The NannyGate Diaries: A Complete Timeline of Ben Affleck's Divorce Scandal
By Emily Krauser & Lauren Zima
Photo: Getty Images
After Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announced they were divorcing in late June, rumors swirled that a big reason for the split was infidelity.
The estranged couple denied this was the case, but that didn't stop their former nanny, Christine Ouzounian, from riding with the story that she was intimate with Affleck. A source tells ET that the 28-year-old California native was never shy about revealing she worked for Affleck and Garner, and she's been proudly posing for photos (of both the Instagram and street photog variety) since the scandal broke. Ouzounian has never denied any of the reports, though Affleck's camp adamantly has.
So ... did they or didn't they? While that question remains unanswered, what we do have is a complete timeline sorting out Affleck's troubles:
Christine Ouzounian begins nannying for Neil Patrick Harris, who starred in Gone Girl with Ben Affleck, and husband David Burtka's twins, Harper Grace and Gideon Scott, now 4, at their home in New York City. She's recommended for the job by her twin sister, Caty, who had been nannying for the couple since November 2012 but no longer wanted to live in Manhattan. Christine Ouzounian eventually quits nannying for Harris and Burtka to move to the Bahamas and live with her then-fiancé, a local fisherman.
Ouzounian begins working for Affleck and Jennifer Garner. The actors hire her through a high-end Beverly Hills nanny service.
Breakup rumors swirl after Affleck and Garner are spotted separately around Los Angeles on numerous occasions and reports surface that they spent her birthday on April 17 apart. There is even a claim that Affleck wants to announce the split before their 10th wedding anniversary on June 29.
A source tells ET that the couple is "fine" and are planning on spending quality family time together this summer.
Moving vans are spotted at the couple's home in Pacific Palisades, California. There is speculation that the two are redecorating.
Week of June 22
The entire family visits the Bahamas, where Affleck and Garner have a home at the exclusive Baker's Bay resort. Ouzounian travels with them, posting the above pic to Instagram during the trip. She captions it, "Beautiful sunrise in paradise #islandgirl #bestwaytowakeup." The vacation was reportedly planned to coincide with the media coverage that would follow news of their split. The goal was to keep their three children -- Violet, 9, Seraphina, 6, and Samuel, 3 -- out of the public eye.
Ouzounian plans to spend time with her fiancé in the Bahamas during this two-week trip, which Affleck and Garner have approved, sources say. A source tells ET, however, that Ouzounian's fiancé suddenly broke up with her during this trip, and friends are confused as to the reason why. "Something happened in the Bahamas," a source close to the situation says. "He said he didn’t want to see her at all."
Affleck takes a break from the Bahamas trip to head to Las Vegas with his good pal, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Page Six reports that Ouzounian traveled on the private jet with them as a way to get back to Los Angeles. The two famous fathers were participating in a poker tournament at The Venetian, and a comfy-looking Ouzounian even poses for a photo on the plane (above), showing off Brady's Super Bowl rings on her hand.
A source tells ET that this trip raised a red flag for the nanny's friends -- they wondered why she'd be taking a trip to Vegas with Ben but without the kids. It's especially confusing because, according to sources, she was supposed to eventually head to Atlanta to help Garner care for the couple's three children while the actress filmed her new movie. Yet, Ouzounian flies back to L.A., while Affleck returns to the Bahamas. According to some reports, Garner fires Ouzounian when she finds out about the Vegas trip.
Garner flies with their three children to Georgia, where she is set to begin filming Miracles from Heaven in the Atlanta area.
The Argo star breaks his social media silence with a cordial tweet to Secretary of State John Kerry, thanking him for appointing Former U.S. Representative Thomas Perriello as the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Affleck founded the Eastern Congo Initiative -- the group the June charity poker tournament was reportedly supporting -- and has always been vocal about advocacy initiatives in Africa.
Affleck -- still wearing his wedding ring -- makes his first public appearance since the divorce announcement at Comic-Con, where he's promoting Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Garner is seen in Atlanta still wearing her ring, but Affleck's ring is off when he steps out in Santa Monica, California.
