The actor's romance with Lopez ended in 2004, shortly after their collaborations in movie flops Gigli and Jersey Girl turned the couple into a critically-slammed laughing stock.
He tells GQ magazine, ""What was that guy's name who killed his wife and dumped her off the side of a boat? (Drew) Peterson. I remember thinking, 'He actually gets slightly better treatment than I do in the press.
""Unfortunately there's an aspect of that that's like one of those fights you see on YouTube where one of them falls down and then a bunch of people who were standing around come over and kick the person. They don't know them, they have no involvement in the fight, but they recognise a moment that they can get a free shot in, and for some people it's just too much to resist. And that was definitely me at that point. I was the guy. I was the designated person to loathe.""
And the Oscar winner's image took a real beating, with gossips painting Affleck as just a publicity seeker.
He continues, ""The most pernicious illusion, myth, was that this is something that this guy wants: 'He's wanting this much coverage.' That's the most unappealing thing that you can say about somebody. And I knew how disastrous it was. It was the last thing I wanted, and I could tell it was damaging me, and I tried to get away from it, but... there was no convincing people that that wasn't the case.""
Ultimately things got so bad, the 40 year old ran off to a secluded area in the South, where he could find solace.
He adds, ""(It) was really bad for me in all kinds of different ways, particularly in terms of my emotional life, my sense of self... I just ran away. You can only handle so much. I moved for a while to this place in Georgia... (where I) was able to get away, by and large, from stuff (and) come up with a plan for how to do something with my life that doesn't put me in the crosshairs of this sort of thing.""