It’s officially the 2000s again as “Bennifer” is making headlines as the summer’s hottest It couple. The reunion between Jennifer Lopez, 51, and Ben Affleck, 48, which began in May 2021, brought serious nostalgia vibes to the tabloids.
Their full love story is nearly two decades long. Bennifer’s romance began in 2002 when they both starred in the 2002 romcom Gigli. Their relationship blossomed soon after her divorce from Cris Judd. Bennifer dominated news coverage as one of the most famous couples in the world during their first run. The two would get engaged but then, unfortunately, ended their relationship in 2004.
Lopez and Affleck’s reunion comes a month after Lopez’s split from Alex Rodriguez. In April, J.Lo and A-Rod made a statement confirming the end of their two year engagement and said, “We are better as just friends.”
But Lopez’s love life quickly took off again once she started hanging out with Affleck in Los Angeles. By June 2021, the two were photographed passionately kissing while having dinner at Nobu.
Here’s everything we know about the Lopez and Affleck’s relationship, from the first time they met to their reunion, 19 years later.
In early 2002, Lopez and Affleck met on the set of Gigli. At the time, Lopez was married to her second husband, Cris Judd.
In July, Lopez and Affleck were spotted kissing and cuddling each other at Lopez’s surprise 32nd birthday party, marking the first appearance of the two being together romantically. Two days later, Lopez officially filed for divorce from her husband. Judd and Lopez had been separated for a month.
Months later, Affleck starred in J.Lo’s “Jenny from the Block” music video. The premiere of the video sent fans into a frenzy because it offered an inside look at Bennifer’s relationship through the lens of the paparazzi.
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In 2008, Affleck reflect on the video and said, “If I have a regret, it was doing the [‘Jenny from the Block’] music video,” via Fox News. “It not only makes me look like a petulant fool, but it surely qualifies as ungentlemanly,” he added, seemingly talking about his infamous cameo shot where he rubbed J.Lo’s butt on a yacht.
Affleck proposed to Lopez as the two visited Affleck’s family in Boston. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, the pop star revealed she was engaged. She recounted how Affleck popped the question. “It’s just a blanket, a quilt of rose petals, all over the whole entire house,” Lopez said. “So many candles, and vases, bouquets. And my song ‘Glad’ was playing … I walk in, and I was just overwhelmed. I wasn’t expecting it, and I was just like ‘Oh my God.’”
She continued, “I had cried a lot over sadness over the years. And for the first time in my life, I cried incredible purging tears of happiness. It was the most cleansing feeling and the most wonderful feeling I had ever had.”
Affleck proposed with an 6.1 carat pink diamond ring, Lopez’s favorite gem. “I was just like, ‘Oh God. It can’t be pink on top of it.’ That was just too much for me to handle,” Lopez said of when Affleck pulled out the ring. After the big moment, the couple had a quiet dinner with Affleck’s mother and her boyfriend.
The Hollywood stars were seen on the red carpet together at the premiere of Gigli. J.Lo wore her pink diamond engagement ring alongside her fiancé on the red carpet.
A day before their wedding, Lopez and Affleck postponed the ceremony. The two released a statement regarding their decision:
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.
Chicago Tribune reported that Bennifer officially called it quits. Lopez’s rep said, “I am confirming the reports that Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck. At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy.”
On June 5, Lopez married Latin music star Marc Anthony, with whom she shares two children, Emme and Max, born in 2008. J.Lo and Anthony separated in 2011 and divorced in 2014.
Affleck was spotted with Jennifer Garner at the Cardinals vs. Red Sox World Series game together for the first time, seemingly debuting their relationship.
Affleck tied the knot with Garner. They would go on to have three children: Violet (now 15), Seraphina (now 12), and Sam (now 9). The couple later split in 2018.
For Lopez’s InStyle cover story, Affleck spoke about Lopez and her legacy. It was his first big public comments about her in years.
“I thought I had a good work ethic, but I was completely humbled and blown away by what she was committed to doing day in and day out, the seriousness in which she took her work, the quiet and dedicated way she went about accomplishing her goals, and then how she would go back and redouble her efforts. She remains, to this day, the hardest-working person I’ve come across in this business. She has great talent, but she has also worked very hard for her success, and I’m so happy for her that she seems, at long last, to be getting the credit she deserves.”
At the end of April, Page Six reported that the exes were spotted spending time together after Lopez’s mid-April split from A-Rod. The Justice League actor was spotted going to J.Lo’s home in California. He was picked up in a white Escalade SUV that belonged to Lopez and then taken to her home, where he spent “a few hours,” according to a Page Six source.
An inside source denied dating rumors, stating, “They are friends.”
In early May, Lopez and Affleck were spotted in Montana on a romantic getaway. A source told Us Weekly that “Ben and Jen spent several days together in Montana. It was just the two of them on vacation together. Big Sky is a special place to Ben.” The source added that “they looked very happy together.”
J.Lo and Affleck’s reconciliation had been brewing for a while. TMZ reported that the exes have been in contact for months via email. Their correspondence went back to early February. According to multiple sources “with direct knowledge,” Affleck’s emails were not “just friendly…but more loving and longing for Jen.” The emails had a love-letter-like quality to them.
A source later spoke with E! News about how Lopez and Affleck are making their bi-coastal relationship work.
Affleck is currently based in Los Angeles, while Lopez is based in Miami, where she lived with her ex-fiancé Rodriguez.
