Ben Affleck Reportedly Once Gifted Jennifer Lopez a Jewel-Encrusted Toilet Seat
Is this why things didn't work out?
Ben Affleck was never shy about his obsession with ex-fiancée J.Lo’s butt. Who could forget the kiss between Affleck and Lopez’s lower-left cheek in her music video for "Jenny on the Block"? Or when, at a Hollywood poker game, he allegedly boasted about her derrière being “nice”? In 2003, he even described her behind as “a famous thing," telling Jay Leno, "It should be treated well.” Not long after, Affleck took his own advice, reportedly securing for his lover the most unlikely of gifts.
Affleck and Lopez met on the set of the cinematic grenade Gigli and began dating soon after. The pair got engaged in November 2002, and by 2003, Affleck was intent on keeping two hands firmly planted on J.Lo — and that booty.
In the post-heroin chic era of the early '00s, big butts were in, and Lopez was consistently credited in the mainstream media for being their champion. “We love a big bottom. Maybe this will be the trigger for a different fashion shape,” Marie O'Riordan, then-editor of Marie Claire, which put Lopez on their cover, told The Guardian in 2003. Her ass-ets were incessantly compared to Shakira’s and Beyoncé’s, were the envy of Nicole Kidman, and were the subject of frequent request for patrons of Beverly Hills surgery clinics looking to enhance their own backsides.
In 2003, at the height of “Bennifer” — the portmanteau created to describe Affleck and Lopez’s frenzied, high-profile relationship — Affleck decided to evince his love for the singer by reportedly gifting her a jewel-encrusted toilet seat. (Lopez has denied this.) It was allegedly worth $105,000, and featured sapphires, rubies, pearls and a diamond. The precious stones were inlaid in plastic, “so Jennifer's behind won't get scratched,” an anonymous friend of Affleck’s said to The National Enquirer at the time.
While on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to promote his new film Paycheck in 2003, Affleck mentioned that it was something of a Christmas gift for his bride to be. “I was in the Gulf for Christmas and then flew back right at the end — just in time to pick up a toilet seat for my girlfriend,” he said, before adding, “That didn’t go over that well. You know what I mean?” (Literally, no, Ben.)
It's possible that Affleck was joking with Leno, but that didn't stop the rumor mill from churning. (When asked by People in 2011 if she owned a diamond-encrusted toilet seat, Lopez replied,“Obviously not. That's just so crazy!”)
One source told The Sun newspaper of the bedazzled seat, “Jennifer is a clean-freak and doesn’t like putting her bum on any toilet unless it’s on her own custom-made seat. It’s a cover made to fit any loo.”
Rumors about Lopez’s highly-specific restroom requests peaked in 2003, when LA Magazine published an article aptly titled J. Loo, which detailed her alleged demands: At a Red Sox baseball game in April 2003, she reportedly had a stadium bathroom roped off for her use only; At the London premiere for Maid in Manhattan, again, it was rumored that she cordoned off an entire floor of the cinema so she could pee in peace; At a Beverly Hills Starbucks, Lopez allegedly called Affleck with an emergency — she had him fetch softer toilet paper as, per a source, "the rough roll was chafing her famous bottom.”
Lopez was rumored to have insured her booty for $27 million (sometimes that number fluctuated to $1 billion), and multiple reports in the early aughts have confirmed J.Lo is fastidious about the bathrooms she frequents.
As time wore on, rumors of Lopez’s bizarre restroom monomania became generally accepted as true. When Mary J. Blige’s rider for her 2006 Breakthrough tour was leaked in the Daily Mirror, her high maintenance requests were compared to those of Lopez. “Mary's demands gave even J.Lo a run for her money,” a source said. “She wanted a new toilet seat installed backstage at all 35 venues she played at throughout the tour. It's good to be hygienic, but these demands had everyone giggling.”
Not even a high-priced throne cover could save Bennifer. A day before their wedding was to occur in September 2003, the couple called it off, citing too much media attention. They stayed together until 2004, when their split was finally confirmed.
#Hollyweird is a weekly column about celebrities' forgotten or buried strange-but-true stories.
Update, 9:40 p.m.: This story was updated to reflect Lopez's denial.