Ben Affleck And Jennifer Garner’s Low Key Anniversary Dinner Reeks Of A PR Stunt

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner attending the Vanity Fair Oscar party February 2013Did I hear you guys ask me for more evidence supporting my theory that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck‘s marriage is on the rocks? Great! Because here it is, in the form of the publicity machine starting to churn out stories of their happy happy union, like this one about their ‘low-key anniversary dinner’.

I didn’t know this, but apparently Ben and Jen were married nine years ago on Sunday, June 29th, so they celebrated that with an early dinner at a bistro in Royal Oak, Michigan, near where Ben is currently camped out filming Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. According to restaurant representative Justin Near, who spoke to Radar Online, they came into Bistro 82 at about 6:00pm and made no effort to avoid the crowds:

“They were very low key. They were dressed very casually, just like anyone else at the restaurant. They came in before the big rush. The restaurant was just filling up.”

Pretty normal so far, but we actually already have a red flag — did you catch it? Why is a representative for the restaurant speaking to the media about a celebrity couple who came in?

I’ve worked at a restaurant that was frequented by celebrities, and we were under strict instructions to keep that information to ourselves…meaning that if someone is speaking for the restaurant, they have the permission (or even the encouragement) of the celebrities in question. I mean, the dude used his own name, so clearly he’s not worried about the repercussions about blowing his cover. But it gets even more obvious, so come along with me:

“They actually had a window seat with big banana curtains open to the street. So people walking by got a big surprise to see them in the window.”

C’mon. Really? A big ol’ window seat? So they pretty clearly wanted people to see them having a cozy, intimate dinner, and hopefully talk about it to the media and get our minds off the fact that neither one of these two can do an interview without insulting the other, and that Ben apparently wouldn’t let Jen stay friends with Mark Ruffalo.

“They had a great bottle of wine and had a good time with the staff. He’s pretty well known for leaving fantastic tips so this was no different.”

Oh good, so Ben was drinking! I guess we’re gonna skip right over that part, even though he’s supposedly been sober since 2001.

“Ben ordered the steak and fries. He even said the fries were the best he’s ever had. [Jen] had oysters and a salad. And they were joking around with the staff. They were sharing everything.”

Y’know, based on that description — I think I might have had a low-key anniversary dinner this weekend, too. Should I alert the media?

(Photo: Brian To /

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    • Alana Vincenza

      Ehhh you’re right, this does reek of PR stunt. I kinda want them to be okay, but I also think Ben is being a shitty husband. I’m so conflicted.

    • Lillian Freeman

      Except this isn’t a restaurant usually “frequented by celebrities.” It’s a new business in suburban Detroit, of course they were excited and wanted to get some good press from it.

    • CW

      Couldn’t it be a little bit of both? Marriage is hard work, and if a couple is committed to working through their issues, they might choose to declare a truce and be seen together in public as a way of trying to get naysayers off their backs. I’ve done it at extended family events, and my husband and I did weather the rough patch. The Afflecks have 3 young kids so I hope that they are able to work through whatever problems they may have in their relationship and emerge stronger on the other side.

      • Lillian Freeman

        They haven’t gone through a period of separation though. There are twitter sightings of them and their kids all the time.

      • CW

        A rough patch in a marriage doesn’t have to involve an actual separation. A lot of bickering can be done behind closed doors without one spouse or the other actually leaving the family’s home. Especially when the couple is rich enough to have plenty of spare bedrooms like the Afflecks are.

    • Lindsey Sweet

      Well, if they are heading for divorce, then me and the hubby are too, since we say things like that about each other all.the.time!

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        During nationally-televised interviews?

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