Jennifer Garner has finally addressed reports suggesting Ben Affleck cheated on her with their children's nanny, insisting she had "nothing to do" with their split.
The Hollywood couple stunned fans last June (15) by announcing plans to end its 10-year marriage, and it was subsequently claimed Ben had been having an affair with 28-year-old childminder Christine Ouzounian.
His representative vehemently denied allegations the Gone Girl star had been unfaithful, and now, after months of silence, Jennifer has spoken out to clear up the claims.
"Let me just tell you something: we had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny," the mother-of-three tells Vanity Fair magazine. "She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation."
Jennifer goes on to admit hiring Ouzounian to look after Violet, 10, Seraphina, seven, and four-year-old Samuel didn't work out well and she regrets having to cut the childminder out of her kids' lives so abruptly.
"Bad judgment? Yes," she sighs. "It's not great for your kids for (a nanny) to disappear from their lives."
As a result, Jennifer reveals she still has to "have conversations about the meaning of 'scandal'" with her kids, while she learned to tune out the gossip by switching off her TV and staying away from the Internet.
"I turned on CNN one day, and there we were," she remembers. "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."
Ben, however, isn't ignoring the gossip completely: "Ben says, 'Oh, you just don't care,' and I say, 'No, it's the opposite,'" she explains. "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."
Despite their pending divorce, Jennifer insists she has no interest in bad-mouthing her ex - and neither should anyone else.
"People have pain - they do regrettable things, they feel shame, and shame equals pain," she continues. "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."