This has not been a particularly good week for Ben Affleck. He was specifically called out by Rose McGowan for enabling Harvey Weinstein‘s abuses though silence and coverups, and then his attempt to apologise and condemn Weinstein just invited people to dunk on him for his silence about his own brother‘s harassment allegations.
So: not great optics here. All the attention directed at Affleck. has inevitably resulted in other dirt being dug up – including the time he groped One Tree Hill actress Hilarie Burton back in 2003, when she was an MTV VJ.
This was pointed out by a Twitter user in a thread about Affleck:
He also grabbed Hilarie Burton's breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though.
— Shanice Brim (@ShaniceBrim) October 10, 2017
Which led to Burton herself chiming in:
I didn’t forget.
— Hilarie Burton (@HilarieBurton) October 10, 2017
The incident in question took place on the show Total Request Live, which Burton was hosting. It isn’t hearsay, either – it’s right there on the show, recorded for posterity.
In the clip – which features Burton describing the incident – Affleck appears to reach around the host and grab her breast while going in for a hug.
“He wraps his arm around me and comes over and tweaks my left boob,” Burton says in the behind-the-scenes segment of the show. “I’m just like, ‘What are you doing?'”
“Some girls like a good tweakage here and there. Um, I’d rather have a high five.”
Soon after Burton’s tweet and the video started picking up traction online, Affleck posted an apology to Twitter, while providing as little context as possible.
I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) October 11, 2017
Presumably he hoped most people will not recognise the story and will just scroll past it, but that isn’t really how online works.
This shit always come back to haunt you, Benny.Image: Getty Images / [Photographer name]