Ben Affleck has called his divorce from Jennifer Garner his biggest regret in a revealing new interview.
The couple had three children together and had been married for 10 years - almost to the day - when they announced their separation in 2015. They finalised their divorce in 2018.
Five years later, the Good Will Hunting star has now spoken to the New York Times about the 'shame' of his marital separation, saying: 'The biggest regret of my life is this divorce.
'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. It's not particularly healthy for me to obsess over the failures - the relapses - and beat myself up. I have certainly made mistakes. I have certainly done things that I regret. But you've got to pick yourself up, learn from it, learn some more and try to move forward.'
The actor also spoke about his struggles with alcoholism, which have included rehab stays in 2001, 2017 and 2018 (he confirmed the latter two stints on social media at the time). Affleck says he used to drink 'normally', however his drinking increased while his 'marriage was falling apart'.
'This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more martial problems,' the 47-year-old acknowledged.
Around the time of the high-profile split, there were many rumours around the circumstances of the break-up of a couple long regarded to be one of the most stable in Hollywood.
Garner gave her first interview about the changes in her personal life to Vanity Fair in 2016, where she spoke candidly about the separation, saying: 'It's not Ben's job to make me happy. The main thing is these kids - and we're completely in line with what we hope for them. Sure, I lost the dream of dancing with my husband at my daughter's wedding. But you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you're going to be friends with that person.'
Since then, the couple have appeared to be on amicable terms, regularly photographed together on days out with their three children Violet, Seraphina and Samuel.
Later in the interview, Affleck also clarified the state of his sizeable, colourful back tattoo of a phoenix. Shortly after the pictures of the actor on the beach with his new tattoo were made public, the star told Extra TV it was fake for a movie. He now admits maybe he should have been honest about the headline-making inking from the onset.
'I resented that somebody got a picture of it by spying on me,' he said. 'It felt invasive. But... I could have said. "That's none of your business." I guess I got a kick out of messing with Extra. Is your tattoo real or not real? Of course it's real! No, I put a fake tattoo on my back and then hid it.'
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