When Jennifer Garner stepped out in sunny California in January 2013, she, like many others that day, donned a pair of sandals. In doing so, though, the actress showed off a peculiar physical flaw – and eagle-eyed onlookers haven’t gotten over the tiny yet strange feature on her foot.
Garner began life in Houston, Texas, in 1972 before relocating to Charleston, West Virginia, when she was a few years old. At George Washington High School she got good grades, learned the saxophone and even served as her football squad’s water girl. But Garner found her greatest passion on stage at the Charleston Light Opera Guild, where she performed in musicals, sung, danced and practiced piano.
When it came time for college, however, Garner made the surprising choice to study chemistry – until she switched her major to theater, that is. Then, in 1994 she graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and three years later she headed to Los Angeles in pursuit of her Hollywood dreams. But Garner presumably couldn’t have imagined just how famous she would become – nor that one day she could cause a social media frenzy just by sporting sandals.
Soon after Garner’s arrival in the City of Angels, she started landing TV and movie roles. The actress played the part of Ashton Kutcher’s girlfriend in 2000’s Dude Where’s My Car? for instance, and became a series regular on two separate shows on Fox to boot. Then, in 2001 Garner acted as a nurse in box-office hit Pearl Harbor, which preceded her big break.
Yes, that same year, J.J. Abrams wrote a TV spy drama series called Alias, and he had pictured Garner specifically for the lead role. According to USA Today, when the actress found out that the filmmaker wanted her to star in the show, she quipped, “What did you see me in that made you think I could do this? Mr. Magoo? Dude, Where’s My Car?”
However, Abrams saw more in Garner than the skills that her earlier roles had let her show off. He told USA Today in 2002, “There was something about her that I just thought was really special. I always thought she had something in her personality that was funnier and sexier and smarter and more mischievous than anything I’d seen her do. And when I wrote [the part of] Sydney, I wanted to show that.”
And as we now know, Abrams turned out to be right: Garner proved perfect for the role of Sydney Bristow, and the show shot her to stardom. What’s more, the actress earned a slew of accolades and nominations for her efforts in Alias over its five-year run. Garner took home a Golden Globe for Best Actress, for instance, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2002 and 2005, respectively.
Capitalizing on the success of Alias, Garner made the leap to the big screen and has hardly looked back. In her first leading movie role – Jenna Rink in the beloved 2004 flick 13 Going on 30 – she brought in a slew of glowing reviews. And in subsequent years, the actress went on to star in Juno, Valentine’s Day, Dallas Buyers Club and Love, Simon among other popular titles.
Alongside Garner’s Hollywood career, her personal life of course evolved over time, too. When the actress first arrived in Los Angeles, she landed a guest-starring role on Felicity. And it was through this TV show that she met series regular Scott Foley. The two of them said “I do” in 2000 – but separated less than three years into their marriage.
In 2013 Garner shed some light on why her marriage may have come to an end. She told Allure magazine that she and Foley “didn’t have a shot” in their short relationship, but she didn’t reveal why. Garner did say, however, “He’s a great guy. We were full-on grown-ups, but looking back I’m aware we did not know what hit us.”
After Garner’s separation, she started dating her Alias co-star, Michael Vartan. And as the Hollywood rumor mill goes, some fans began speculating about potential reasons for the break-up. Certain onlookers wondered if an affair had played into the split, for instance, but Garner’s ex-husband jumped to her defense.
According to Foley, you see, his marriage to Garner had fallen apart because their dynamic had changed – plain and simple. He told TV Guide in a 2003 interview, “[Garner] became a huge celebrity. She became a huge star, and she deserved everything she got. There was no other relationship, there was no infidelity – nothing. People get divorced, you know? Through no one’s fault and everyone’s fault.”
After Garner and Vartan’s flame fizzled out, too, she remained single for a little while. And in 2004 she told Fox Radio, “I am single and boring and home on Saturday night all by myself.” But soon, the actress would be romantically connected to another one of her co-stars – this time, Daredevil’s Ben Affleck. And apparently, the off-screen chemistry was undeniable.
