Written by Staff Writer at CNN
Ben Affleck is grateful for a second chance — one that he says he owes to Jennifer Lopez.
The actor — who is currently promoting his latest project, “Justice League” — spoke with reporters at the Warner Bros. panel for the movie during the New York City press day earlier this week.
Despite Affleck’s reputation for his on-screen roles as the charismatic manchild, “Good Will Hunting” and “Pearl Harbor,” he has come under fire for being a less than stellar father.
Affleck admitted that he occasionally didn’t keep his hands to himself when his daughters were young.
“I got to a place where I had to examine why that was happening, and it felt like it’s only right that I come to terms with the fact that I had a fundamental problem in that sense,” Affleck said. “I think I had more to do with my own insecurities than anything else.”
In 2015, Affleck settled a civil suit filed by his ex-girlfriend in which she alleged that Affleck had hit her in the face multiple times. In a statement to People, Affleck’s lawyer apologized for his client’s actions.
“This was never intended to be a lawsuit and certainly not a personal attack on Mr. Affleck,” the statement read. “We are grateful to the court for dismissing the case. Mr. Affleck hopes to put this behind him and put his focus back where it needs to be — loving his three daughters and trying to be the best father he can be.”
Affleck’s ex had also complained that Affleck would hit and push her in front of their daughters.
The actor, however, said he felt he had learned from the situation.
“I am grateful that I didn’t lash out personally at my ex-girlfriend,” Affleck said. “Because it could have really become a situation that could have impacted my kids, and I think everyone would have been better off had I taken it. It’s the truth, and it was the truth because it was true. I had a bone to pick.”
Affleck said he was open to meeting Lopez, 46, whom he dated for five years.
“I was hugely fortunate in my life to be with such a special person and wonderful times, and she’s one of the reasons that I am a better person today than I was 10 years ago, or 30 years ago,” Affleck said. “If there was ever a chance that I had to make amends, I would think about that before anything. And I think it would be a high compliment to her.”
Affleck also praised his youngest daughter, Violet, 10, for always keeping their mom, Jennifer Garner, in mind.
“My daughter is the most perfect little 10-year-old there is,” Affleck said. “We can almost feel her breathing, and it’s really deep, and she can sense when things are uncomfortable around her, and she’s the sweetest little girl in the world.”
“Justice League” hits theaters in the US Friday.