Ben Affleck's dad blames Hollywood for son's alcoholism

Timothy Affleck also believes Ben's fame led to the disintegration of his marriage to Jennifer Garner.

FILE: Ben Affleck arrives for the world premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' ‘Justice League’ on 13 November 2017 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Timothy Affleck has blamed the pressures of fame and the Hollywood machine for his superstar son Ben Affleck's problems with alcohol.

The 45-year-old actor has spoken openly about his battle with the bottle and has sought treatment in rehab, and his dad Affleck believes the pressures of fame have impacted on both the Justice League star and his younger brother Casey Affleck, who recently pulled out of presenting at the Oscars because of accusations of sexual harassment.

In an interview with the new issue of _Grazia _magazine, Affleck said: "It has taken a toll on both my sons. 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 ... I was a chronic, severe alcoholic for several years. I had to recover, and, happily, I did. 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."

And the 74-year-old actor also believes Ben's fame led to the disintegration of his marriage to Jennifer Garner - the mother of his children Violet, 12, Seraphina, nine, and five-year-old Samuel - in 2015.

The Affleck patriarch said: "It's very difficult to balance family life in the midst of global stardom. It's a hard, taxing life."

But Affleck also advised his son not to dwell on the divorce.

He added: "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."

Last October, Ben apologised after he was accused of groping MTV presenter Hilarie Burton live on TV in 2003, while his 42-year-old brother previously settled a sexual harassment case out of court in 2010, when two female crew members accused him of inappropriate conduct while filming 'I'm Still Here'.

But Affleck insisted is sons are "kind and good men" who know how to treat women.

He said: "You'd have to ask them [about the allegations], 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 I value."