In fact, onlookers noticed a spark between Garner and Affleck before they even came out publicly as a couple. And both parties actually had significant others at the time. While Garner and Foley remained legally married, Affleck was set to get hitched to fiancé Jennifer Lopez. But regardless, fans were convinced that Garner and Affleck seemed enamored with each other. A writer for Vulture, for instance, claimed in 2014 that the actress peered at her co-star with “such a genuine look of gratitude and affection” that it made him “a bit uncomfortable.”
Eventually, though, things fell into place for the cozy co-stars. Garner filed for divorce from Foley in May of 2003, and half a year later, Affleck and Lopez parted ways, too. It took Garner and Affleck until the fall of 2004, though, to make their first public appearance as a couple. Indeed, photographers saw the two cuddling in the stands at the World Series.
From there, things moved rather quickly for Garner and Affleck. The couple got engaged in April of 2005 and said “I do” two months later, in fact. And at the end of that year, the newlyweds welcomed their first child, a daughter named Violet. Then, a girl, Seraphina, and a boy named Samuel followed in 2008 and 2011, respectively.
However, Affleck and Garner would soon face rumors of trouble in their marriage. In 2013, for example, Affleck picked up the Academy Award for Best Picture for Argo – a film that he had directed. And when the actor stood up on stage and accepted the statuette, he thanked his wife in a way that seemingly had audiences scratching their heads.
Affleck directly addressed Garner in his speech, saying, “I want to thank you for working on marriage for ten Christmases. It’s good. It is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.” Given Affleck’s choice of words, people wondered if the couple were having marital problems that they were having to constantly “work” on. But both A-listers denied the rumors. And while hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live, Affleck said, “You define what’s important to you by what you dedicate your time to.”
Then, in the summer of 2015 an even more damaging rumor swirled. Affleck was accused of stepping out on Garner with their children’s nanny, Christine Ouzounian. Us Weekly even went as far as to claim that the Oscar winner had left a vacation with his wife to whisk Ouzounian away to Las Vegas. Affleck’s rep denied the fling, however, calling the speculation “complete garbage and full of lies.”
But then came another twist. Just three days after the story broke, you see, Affleck and Garner told the world that they had decided to divorce. According to the actress, she and her husband had been living separately, so his alleged relationship with the nanny didn’t factor into her decision to call it quits. After two years of separation, though, no divorce ever went through. Apparently, the A-lister pair had decided to try and work it out.
Meanwhile, in 2017 Affleck had an issue of his own to face: an alcohol addiction. As the star shared on Facebook, his dependency was something that had plagued him throughout his life. A month after he entered treatment, though, he and Garner filed for divorce once again. And in the next year, he would re-enter rehab one more time before they finalized their split.
Since then, Garner has kept a relatively low profile as far as relationships go. And she and Affleck reportedly remain amicable co-parents. However, the actress has found a new love interest in John Miller – the CEO of Cali Group. According to Us Weekly, a source revealed that Garner appreciates “that he’s not in the entertainment industry and is just a simple guy.”
But it’s fair to say that without a personal relationship playing out in the public eye, Garner has still managed to catch people’s attention. For one thing, eagle-eyed fans have noticed something seemingly rather unusual about one of the actress’ feet. The peculiarity came as somewhat of a surprise, since it’s only noticeable when Garner dons sandals or open-toed shoes – as opposed to flats or boots.
On Garner’s right foot, you see, it appears as though her pinkie toe is stacked on top of her fourth toe. It’s seemingly not just a particularly pinching pair of shoes or a weird photo angle that makes her digits look this way, though. In fact, it’s believed that the actress may have a genetic condition that doctors call brachymetatarsia.
The average foot contains five bones called the metatarsus, which extend from the middle of the foot to the toes’ phalanges. Each metatarsal bone gets a number, with one being the bone that connects to the big toe and five being the one that reaches the pinkie toe. Typically, the second metatarsal is longest, followed by the third, fourth, fifth and first in descending order.
The metatarsal bones of a person with brachymetatarsia, however, become overlapped. And it’s usually an issue with the fourth one in line. Garner’s foot seemingly fits the bill, as the unusual pinkie – or “floating toe” as it’s sometimes called – appears to loop over her fourth toe. But while the actress appears to only have one out-of-place digit, some individuals may have brachymetatarsia on both feet.
