Ben Affleck: My sobriety is something I have to 'work at,' but 'being an alcoholic' is 'part of my life'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Ben Affleck‘s life is back on track.

While promoting his new movie Triple Frontier on Monday’s Today show, the star, 46, was looking happy and healthy. His stint in rehab last year is certainly a big part of the reason — and he discussed it.

“It doesn’t really bother me to talk about alcoholism and being an alcoholic,” he told Hoda Kotb after she asked about his 40-day stay in rehab, his third time in treatment, that began in late August and ended in October. “It’s part of my life. It’s something that I deal with. It doesn’t have to sort of subsume my whole identity and be everything, but it is something that you know you have to work at.”

Ben Affleck talked about his stint in rehab last year, co-parenting with the “wonderful” Jennifer Garner and doing the A-Rod (not J.Lo) 10-day challenge. (Screenshot: Today show)

The actor, who recently announced his retirement as Batman, continued, “I feel like I had a problem and I really want to address it, and I take some pride in that… It’s about yourself, your life, your family, and you know people — we encounter these kinds of hurdles and we have to deal with them.”

The note Affleck shared upon completing his stint in rehab:


His ex-wife Jennifer Garner played a role in getting him to rehab. When Kotb said, “You can tell you still love her” to Affleck about Garner, he replied, “Of course, she’s wonderful. Somebody’s the mother of your kids, they’re going to be the most important, central person in your life, and that’s good.”

As for those kids — Violet, 13, Seraphina, 10, and Samuel, 7 — Affleck said, “I hope I’m a pretty good dad. I certainly try very hard. I’m lucky they’ve got a great mom, and she helps out a great deal with making sure that we co-parent in as good a way as possible… that’s really the central preoccupation in my life, you know, the focus of my life is what I love doing. It’s what makes me happy and the rest of the stuff kind of follows.”

Affleck also talked about recently doing the “A-Rod 10-day challenge. And, no, he didn’t mention his ex-fiancée Jennifer Lopez, who has been getting more of the credit for the craze. Prefacing it with, “I hate to be shallow about it, but…” he talked about dropping sugar, bread and dairy from his diet. He noted that he “cheated a little on the caffeine.”

“It was a little bit tough, but I did it,” he said. “It’s awful for the first couple of days because I am definitely somebody who likes bread and sugar. [But] you get through it and you’re like I feel pretty good. Of course, by the end of 10 days, I had three bagels.”

Another possible reason behind Affleck’s glow is that things seem to be on again with Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus. She accompanied Affleck to Sunday’s Triple Frontier premiere, but they didn’t walk the carpet together.

The pair had split in early August as he started to spiral. He briefly dated Playboy model Shauna Sexton after his breakup with Shookus, but they parted ways soon after he finished his alcohol treatment.

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