Anne-Marie Losique says a widely circulated interview she did with Ben Affleck 13 years ago is being taken out of context and unfairly used against the Batman actor.
The Canadian TV personality, a singer and owner of Vanessa Media, told The Hollywood Reporter that the interview was an act. “This was for the camera,” she said. “You have to understand that we have done dozens and dozens of interviews like that. It was for a show I was producing, so I was not at all a victim. When the cameras rolled, we would start to do that game. As soon as it stopped rolling, there was none of that. He never touched me in any improper way. He was very respectful, I must say.”
The 2004 interview appeared on Box-Office, a Canadian TV and magazine series, and resurfaced on Wednesday, a day after Affleck condemned Harvey Weinstein, the mogul accused by multiple women of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Affleck had 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.”
But Affleck’s statement inflamed accusations against the actor. On Wednesday, Hilarie Burton claimed that Affleck groped her breast during a visit to MTV’s TRL in 2003. Affleck apologized for his behavior, saying he acted “inappropriately.” Then the Losique tape began to circulate once more.
While promoting his film Jersey Girl in the Box-Office interview years ago, Affleck had Losique sit in his lap. While squeezing her, he says viewers would like the show more if she did it topless and asks why she is not showing more cleavage, among other sexual remarks.
Clips from the show are still aired in Quebec, and usually talked about in a fun manner, Losique said. “But in this case, it is more of a delicate issue because of everything that is happening,” she added. “I can’t say I am thrilled to have that interview mixed in with the other stories because I don’t think that is at all the same thing.”
Losique stressed there were 20 people in the room at the time of taping and both she and Affleck knew the interview would be on TV and the internet.
“It has been blown out of proportion,” Losique said. “I know that people like fishing for anything, but this is completely out of context. I would like this to not have any negative impact on him. I find it sad.”
The TV personality, however, did have an uncomfortable moment with Weinstein years ago.
“Yes, I met him quite a few times,” she began, referring to Weinstein. “I knew he was a player. He did invite me once at the Toronto Film Festival to go up to his suite for an interview. Of course I did not go. And it stopped there. He said, ‘I would be more comfortable in my suite.’ I said, ‘Umm, no.’ I am not saying something would have happened, but I made sure nothing happened.”