Since Ben Affleck split with Jennifer Garner in 2015, we’ve kept him and his romantic travails in the spotlight. For the last year, SNL producer Lindsay Shookus has been sharing that spotlight — but Affleck and Playboy model Shauna Sexton were both seen leaving dinner at Nobu in Malibu, California, on Thursday. Now people are speculating that Affleck and Shookus have broken up.
But are they really broken up? Or are they just taking a night off from each other? The evidence at this point is anecdotal, at best. Here’s what we know.
On Thursday, Affleck was spotted leaving Nobu, where Sexton was also spotted. In fact, both Affleck and Sexton were photographed leaving the upscale Malibu eatery — but not together. People magazine mentioned that Affleck enjoyed dinner that evening “with friends,” implying he and Sexton were not alone.
An Us Weekly source seemed to confirm that the two weren’t alone but was vague on whether the other guests were friends or part of Affleck’s working entourage. “Ben came in with a big team,” the source told Us Weekly. “He had bodyguards all around. He sat outside with Shauna, and they got a lot of food.”
Another source implied that Affleck definitely wasn’t with Sexton, saying, “Ben arrived by himself and left by himself in his car. He tipped the valet with a $100 bill.”
So, is it possible that Sexton simply happened to be among the group of friends Affleck was hanging out with? Sure. Alternately, there is some intel pointing to the contrary (or at least to a breakup with Shookus).
The night before his Nobu outing, Affleck celebrated his 46th birthday with his three children, Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6. Shookus was not in attendance, and according to TMZ, she and Affleck haven’t been photographed together since late July.
And, while it could be entirely coincidental, a moving van was parked in front of Affleck’s $19 million Pacific Palisades mansion on Aug. 9, suggesting that someone was either moving in or out. People previously reported that Shookus splits her time between Affleck’s home and her own place in L.A.
According to E! News, Affleck “feels it is over with Lindsay.” Regardless of their current relationship status, though, the Batman star apparently hoped to avoid the paparazzi during his dinner date with Sexton and pals. “He is not happy that there were photos,” an insider told E!.