Once upon a time, one couple used to fill every front page of every tabloid around the world. A love story worth of Hollywood script began 19 years ago between the two most popular stars at the time – Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. The media quickly jumped to the opportunity to draw in the audience. The saga went on for two years before they called it quits. Here’s how this Hollywood story developed over time.
In early 2002, pop star Jennifer Lopez took on a role in the movie “Gigli” opposite Ben Affleck. According to some later sources, the two hit it off right away. The instant attraction was hard to hide since both of them spend a lot of time in the limelight. In the spring of the same year, Affleck expressed his thanks to Jennifer on the full page of the magazine saying: “It has been nothing but an honor and a pleasure to work with you. I only wish I were lucky enough to be in all your movies. With love, respect, and gratitude, Ben Affleck”. Not exactly a friendly post, but it definitely fueled the rumors about the two being more than just friends.
On July 24th, 2002 Lopez turned 32. The party was small, inviting just family, a couple of friends, and her manager. However, Ben was there, and the two couldn’t get enough of each other. Affleck got to meet the whole Lopez family, and they seem to get along just fine. The Hollywood golden boy at the time gave his “friend” Jenny, who was still married to Chris Judd, a Harry Winston bracelet made out of white and yellow diamonds. A great gift for “just a friend”.
Two days later, Lopez filed for divorce from Judd, her second husband.
In August of 2002, the couple was seen in LA kissing in a Bentley convertible. The lip-locking photos of Ben and Jen went viral right away. The pics were paid a substantial amount of money by the “People” who displayed them on the front page.
In November 2005, a video “Jenny from the block” came out. The story behind the song was supposed to represent the couple, in this case, Bennifer, that were chased and violated by the paparazzi. In the spot, the couple was shown kissing, caressing, with Ben kissing Jen’s behind on the yacht. Later, Jen tried to remove some of the shots from the video, and Ben said that “it was the biggest regret of his life”.
In November Ben proposed to Jennifer in his home with a pink diamond the size of Texas. The pop star was “overwhelmed” and naturally said yes to the handsome actor. “I wasn’t expecting it, and I was just like, ‘Oh my God'”, JLo said to Diane Sawyer.
In the next six months the couple, but mostly Affleck, spend time in the media trying to deny that they were together before Jennifer even filed for a divorce. Saying that he wanted to keep the innocence of their relationship, and calling on his upbringing, they were trying to set things straight and become the next IT couple in Hollywood.
However, the romance didn’t last. In July of 2004, Ben was seen in a strip club in Vancouver where many girls stated that they engaged in some intimate actions with the actor. Jen tried to suck it in, denying the allegations and claiming that Ben was there with just a couple of friends. No need to make “a scandal” out of it. At the same time, Jenny took off the multi-million dollar engagement ring.
From there everything went downhill. First, in August, Gigli came out and it was a major flop. The movie was ridiculed by critics and audiences alike first for its name – that no one knew how to pronounce or what it means – to the poor acting and foolish storyline. Making only $7 million, after investing more than $77 million was one of the greatest failures in the cinema.
Like that wasn’t depressing enough, Jennifer decided to call off the wedding on September 13th, 2003. The couple, as it is customary in Hollywood, issued a joint statement: “Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date. When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate ‘decoy brides’ at three different locations, we realized that something was awry. We began to feel that the spirit of what should have been the happiest day of our lives could be compromised. We felt what should have been a joyful and sacred day could be spoiled for us, our families, and our friends”.
Everyone was holding their breath on whether or not the couple will manage to get through the hard times. The wait was over in January of 2004 when JLo’s representative confirmed the break up to the Associated Press: “I am confirming the reports that Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck”.
Two months later the couple’s “Jersey Girl” came out with mixed reviews. However, the relationship was over for both of them since they moved on to see other people in a matter of weeks.
On June 5th, 2004 Jennifer Lopez married Marc Anthony. The two are long-time friends, and MArc was there when Jen went through some of the most difficult times after the breakup. They got close and eventually ended up together.
Ben Affleck didn’t wait long either after parting ways with Jenny. The actor married Jennifer Garner in October of the same year.
In the next 15 years, everyone seems to forget about the once golden couple of Hollywood. Marc and Jennifer have twins in 2008, Emme and Maximillian, only to divorce three years later. Still, throughout everything, they remained close friends, and are still in contact today.
On the other hand, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck welcomed three kids of their own – Violet, Seraphine, and Samuel. In 2018, Garner filed for divorce after Ben had an alleged affair. Same ol’ Ben, right?
In 2017, Lopez met former Yankee Alex Rodriguez. As with other partners, Lopez went all in with this relationship. Two years later, A-Rod proposed, but due to the pandemic, the wedding was pushed back two times. At the beginning of 2023, some rumors started swirling about Alex’s affair with actress Madison LeCroy. Initially denying splitting rumors, the couple finally came out in April of 2023 saying: “We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so. We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects”.
In the meantime, Ben had his hands full with the actress Ana De Armas. The couple spends the pandemic quarantine together. The first shots of the 33-year old Armas and 48-year old Affleck were snuck out of her home country Cuba where the couple shared some PDA.
On April 30th, 2023, Ben decided to reach out to again-single Jennifer. In the next couple of days, the “Good Will Hunting” actor was seen going in and out of Lopez’s villa several times. Some inside sources said that their chemistry is impossible to fight off and that Bennifer picked up where they left off 19 years ago.
Ben resides in LA where his ex and his children are, but Jennifer’s primary address is in Miami, Florida. On May 23rd, Affleck was seen on the balcony of Jennifer’s Miami residence. The next day, the couple went for some workout in the gym sharing kisses in between the series, according to the onlookers.
A week later, Jennifer met with her ex Marc Anthony for a lunch. Reports say that the Latin singer was not happy about Jenny dragging kids into her new relationship only months after breaking up the engagement with A-Rod.
— New York Post (@nypost) June 14, 2023
On June 13th, 2023 the world witnessed Bennifer being officially together. The couple had lunch and kissed openly, in the public at the party for her sister’s 50th birthday. Ben seems to have fun with Jen’s teenage kids too. Ben’s son Samuel is the only one that met with Jennifer so far. Just like the first time around, things seem to move quickly. However, they are both 20 years older, experienced, and mature too. Maybe it was meant to be since the first day at that doomed “Gigli” movie set. Only time will tell.