To be fair, Ben Affleck’s oldest daughter wasn’t born until 2005, so he was still a couple of years out from realizing that breasts are attached to human beings when he appeared on MTV’s Total Request Live back in 2003. That’s when he allegedly groped then-MTV VJ Hilarie Burton, as Burton claimed last night on Twitter:
Burton went on to say, “I was a kid,” before sharing a clip of a TRL Uncensored cold open in which she jokes about having her breast grabbed, and in which Affleck asks her, “How old are you, 19?” (She was 21.)
British tabloid The Daily Mail has found a more extensive clip from the show in question; in it, Affleck can be seen reaching around Burton’s shoulders. After Affleck’s arm moves out of frame, Burton squeals and says, “yeah, he pulled that move.” “It’s a move,” he replies. In an interview clip intercut with the footage, Burton says, “...and he wraps his arm around me and comes over and tweaks my left boob! ... I’m just like, ‘what are you doing?!’”
Burton, who started her career at MTV before becoming an actress on series like One Tree Hill and White Collar (she’s currently co-starring on Fox’s Lethal Weapon TV reboot), chimed in on a conversation about Affleck’s public statement regarding ousted Weinstein Co. head Harvey Weinstein, with whom Affleck has had a close working relationship over the years. (Here’s Affleck joking about Weinstein with Kevin Smith, also back in 2003.)
In the statement, posted on Facebook, Affleck said, “I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades. The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick ... We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters.” To which actress Rose McGowan, who’s been a leader in rallying her peers against Weinstein, replied:
As The Daily Beast reports, McGowan co-starred with Affleck in 1998's Phantoms, which was distributed by Miramax. McGowan went on to imply that Affleck knew about Weinstein’s alleged predatory behavior, saying, “‘GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT’ you said that to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie.” Then there’s Ben’s brother Casey Affleck, who won an Oscar for Best Actor last year after settling two sexual harassment lawsuits brought by former employees back in 2010.