Nanny Christine Ouzounian told friends she was intimate with Ben Affleck starting this spring, but he denies any romantic relationship
Multiple sources confirm to PEOPLE that Ouzounian, 28, told friends she was having an affair with Affleck. “Christine is in love with him,” says one friend of Ouzounian’s.
Affleck has denied having any romantic relationship with Ouzounian, with his rep denouncing a report as “complete garbage and full of lies.” A source close to Affleck says he and Ouzounian had “a work relationship and a friendship. There has never been a romantic or sexual relationship.”
According to the friend, Affleck and Ouzounian began the affair last spring, not long after she was hired, and would often meet at the Hotel Bel Air. (“Not true,” counters the source close to Affleck.) “It’s been going on for a long time,” adds the friend, who says Ouzounian showed her pictures of her sitting on Affleck’s lap and the two of them kissing. A second source in touch with Ouzounian’s circle confirms Ouzounian told friends she and Affleck were intimate. “For Christine, it was a relationship,” says the source. “A friend warned her she was going to end up heartbroken.”
Ouzounian’s friend says that the nanny even accompanied Affleck along with his and Garner’s three kids, Violet, 9, Seraphina, 6, and Samuel, 3, to the Bahamas in June before Garner flew down separately to join them. While in the Bahamas, the power couple announced their divorce on June 30.
Once Garner arrived, Ouzounian left the Bahamas with Affleck and attended a charity poker event in Las Vegas with him. Garner was still in the Bahamas with the kids when she found out about the affair, says Ouzounian’s friend. Garner “was livid,” says the friend. “And I don’t blame her because if my children bonded with you and you did this? It’s just the biggest betrayal.”
“This was not one of the reasons for the breakup,” says the source close to Affleck. “There was no affair during or after [their marriage]. Ben and Jen have been separated for months.”
Sources say Affleck and Ouzounian, who were photographed visiting each other at Affleck’s L.A. rental house on July 17, have not seen each other since July 19 after spending the night together there. Garner, who has been shooting Miracles from Heaven in Atlanta, continues to focus on her kids, says a source. “She’s being unbelievably strong for them,” adds the source. “They remain her priority.”
PEOPLE has not been able to reach Ouzounian for comment.
• Reporting by K.C. BAKER, PERNILLA CEDENHEIM AND LIZ MCNEIL