Poor Ben Affleck was much better off pre-Bennifer, back when he was just an actor from Boston who helped write 'Good Will Hunting' with his best bud Matt Damon.

Then along came big-butted succubus Jennifer Lopez -- and it all went to hell.

In a recent interview with GQ, Affleck opened up about the years when he and Lopez shared the moniker Bennifer and he became one of the most hated guys in America.

At one point, Ben thought even murderers were spoken of more kindly than he was.

"What was that guy's name who killed his wife and dumped her off the side of a boat? [Scott] Peterson. I remember thinking he actually gets slightly better treatment than I do in the press," he said. "At least [with him] they had to say 'alleged killer.'”

“[It became] like one of those fights you see on YouTube where one of them falls down and then a bunch of people who were standing around come over and kick the person."

Thanks to the media scrutiny paid to his relationship with Lopez, Ben says he became an unwitting villain, telling GQ that while he may have deserved some harsh criticism, "It was just way out of whack ... People decided that I was the frat guy, even though I've never been inside a fraternity, or the guy who beat them up at school, even though that wasn't me at all."

Worst of all to him was the belief that he actually wanted to be in the public eye.

“It was the last thing I wanted, and I could tell it was damaging me, and I tried to get away from it, but there was still this idea: This is what this guy wants, he's a shallow guy, a camera whore or whatever," he said. "And there was no convincing people that that wasn't the case."

Ben's life these days looks little like the paparazzi tornado in which he once lived. The year after his 2004 split from Lopez, he married Jennifer Garner, with whom he's enjoyed a relatively quiet life and gone on to become a respected filmmaker -- something he likely wouldn't have been able to do as Mr. Jennifer Lopez.

"I'm in a place where I feel a bit more like I felt after 'Good Will Hunting,' but with a sort of added perspective," he says. "I feel like I've gone round a loop once. And for this lap, it's more measured ... I'm not the most loathsome man in the world."