In a sweeping new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Garner reveals that her daughter Violet was chased around school and even kicked off her soccer team because of the intense paparazzi frenzy that followed the once Affleck-Garners about. The behavior would have persisted, likely, had Garner not taken matters into her own hands.
As Garner explains to THR, she testified in front of the California State Assembly Committee on Public Safety in 2013, in support of a bill that would forbid the paparazzi from chasing the children of famous people around. She remembers, at one point, when a group of parents and concerned local authorities gathered to discuss the situation:
“Violet’s hyper-articulate — she is Ben Affleck’s daughter, and she stood up on a chair in a little velvet dress, with her hair a bit back and her glasses on and she didn’t say her R’s right, and she said: ‘We didn’t ask for this. We don’t want these cameras, they’re scary. The men are scary, they knock each other over and it’s hard to feel like a kid when you’re being chased.’”
Later, she recalls that there are very few family photos because of the children’s aversion to cameras, and that her retreat from greater public life came because of the frenzy and her eventual split from Affleck, whose relationship with Ana De Armas was widely publicized last year, roping in Garner by default. She doesn’t directly cite matters concerning Affleck’s public struggles, but Garner does admit to THR: “When they were smaller and there were things out there that were shocking, my request to them was always, ‘Let Dad and I talk you through whatever it is.’”
Throughout the interview, her anxieties about the effects these things will have on her children could never be clearer. I’m still struck by a moment when she fervently asks the interviewer how their own parents’ divorce affected them, something she clearly worries about with her own kids. “Going through it in public is not what’s hard, going through it is hard.”
On a happier note, she is the co-founder and chief brand officer of a farm called Once Upon a Farm, where she “works to make organic children’s food broadly accessible regardless of income or geography.” If Jennifer Garner driving a tractor is of interest, then congratulations! The Hollywood Reporter has photographic evidence of it. Good luck, Jen!