Affleck attends the ESPYs and jokes about heartbreak on stage -- the heartbreak one feel as a Boston sports fan, that is. His wedding ring is back on at this awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
Ouzounian tips off the paparazzi, telling them she'll be at the L.A.-area rental house the 42-year-old actor is staying in, a source tells ET. The former nanny can be seen smiling wide as she hands her one-time employer a bottle of champagne during the late-night meetup. She also arrived at Affleck's in his Lexus, which she had also been seen driving earlier in the day while running errands. By this time, Ouzounian is openly telling friends she was let go by Ben and Jen weeks ago.
The Santa Monica High School alum attends her 10-year reunion at Busby's East in Los Angeles.
Affleck visits his family in Atlanta and spends time with Garner and his kids at a school fair. "Ben is not filming anything in Atlanta right now," a family source tells ET. "He is only there to be with his family."
Us Weeklybreaks the story claiming that Affleck has secretly been dating Ouzounian and that the two frequently texted and emailed after she was let go. Affleck's rep slams the reports, telling ET that "all allegations of a romantic relationship are baseless and untrue" and that they are considering legal options. "The story is complete garbage and full of lies," his rep states.
Ouzounian holes up at the pricey Hotel Bel-Air. She stays at least five days at the swanky spot, where rooms start at $1,000 per night, and indulges in dinners at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant there. The question remains: Who foot the bill? During her stay, Ouzounian reportedly chats openly with visiting friends about Affleck, and pics are snapped of her at the pool, but the actor is never seen there. According to ET's sources, she's glued to media coverage about herself.
The exes continue to put their kids first, with Affleck flying to Atlanta to see his family. Though they stay in separate locations -- Jen is at a hotel while Ben stays at her rental home -- the two are spotted bringing the kids to a local mall on Saturday, before Affleck flies back to Los Angeles on Sunday. Both parents wear their wedding rings throughout the weekend. Before the nanny scandal broke, the whole family stayed at the rental house together when Affleck visited Atlanta.
Breaking her social media silence, Ouzounian posts a flattering paparazzi photo of herself on Instagram -- one that she stood at her door and posed for after Us Weekly's story first broke. ET exclusively obtains the post, which she captioned with the lyrics, "she's just a girl, and she's on fire," from the Alicia Keys song "Girl On Fire."
She may not be working for Affleck and Garner any more, but ET exclusively reports that Ouzounian is suddenly the proud new owner of a Lexus IS convertible -- a car that starts at about $43,000. "Keep Calm and meet my new drop top Lexi," she posts to Instagram, along with a smiley face emoji.
That evening, Affleck joins longtime pal Matt Damon on the red carpet in L.A. to celebrate the season premiere of Project Greenlight, which the pair produces. While Affleck doesn't talk to reporters, he is in good spirits and wearing his wedding ring.
On the day the private jet photo actually surfaces, Ouzounian dines with two girlfriends at Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills. She seems unfazed, requesting an outside table at the pricey restaurant, which is frequented by celebs. She is all smiles while chatting and drinking white wine, toasting every time a new round of drinks comes to the table during the boozy two-hour meal, and welcoming attention. She then gets behind the wheel of her Lexus and drives away with the top down.
Ouzounian visits Sears Optical in her hometown of Santa Monica, where she is back staying with her mother. She parks far away from the mall entrance, possibly in order to get more face time with the paparazzi, who snap her carrying a $478 Henri Bendel bag into the department store.
Affleck travels back to Atlanta and heads straight to Garner's rental home. This trip, the two are once again staying in the same location. Ouzounian is still in California -- she visits her father in Orange County, about 53 miles south of L.A.
While Garner is on set, Affleck, his mother, Christine Boldt, and one of the new nannies take the kids to the Fernbank Science Center. Other drivers report seeing him driving erratically, appearing agitated. Despite the stress, the entire family is together under one roof again, most likely to celebrate Affleck's birthday -- he turns 43 on August 15.
Find out more details about Ouzounian's paparazzi tip-off in the video below.