Friday, June 22, 2012 | 8 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Ben Affleck is managing to live a relatively private life in a Hollywood fishbowl.
He's no longer tailed daily by the paparazzi, as he was when he dated Jennifer Lopez from 2002 to 2004. It was a time when entertainment coverage was starting to explode and the couple were on the cover of every magazine and tabloid, and the top story on TV entertainment shows.
"I definitely was in a tabloid crosshair," he said in a recent interview with the Associated Press. "It mucks up your life."
He described the constant attention as "sort of snarky and venal and kind of overwhelming."
The paparazzi weren't going to change their ways, so Affleck changed his life. He married Jennifer Garner, had three kids, and cut down his "compulsive" work schedule.
But not entirely: Affleck was in Washington, D.C., this week to raise awareness for something else he holds dear — his Eastern Congo Initiative to reduce the child mortality rate in the region.
Now, the paparazzi only occasionally take photos of Affleck and Garner when they're out with Violet, 6, Seraphina, 3, and Sam, 4 months.
"I feel like I have a chance to do the most exciting stuff that I've done in my career," he said. "I'm the luckiest guy in the world."