TI­MOTHY AF­FLECK: ‘ HOL­LY­WOOD HAS TAKEN A TOLL ON MY SONS’

Grazia (UK) - - 10 Hot Stories -

IT’S RARE FOR a week to go by with­out the Af­fleck broth­ers be­ing hit by dis­parag­ing head­lines. Re­cent ex­am­ples in­clude Ben ap­par­ently telling Rose Mcgowan: ‘God damn it, I told him to stop do­ing that’ fol­low­ing her rape by Har­vey We­in­stein ( he’s de­nied he ever knew about the at­tack), and Casey be­ing forced to bow out of the Os­cars due to con­tin­ued ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

Be­fore that came al­le­ga­tions that Ben had cheated on Jen­nifer Garner in 2015 with their nanny, and his well-doc­u­mented bat­tle with al­co­holism. The rea­son for the bad press? Ac­cord­ing to the ac­tors’ fa­ther Ti­mothy, the broth­ers are sim­ply vic­tims of the en­ter­tain­ment world.

‘It has taken a toll on both of my sons,’ the 74-year-old told Grazia last week. ‘Hol­ly­wood is a dis­gust­ing place. I think that’s been a ma­jor fac­tor in Ben’s drink­ing. You’re kind of 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.’

He went on to blame his own re­la­tion­ship with al­co­hol for Ben’s stints in re­hab – the ac­tor has also pre­vi­ously spo­ken of this as a cat­a­lyst for his own drink­ing prob­lem. ‘I was a chronic, se­vere al­co­holic for sev­eral years. I had to re­cover and, hap­pily, I did,’ he said. ‘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.’

Ex­plain­ing the rea­son for Ben’s 2015 split from Jen­nifer Garner, he said, ‘It’s very dif­fi­cult to bal­ance fam­ily life in the midst of global star­dom. It’s a hard, tax­ing life.’ He ad­vised Ben not to dwell on the di­vorce, adding, ‘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.’

Ti­mothy, who starred along­side Casey in his 2010 film I’m Still Here, re­fused to take ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct lev­elled at both of his sons at face value. Last Oc­to­ber, Ben, 45, apol­o­gised af­ter he was ac­cused of grop­ing MTV pre­sen­ter Hi­larie Bur­ton on air, while Casey, 42, set­tled a sex­ual ha­rass­ment case out of court in 2010 (two fe­male crew mem­bers ac­cused him of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour af­ter they worked with him on I’m Still Here).

‘ You’d have to ask them,’ said Ti­mothy of the claims. ‘It doesn’t in­ter­est me, they know what they’re do­ing. They’re both kind and good men. They treat women well, I can guar­an­tee that. Af­ter 40 odd years, you know your kids.

‘Both of my sons are hard work­ers. They have a tremen­dous amount of em­pa­thy, they don’t for­get where they came from, they’re very kind and gen­er­ous. Those are the qual­i­ties that I value.’

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Top: Af­fleck broth­ers Ben and Casey. Above: Ben with his fa­ther Ti­mothy. Far right: with ex-wife Jen­nifer Garner

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