Jennifer Garner has finally broken her silence regarding her and husband Ben Affleck’s high-profile split last year, along with his alleged affair with their family nanny. In a new, revealing interview with Vanity Fair, the 43-year-old discussed her relationship with the Oscar winner and what she calls her “year of wine.”
The power couple announced their divorce last June, one day after their 10th wedding anniversary. The actress told the magazine, “We had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny. She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce.”
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She added, “[Christine Ouzounian — the nanny] was not a part of the equation."
With that being said, the mom-of-three — Violet, 10, Seraphina, 7, and Sam (will be 4 February 27) — admitted that in hindsight, the nanny was not a good fit for their family. "Bad judgment? Yes. It's not great for your kids for [a nanny] to disappear from their lives,” the Miracles from Heaven star said. "I have had to have conversations about the meaning of 'scandal.'"
Despite their split, Jennifer does not harbor any ill will toward her ex-husband. "People have pain—they do regrettable things, they feel shame, and shame equals pain," she said. "No one needs to hate him for me. I don't hate him. Certainly we don't have to beat the guy up. Don't worry — my eyes were wide open during the marriage. I'm taking good care of myself."
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“It was a real marriage,”Jennifer said. “It wasn’t for the cameras. And it was a huge priority for me to stay in it. And that did not work.”
After announcing their divorce, Jennifer admitted to Vanity Fair that she decided to avoid the news and put the couple’s three young children first. "I turned on CNN one day, and there we were," she recalled. "I just won't do it anymore. I took a silent oath with myself last summer to really stay offline. I am totally clueless about all of it."
However, her former spouse couldn’t stay away from the attention surrounding their split. Jennifer said, "Ben says, 'Oh, you just don't care,' and I say, 'No, it's the opposite.' It hurts me so much, and I care so much. I cannot be driven by the optics of this. I cannot let anger or hurt be my engine."
Photo: Patrick Demarchelier
She added, "I need to move with the big picture always on my mind, and the kids first and foremost."
While their marriage did not last, Jennifer confessed that if she had to do it all over again she would still marry Ben. “I didn’t marry the big fat movie star; I married him,” she said. “And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again.”
The actress continued, “You can’t have these three babies and so much of what we had. He’s the love of my life. What am I going to do about that? He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it.’ But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it’s cold. He can cast quite a shadow.”