It was a perfect summer date night for Ben Affleck.
At Malibu’s upscale Nobu restaurant August 16, the Justice League actor was rapt in conversation with his table mate: a bombshell blonde clad in a nude bodycon dress. Three days later, the lovebirds emerged once again at Santa Monica’s decidedly more-low key Jack in the Box drive-thru. With fries and a cheeseburger in hand, the all-smiles duo sped off in his Range Rover. According to a witness, “They looked so happy together.”
Something was off, however. The passenger was not his love of more than a year, Lindsay Shookus — but 22-year-old Playboy model Shauna Sexton. Not only had Affleck, 46, and the Saturday Night Live producer, 38, quietly split — “it’s amicable,” says a source — in just two weeks, the actor had also reverted back to his womanizing ways. It’s a behavior his estranged wife, Jennifer Garner, knows all too well. While still with Garner, Affleck began secretly dating Shookus. And just weeks after the parents of Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6, announced the end of their decade-long marriage, Affleck moved on with their then 28-year-old nanny, ChristineOuzounian.
“Jen realized a long time ago that she cannot fix Ben and that his problems are not hers to solve,” a Garner confidant reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly. “She’s not his babysitter. She just wants to protect the kids. But she does wish Ben would keep his life more private.”
Rarely one to be alone, Affleck was quick to find comfort in the arms of Sexton post split. (After photos of them hit the internet, Shookus deleted her Instagram account.) Evenings out aside, Affleck and Playboy’s Miss May 2018 have clocked plenty of hours holed up in his $20 million, seven-bedroom Pacific Palisades bachelor pad, says an insider — much to the dismay of Garner.
“Of course she’s not pleased he’s dating a 22-year-old Playboy model,” says the Garner confidant. “But she’s also not surprised. Jen has come to expect this from Ben. She’s not going to get involved. She can’t make decisions for him.”