said, ‘Once they start rolling, I’m going to slide off you and have you sit next to Trevor,'” he recalled, adding that Jen replied, “You shouldn’t the fuck go. ‘”
But as for the speculation that he’d been drinking, Ben was less lighthearted.
“I went to events and I was pissed. I left and got bored. I’ve been to awards shows and I’ve been drunk, a bunch. No one ever said I was drunk,” he said. “[But at the Grammys] They said, ‘He’s drunk.’”
The argon The director went on to say that he found these allegations “interesting,” suggesting they address broader issues of how to deal with sobriety in public.
“That raises a whole different question about whether or not it’s wise to acknowledge addiction, because there’s a lot of compassion, but there’s still a tremendous stigma,” he said, “that’s often quite inhibiting.”
He added that the stigma “stops people from improving their lives.”