Ben Affleck has opened up on his battle with alcohol and his split from Jennifer Garner, describing the divorce as the “biggest regret of my life”.
In a deeply personal interview, the Hollywood actor, 47, also revealed he walked away from the forthcoming Batman film over fears he would drink himself to death.
Affleck was married to Garner for 13 years from 2005 and the former couple have three children together.
“The biggest regret of my life is this divorce,” he told the New York Times.
“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.”
Affleck, who has won two Oscars as a filmmaker, will next star in drama The Way Back, in which he portrays an alcoholic basketball coach coming to terms with the end of his marriage.
Reflecting on his own battles with drink, Affleck, who had a public relapse in October, said: “People with compulsive behaviour, and I am one, have this kind of basic discomfort all the time that they’re trying to make go away.
“You’re trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever. But that ends up making your life worse.
“Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can’t break. That’s at least what happened to me.”
Affleck, a Hollywood leading man known for films including The Town, Argo and Daredevil, had been set to direct, write and star in the upcoming superhero film The Batman.
He first played the Caped Crusader in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. However, Matt Reeves has taken over as writer-director while British actor Robert Pattinson will play the Dark Knight.
Explaining why he walked away from the project, Affleck said: “I showed somebody The Batman script. They said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went through again’.”
Affleck has reportedly had three stints in rehab, in 2001, 2017 and 2018.