This Movie Probably Ended Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's Engagement
#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.
Who: Legendary multi-hyphenate Jennifer Lopez, 49, and Oscar-winning actor-cum-director Ben Affleck, 46.
How they met: Ben and Jen reportedly met on the set of their notoriously low-brow film Gigli. Their romance ignited in mid-2002 and they became engaged later that same year.
Why we loved them: As Jen herself will admit, her and Affleck’s romance was one of the first of the major celebrity gossip era, or the “birth of the tabloids” as Lopez calls it. The frenzy surrounding their relationship even bore its own (and one of the first) celebrity portmanteaus: Bennifer.
Though the lightning-quick engagement is something of a craze among young Hollywood today, Bennifer essentially started the trend in 2002. Ben proposed with one of the most iconic rings of the 21st century: the 6.1-carat Harry Winston pink diamond (which is appraised at around $1.2 million).
When they peaked: 1:35 in this video is definitively when they peaked as a couple.
The breakup: The wedding of the century was initially scheduled for September 2003, but it was “postponed” just one week prior, reportedly due to the “excessive media attention.” In early 2004, “postpone” evolved into “called off” as it was announced that J. Lo had “ended her engagement to Ben Affleck.”
Rumors abound as to why Bennifer ultimately sang their swan song. Gigli’s release and box office flop couldn’t have done the couple any favors. Lopez describes the fallout as leaving her “eviscerated.” She told Vanity Fair, “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything.”
For Affleck, it took years to reestablish himself as a major player in Hollywood post-Gigli. It wasn’t until his Academy Award win for Argo that he really returned to the cinematic fore.
The New York Post claimed that Ben "wasn't ready to settle down" and straight-edge Jen was fed up with his partying and "wandering eye."
Of course, the media was hardly blameless in the rise and fall of Bennifer. In their joint statement announcing they’d postponed their wedding, Ben and Jen wrote, “When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate ‘decoy brides’ at three different locations, we realized that something was awry.” Just your average something borrowed, something blue, someone paid to impersonate you …
Where they are now:
Since their high-profile split in 2004, Ben and Jen have both remarried.
Affleck wed another famous Jennifer (Garner) in 2005, igniting the era of Bennifer 2.0. The pair was married for 10 years and had three children together (Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6) before announcing their separation in 2015.
Lopez wed fellow singer Marc Anthony in 2004. They began dating soon after her “first big heartbreak” with Ben. Of the courtship, Lopez told Today “The first person who shows up and gives me a little comfort and gives me a little chemistry, boom, we're in. To have one of my best friends, who I'd known for years, who I actually love and did have chemistry with, come into my life and say, 'I'm here.' ... What you need to know is, nobody can save you or heal you. Only you can do that for you."
Lopez and Anthony welcomed twins (Max, 10, Emme, 10) in 2008, and like Affleck and Garner, divorced after 10 years of marriage in 2014.
Today, Lopez has been dating former MLB star (and absolute MVP when it comes to Instagram boyfriend-dom) Alex Rodriguez for over a year.