Ben Affleck's Father Speaks About His Son's Addiction & Recovery Journey

By David Konow 02/27/18
Timothy Affleck says his eldest son “has always been serious about getting sober... He wants a balanced life and he is working at it.”
Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck has been relatively open about his battle with alcoholism and his desire to be sober. The actor's road to recovery has included multiple trips to rehab, including two in 2017. Now Affleck’s father, Timothy Affleck, is speaking out on his son’s alcoholism, and how he feels the movie business could be partly to blame.

In Grazia Daily, Timothy Affleck says the business has “taken a toll” on both of his sons, Casey and Ben. In recent years, Casey has come under fire for sexual misconduct allegations dating back to 2010, which he vehemently denies. While Ben made headlines late last year for allegedly groping an MTV VJ in 2004 as well as accusations that he lied about his knowledge of Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct. 

“Hollywood is a disgusting place,” Timothy said. “I think that’s been a major factor in Ben’s drinking. You’re forced to develop a persona that is hard to shed and go home to your family. It affects your whole life. I think that’s one of the dangers of the film industry.”

The 74-year-old father added, “It’s very difficult to balance family life in the midst of global stardom. It’s a hard, taxing life. In the world outside of the entertainment industry, marriages end all the time. It’s as common as dishwater, it’s nothing to dither about.”

The elder Affleck confessed that he was a “chronic, severe alcoholic” himself and that his elder son Ben “has always been serious about getting sober. There is no question about that. He wants a balanced life and he is working at it.”

As Ben Affleck told The Hollywood Reporter, “[My father’s] life sort of hit the skids when I was in my teens. It was difficult. When one’s parent is an alcoholic, it’s hard. It was a little scary and trying, but then he got sober when I was twenty-something, and he’s been sober ever since.”

Last year, Affleck went to rehab twice; his first trip was in March, then he made another trip in September at the urging of his ex-wife Jennifer Garner. But he left after five days and, according to Us Weekly, he was “actively participating in outpatient programs” after that.

Back in 2001, Affleck was first taken to Promises rehab in Malibu by Charlie Sheen for a 30-day stay. He called it a “pre-emptive strike” in Vanity Fair, and told the Hollywood Reporter, “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. It was more a ‘let me get myself straight,’ before it became a rite of passage.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.