Ben Affleck Speaks Out for the First Time Since Leaving Rehab
Ben Affleck has left his rehab facility in Malibu after over a month in treatment, he shared in an Instagram post on Thursday.
"This week I completed a forty day stay at a treatment center for alcohol addiction and remain in outpatient care," he wrote. "The support I have received from my family, colleagues and fans means more to me than I can say. It’s given me the strength and support to speak about my illness with others."
"Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle," he continued. "Because of that one is never really in or out of treatment. It is a lifelong commitment. I am fighting for myself and my family. So many people have reached out on social media and spoke about their own journeys with addiction. To those people I want to say thank you. Your strength and courage is inspiring and is supporting me in ways I didn’t think was possible. It helps to know I am not alone. As I’ve had to remind myself, if you have a problem, getting help is a sign of wisdom and strength, not weakness or failure. With acceptance and humility, I continue to avail myself with the help of so many people and I am grateful to all those who are there for me. I hope down the road I can offer an example to others who are struggling."
On Thursday morning, 46-year-old Affleck was spotted in Los Angeles, heading to a therapy session. A source told ET late last month that Affleck was sober, and had made plans to leave the facility "soon."
"He has been pushing to go back to work and has expressed he believes he is ready and strong enough to live at home," the source said after Affleck was spotted attending a meeting at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles.
"Ben is eager to get back to work and he seems to be taking his sobriety more seriously than ever," the source added. "Ben has made it very clear that he will listen to everyone's advice and then make his own decision."
Affleck's estranged wife, Jennifer Garner, drove Affleck to rehab on Aug. 22, and ET's source said that she's "trying to support him the best she can, but she knows she can only do so much."
"Jen doesn’t want to push him at all," the source continued. "She wants him to do what it takes once and for all to get clean and sober for life."
Throughout his time in rehab, Affleck was visited by rumored girlfriend Shauna Sexton, whom ET's source says has caused contention between the actor and his loved ones.
"A big concern by Ben's friends is his decision to keep seeing Shauna," the source said. "They're still very much together and Ben talks to her every day, and sees her most days ... Jen is treading very lightly and trying to express her concerns."
"It's very hard for anyone who is close to Ben to trust Shauna because they don't know her and she seemed to come out of nowhere," the source explained. "The one thing everyone knows is Shauna is not sober, she is incredibly young, and she came into Ben's life at his lowest point. They wish that Ben would hold off on a relationship for now."
Affleck has been in rehab three times. In 2001, his publicist confirmed that the Oscar winner had entered a 30-day residential rehabilitation program for alcohol abuse. His second stint in rehab was in 2017, which he revealed in a Facebook post last March.
"I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I've dealt with in the past and will continue to confront," he wrote at the time. "I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step. I'm lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I've done the work I set out to do. This was the first of many steps being taken towards a positive recovery."
In a recent interview with ET, Affleck's brother, Casey Affleck, praised him for continuing to focus on his sobriety.
"Alcoholism has a huge impact on not just the person, but also their family. So, I think for his kids’ sake and for their mom, and for himself, he’s trying to do the work and get it together," Casey explained, noting that he and Ben "come from a long line of alcoholics."
"Ben is an addict and an alcoholic," the 43-year-old actor continued. "Most of my grandparents are alcoholics. My father is an alcoholic, as bad as you can be, and he’s been sober for about 30 years. I’ve been sober for about six years. Ben is trying to put it together, and it can be a very hard thing to do. He has the kind of resources and time, luckily, to take the time and go to a good facility."
See more in the video below.
How Ben Affleck Plans to Adjust to a Sober Lifestyle & Where He Stands With the Women in His Life (Exclusive)
Ben Affleck Remains in Rehab After a Month, 'Focused on His Sobriety'
Casey Affleck Gives Update on How Brother Ben Affleck Is Doing in Rehab (Exclusive)