Interestingly, most cases of brachymetatarsia are hereditary – meaning that parents pass the gene down to their children. Abnormal metatarsals can also appear after feet experience trauma, however. But the exact way in which they form post-accident is not known. What’s more, brachymetatarsia cases appear more in women than they do in men – although it’s not really understood why.
Unfortunately, those with brachymetatarsia often experience pain or discomfort because of their abnormal bone structures. And sufferers may not be able to walk as much as they’d like as a result, or they may feel aching extending from the balls of their feet. On top of this, it can be hard to find footwear that comfortably fits.
That’s why each patient’s brachymetatarsia treatment plan is usually different. Some may find ample comfort and support from cushy shoes with custom orthotics and wide toe boxes. Others, meanwhile, require or prefer to have surgery involving grafts to extend the stunted bones so that they take the proper shape.
It’s worth noting, too, that it’s impossible to prevent brachymetatarsia. After all, the condition is either caused by genetics or a traumatic event – most of which cannot be foreseen. But you can reduce the symptoms. Indeed, doctors suggest seeking remedies and treatment as soon as possible to assuage the pain.
Of course, Garner is not the only celebrity with a seemingly unique foot feature. Basketball superstar Lebron James, for instance, also raised eyebrows when he ditched his sneakers for flip-flops. Like the actress, he has a crooked pinky toe that some fans have theorized could be a result of brachymetatarsia, too.
What’s more, Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington also has a problem with his pinky – but the one on his right hand. Apparently, the star hurt himself while playing basketball as a kid and broke his finger. Unfortunately, though, the bone didn’t get set to regrow properly. And this means that his finger remains permanently crooked.
Similarly, actress Megan Fox told former late-night host Jay Leno in 2012 that she has clubbed thumbs. And interestingly, she attributed them to her mother’s diet while she was pregnant with her. Fox recalled, “[My mom] was like, ‘Oh, I ate tuna every day when I was pregnant with you.’” Apparently, this revelation led the star to wonder if mercury contained within the fish had caused her to have the condition.
Then, there’s actress Daryl Hannah, who fans know from her roles in movies such as Blade Runner and Splash. As a child, she apparently had an accident with her grandmother’s stair lift, leaving her without the top of her left index finger. Still, she seems to see the loss as a good thing, as it made her “a more compassionate person,” according to the Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, actor Taye Diggs has quite the opposite problem. As he shared on an episode of The Talk, he came into the world with a dozen fingers. The star recalled, “My mom told me they asked her if she wanted to let the digit grow or to remove it, and they removed it.” He then quipped, “I could have been really handy.”
Some celebs’ unique features are even rarer, though. “Your Love Is My Drug” singer Kesha told Heat in 2013 that she was born with a tail. That’s right: a tail. She said, “It was… about a quarter of an inch, then they chopped it off and stole my tail. That was when I was little. I’m really sad about that story.”
For his part, actor Andy Garcia arrived with a small growth of his own at birth, and it had a sad story behind it. That’s because the tennis-ball-sized lump was an undeveloped twin that had conjoined itself to Garcia. And doctors had to perform surgery to remove the growth from the Ocean’s 11 star’s shoulder.
Like Garcia, actor Mark Wahlberg came into the world with a little something extra, too. He has polythelia, which is more colloquially known as a third nipple. And he has no shame about his condition, as he told Rolling Stone back in 2005, “That thing’s my prized possession.”
Finally, some celebrities didn’t have a special physical feature, but rather they lack a typical one. Victoria’s Secret model Karolina Kurkova made headlines when she appeared on the lingerie brand’s runway and had audiences wondering where her belly button was. It turns out that she had surgery as an infant that left her with a small indentation – rather than a typical naval.
Clearly, Garner’s not alone in seemingly having a physical flaw – even amongst some of Hollywood’s most famous faces. And it’s safe to imagine that the actress, who has already dealt with many of life’s ups and downs, doesn’t let her crooked toe get in the way of either her career or her family life.