Before Casper Smart Was Jennifer Lopez’s Boyfriend, He Was Her Chair
TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.
Who: Golden Globe-nominated actress, Grammy-nominated singer, dancer, and businesswoman Jennifer Lopez, 50, and actor, dancer, and choreographer "Casper" Smart, 32.
How They Met: Lopez and Smart's relationship began as a professional one. He was her backup dancer, and occasional chair.
Why We Loved Them: Smart was Lopez's first major relationship following her divorce from Anthony, and she admitted to how instrumental he'd been in her emotional recovery. "I just got out of a big, heavy, devastating thing, and he's helped me heal. He's been there for me," Lopez told People in 2013.
Lopez considered Smart her "best friend," telling Harper's Bazaar that same year, "He gives moral support, endless love and support. I can tell him everything, when I'm feeling down, when I'm feeling good."
When They Peaked: Lopez said Smart was "fantastic" with her kids, and the photo evidence truly backs her claim.
The Breakup: After about two-and-a-half years together, Lopez and Smart called it quits in mid-2014.
There was speculation that the split was fueled by illicit texts Smart had sent to people other than Lopez, but sources insisted that was untrue.
Regardless of why the breakup was initiated, it didn't last. The pair remained "great friends" post-split, and by spring 2015 there was little doubt that they'd reconciled. Alas, just over a year after their reunion, the couple split once more. "It wasn't anything dramatic and they were on good terms – it just came to a natural end," a source told People of the summer 2016 breakup.
A few months later, People published a report claiming that Smart had cheated on Lopez during their relationship — er, relationships. "She kicked him out because he cheated on her and he got caught," the source said. "It happened two years ago, and he promised he would never do it again and once he did, she was done."
Right or wrong, Lopez didn't pretend that her and Smart's 18-year age difference wasn't a topic of discussion in their relationship. "I ask him, 'Why don't you go find a young girlfriend and get out of here? What do you want with me?'" she told People in 2013. "And you think, 'How long is this gonna be?' You think, 'OK, in 10 years I'm going to be like this and you're going to be like that' and men at that age are I think all different things. The truth is we don't know what's going to happen. We're loving this moment right now. We make each other happy."
In 2019, Smart appeared to put his own immaturity on blast, telling Univision's Wake Up America, "I was very young and selfish. I thought I was ready for a relationship with a woman with kids and everything."
But if there's any bad blood between the pair, we can't see it. Smart remained close with Anthony following the split, and had nothing but praise for Lopez's current beau Alex Rodriguez, telling TMZ Sports, "It's all respect and love. I've heard he's an incredibly nice guy."
Where They Are Now:
Lopez got engaged to Rodriguez in March 2019.
Her upcoming rom-com, Marry Me (in which she stars opposite Owen Wilson), is expected to release later this year. Lopez and Shakira will headline Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, Feb. 2.
Lopez isn't the only one making professional gains. Smart is currently a judge on Univision's Mira Quién Baila (the Latin version of Dancing with the Stars).