Ben Affleck Opens Up About Alcoholism

Ben Affleck Opens Up About Alcoholism

By Maggie Ethridge 03/06/19

"Some people are sort of uncomfortable, but it doesn't really bother me to talk about alcoholism. Being an alcoholic is part of my life; it's something I deal with," Affleck said.

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Ben Affleck
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Over the years, Ben Affleck has been increasingly transparent with the public about the place that drinking has had in his life, and in a recent interview with Today, he continued that honesty.

“I had a problem and I really want to address it and I take some pride in that,” he told Hoda Kotb. “It’s about yourself, your life, your family… we encounter these kinds of hurdles and we have to deal with them.”

Affleck continued, "I mean, some people are sort of uncomfortable, but it doesn't really bother me to talk about alcoholism. Being an alcoholic is part of my life; it's something I deal with."

While alcoholism is something that Affleck lives with, he's determined not to let it define him.

"It doesn’t have to subsume my whole identity and be everything but it is something that you have to work at,” he said.

In 2012, Affleck interviewed with Barbara Walters and explained how alcoholism had defined his childhood.

"[My father] was an alcoholic... I did know that as a child. He drank a lot. My father was a—what did they call him—a real alcoholic. He, you know, drank all day, drank every day, and to his credit, he got sober ultimately. He's been sober for several decades, which I think is pretty impressive."

Affleck stopped drinking at age 24, after he and Matt Damon won the Oscar for their movie Good Will Hunting.

Then in 2001, after a highly-publicized break-up with Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlie Sheen drove Affleck to Malibu Promises. "I went to rehab for being 29 and partying too much and not having a lot of boundaries and to clear my head and try to get some idea of who I wanted to be," Affleck later told The Hollywood Reporter.

From 2004 until 2018, Affleck was married to Jennifer Garner. Married life with three kids was quiet until Garner and Affleck split, and since then Affleck has had a series of semi-public incidents with alcohol, the last culminating in having alcohol delivered to his house.

Shortly after, toward the end of 2018, the actor was photographed in the back of a car with Garner driving him to rehab.

On Today, Affleck called Garner a “great mom” and said he was lucky to co-parent with her.

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Maggie May Ethridge is the author of Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From a Marriage (Shebooks, 2014) and the recently completed novel, Agitate My Heart. She is a freelance writer published in Rolling Stone, VOX, Washington Post, The Guardian and many others. Find her at her blog Flux Capacitor or on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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