Ben Affleck thinks he was treated like a criminal while dating Jennifer Lopez.

The 'Argo' star was shocked at the vicious backlash he suffered when he was in a relationship with the 'Dance Again' singer between 2003 and 2004, comparing it to the hatred convicted murder Scott Peterson endured.

Ben told America's GQ magazine: ''At the time, I knew on some level, 'This is insane'. What was that guy's name who killed his wife and dumped her off the side of a boat? Peterson. I remember thinking he actually gets slightly better treatment than I do in the press. At least they had to say 'alleged killer'.

''Unfortunately there's an aspect of that that's 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 ... That was definitely me at that point. I was the guy. I was the designated person to loathe.''

The actor - who is now happily married to Jennifer Garner - was treated with ''venom'' for appearing too fame-hungry because of the mass media coverage of his relationship with Jennifer, and he still struggles to understand why he was so hated.

Ben sighed: ''The amount of venom ... I must have touched some specific little place in the consciousness. I don't believe I didn't deserve any negative judgement for anything, but it was just sort of out of whack.

''I knew how disastrous it was. It was the last thing I wanted, and I could tell how it was damaging me, but there was still this idea this is what this guy wants, he's a shallow guy, a camera whore or whatever. And there was no convincing people that that wasn't the case.''

The handsome star has just been named Filmmaker of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards and believes the incident is responsible for his determination to be taken seriously in the industry.