“They have no problem meeting up wherever,” the source said. The insider mentioned that “things are going very well” for the couple. “Ben is happy to be a part of her life in Miami, where they spent a lot of time at home being low-key and relaxing together. They have had a great few days that feels effortless and easy,” the source said.
On May 24, the pair were seen going to the gym together. A source told Entertainment Tonight that the couple “shared a kiss” as they worked out together. The source added that Lopez and Affleck “were not trying to hide their relationship” at the gym.
Two days later, Us Weekly reported that Lopez and Affleck were officially back together. A source told the outlet that “Jen and Ben are both very happy with each [other] and are excited to see where the relationship goes. They are full-on dating and very happy together.”
On May 31, Bennifer showed PDA in front of photographers as they arrived for dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant in West Hollywood’s Pendry hotel. Lopez’s manager, Benny Medina, and producing partner, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, joined the pair for dinner as well.
A source told Page Six that “they were very affectionate, very cuddly. [Affleck] had his arm around her the whole time.”
An eyewitness told E! News said that “Ben had his arm around Jennifer at dinner, and they weren’t shy about being affectionate. He looked great and seemed very happy. She also looked happy and kept leaning into him.”
E!’s eyewitness also said the couple were cozy at the table together and looked comfortable and relaxed together. “[Affleck] mixed in well with her friends and seemed very comfortable talking to them and making conversation,” the source said. “They all had a lot of laughs and a great time.”
By June, Lopez and Affleck’s relationship was still going strong as E! News reports that Bennifer is in it for the long haul.
A close source told the outlet that “she’s crazy about Ben. He spoils her with love and is very witty and charming. He’s a man’s man, and she finds him so attractive and strong. She’s in it for the long term and sees her future with him.”
Days after their relationship debut, Page Six reported that Affleck spent the night at Lopez’s Los Angeles home and was spotted by paparazzi with a smirk on his face as he left the following morning.
Page Six also reported that Affleck drove Lopez to his Brentwood home after multiple visits to Lopez’s Miami and LA homes. Paparazzi captured pictures of Lopez getting out of Affleck’s Mercedes on his property.
Rumors began that Lopez could be moving to Los Angeles when the Hustler star was photographed by paparazzi looking for schools for her children to attend in the city. A source told People then that Lopez and Affleck “are discussing summer plans. [They] want to spend as much time together as possible. They also want to take a trip.”
The source also revealed that Lopez “is incredibly happy” and that she and Affleck “are both acting very comfortable in their relationship.”
On June 7, Entertainment Tonight reported that Bennifer was telling their friends that they are a couple. “When they first reconnected, they had to see if the spark was still there because it had been a while. It was, so now they are both fully in it,” a source told the outlet.
A day later, E! reported that Lopez was officially moving from her Miami home to Los Angeles, where Affleck is based. A source told E!, Lopez “is packing up her Miami rental,” and added “she will be between L.A. and the Hamptons this summer, but L.A. will be her base. She is looking at schools for her kids in the fall.”
It wasn’t long after that that Bennifer’s first kissing photos came out. On June 13, Affleck joined J.Lo and her 13-year-old twins, Emme and Max, for dinner at Nobu in Malibu. According to Page Six, the group was there for Lopez’s sister Linda’s 50th birthday. The couple was seen cuddling at the dinner table as they shared a passionate kiss.
“In the past, Jennifer’s mom and Ben were very close. Guadalupe loved Ben. She was sad when they couldn’t work things out years ago,” a source told People. “She is thrilled that they are back together now.” The source added: “Jennifer is very close with her mom. It’s very important to her that the person she is with gets along with her mom. Jennifer loves that Ben and Guadalupe hung out in Las Vegas. They both love gambling and had fun together at the Wynn hotel.
During the first week of June, the two were seen out at dinner on the rooftop at the Pendry West Hollywood, where a source told People that “they looked super happy and Ben had his arm around her during dinner.”
They also had a date night in a private room at Avra Beverly Hills Estiatorio on Friday, June 25.
They were then seen holding hands in the Hamptons on Satuday.
Following those public outings, Apple Music 1 released an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, in which she shared how well she is doing. She did not directly reference her relationship with Affleck, though she did reference something “happening again.”
“I’m super happy,” she said. “I know people are always wondering. How are you? What’s going on? Are you okay? This is it. I’ve never been better. And I want my people who care about me, because I care about them so much, to know that I’ve really gotten to a place in my life where I’m great on my own. And I think once you get to that place, then amazing things happen to you that you never imagine in your life happening again. And so that is where I’m at. And I love all the love that’s coming my way right now and all of the, the good wishes. And I just want everybody to know that it’s the best time. It’s the best time of my life.”
In a mid-July interview with Ebro on Apple Music 1, Lopez spoke vaguely about her life recently, referencing her breakup with A-Rod and her renewed relationship with Affleck.
“Once you get to the point where you’re like, ‘This is not right for me, or this doesn’t feel good, or I need to make an adjustment here, she said. ‘This is not really about anybody else but me.’ Once you do that, stuff starts falling into place.”
On July 22, Leah Remini posted a video of photos from her birthday party, including a photo of Affleck and Lopez together. That was technically their Instagram-official debut.
On J.Lo’s 52nd birthday on July 24, she posted a photo of her and Affleck sharing a kiss to her Instagram grid:
This was the first photo of her and Affleck that she posted to her own grid, as well as the first photo she posted of them kissing. It’s 2002 again—with some technological improvements!
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