3:44 PM PT -- Ben tells us, "I recently testified in a trademark suit regarding Refuge Recovery House. As part of my testimony, I was asked to speak to my relationship with Noah Levine as it pertained to my own stay as a patient and to the suit at hand. I will forever remain grateful for the treatment I received at Refuge Recovery House as it had such a positive impact on me and my sobriety." Ben continues, "I had a strictly professional relationship with Mr. Levine and do not know him outside of his capacity as a therapist. I was not and am not aware of what allegations have been made against him.
Ben Affleck has jumped into a lawsuit over the recovery center where he stayed for 40 days .... saying the guy who treated him for alcoholism literally saved his life.
Ben is supporting Noah Levine, who founded Refuge Recovery House, an alternative program to AA. A woman whom Levine dated accused him of sexual misconduct and other issues a year ago ... the LAPD investigated and prosecutors rejected the case. Nevertheless, the Board of Directors is trying to force Levine out, saying the allegations support getting rid of him.
Affleck just filed a declaration, explaining he was a patient last August at the Refuge Recovery treatment center after losing his sobriety. He has also regularly attended meetings and even got one-on-one therapy with Levine.
Ben says, "Working with Noah and his Refuge Recovery program has, quite literally, turned my life around. Today I am sober, happy, healthy and have custody of my three children. All of those things are a result of having Noah in my life. I don't know what I would have done without him."
Ben goes on ... "Noah's patient instruction in sobriety, Buddhism, patience, kindness, compassion and forgiveness form the bedrock of the foundation of my life today. I owe him for my professional life today, the life I have with my children, and the inner sense of equanimity I am actually able to reach from time to time."
In supporting Levine, Ben throws shade at lots of Hollywood hangers-on, saying, "I have been around many people in the recovery field, the self-help world, and the world of those who hang around celebrities for profit and attention ... Noah is without a doubt the person with the most integrity, the most honor, the most genuine compassion and the least motivated by self-interest I have ever known."
And, Lindsay Shookus, who calls Ben her "then live-in boyfriend," says, "I cannot begin to express the tremendous value that Noah's teaching and treatment counseling has had up both me and Ben, and upon my relationship with Ben."