By: Stephanie Marcus
If you care about the ongoings of Hollywood and celebrities at all, then you probably shed a tear or felt a little heartache over the news that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck split after 10 years of marriage.
The couple was plagued by breakup rumors for months before they actually announced their separation in June of last year, and were hit with even more gossip as rumors of Affleck's reported dalliance with their children's nanny began to swirl.
Now, Garner is breaking her silence on their split for the first time in an unflinchingly personal interview with Vanity Fair, and there are few things she wants to make clear.
Their love was the real deal
"It was a real marriage," Garner told the magazine. "It wasn't for the cameras. And it was a huge priority for me to stay in it. And that did not work."
Affleck was the love of her life
"I didn't marry the big fat movie star; I married him," the 43-year-old said. "And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again. 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?"
But love is complicated
"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."
You can't blame the nanny for their split
"Let me just tell you something. 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."
She knows you want them to get back together
"When Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt broke up, I was dying to see something that said they were getting back together."
Even she laughed at Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais' joke that Matt Damon was the only person Affleck hasn't been unfaithful to.
"I laughed. People have pain -- they do regrettable things, they feel shame, and shame equals pain. No one needs to hate him for me. I don't hate him. Certainly we don't have to beat the guy up. Don't worry -- my eyes were wide open during the marriage. I'm taking good care of myself."
For much more with Jennifer Garner, head over to Vanity Fair.