Jennifer Garner graces the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and breaks her silence on her divorce from her husband, Ben Affleck and the alleged affair he had with the couple’s former nanny, Christine Ouzounian. The ‘Miracles from Heaven​’ star’s first public comments are lengthy, expansive and are drawing much attention.

Jennifer Garner

Photo: Jennifer Garner
Credit: PR Photos

Not just an alluring cover and photo shoot with the famed Vanity Fair magazine, but a massive article, billed as a “frank talk,” chock full of quotes that are going viral. This was, after all, one of the major Hollywood A-list splits and it had all the elements that fuel the expected tabloid coverage, and spilling over into mainstream media as well. And once there was the hint of a scandal, an affair with the nanny, coverage, rumor and speculation went into the usual overdrive.

Now, months later, 43-year-old Jennifer Garner has her say. Of her decade-long marriage with the 43-year-old Ben Affleck, she said, “It was a real marriage. It wasn’t for the cameras. And it was a huge priority for me to stay in it. And that did not work.”

She elaborated, saying, “I didn’t marry the big fat movie star; I married him. And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again.”

Continuing, she added, “You can’t have these three babies and so much of what we had. He’s the love of my life. What am I going to do about that?” The couple had three young children together; two daughters — Violet and Seraphina — and a son, Samuel.

She continued to share laudatory words about Affleck, adding, “He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it.’ But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it’s cold. He can cast quite a shadow.”

She also opened up about what went wrong, and why the couple chose to split, saying, “It’s one of the pains in my life that something I believe in so strongly I’ve completely failed at twice,” referencing her previous marriage, in 2000 to Scott Foley. She went on to say, “You have to have two people to dance a marriage. My heart’s a little on the tender side right now, and it’s always easier to focus on the ways that you feel hurt, but I know that, with time and some perspective, I’ll have a clearer sense of where I let the system down, because there’s no way I get off in this.”

And, sadly, these three have also been affected as she revealed, when she addressed the allegations that her husband had an affair with the nanny, 28-year-old Christine Ouzounian. She said of it, “We had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny. She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation. Bad judgment? Yes. It’s not great for your kids for [a nanny] to disappear from their lives. I have had to have conversations [with the children] about the meaning of ‘scandal.’

Garner also revealed that she pointedly avoids the media and that she’s unaware of the media spectacle that the dissolution of her marriage has become. She said, ““I turned on CNN one day, and there we were. I just won’t do it anymore. I took a silent oath with myself last summer to really stay offline. I am totally clueless about all of it.”

Continuing, she added, “Ben says, ‘Oh, you just don’t care,’ and I say, ‘No, it’s the opposite.’ It hurts me so much, and I care so much. I cannot be driven by the optics of this. I cannot let anger or hurt be my engine. I need to move with the big picture always on my mind, and the kids first and foremost.”

There’s much, much more to the interview. For celebrity watchers, it’s been long awaited. But yes, in her own time and in her own way, Jennifer Garner has much to say, not just about the divorce, but on other topics as well, including what co-parenting has been like, her thoughts on dating and her future plans, how she feels about fans who want to see her reunited with her estranged husband, and much more.

See the Jennifer Garner Vanity Fair magazine cover below and see the full interview plus the photo spread here. Watch the behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot below.

Pictures: PR Photos