Back in the early 2000s, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck ruled Hollywood as the "it" couple of the era. Their highly-publicized relationship began in 2001 when they met on the set of the romcom, "Gigli" and Affleck popped the question around a year later. But, fast-forward to September 2003 and the cracks started to show in the shiny veneer that was Bennifer. They issued a statement confirming they were postponing their nuptials days before they were set to walk down the aisle, claiming all the attention got out of hand. But it wasn’t just a postponement. By January 2004, it was all over.
Both moved on quickly. Affleck proposed to Jennifer Garner in April 2005 after nine months of dating (per People) and they married three months later. The two share three children, but finalized their divorce in 2018. As for Lopez, she moved on even quicker, tying the knot with Marc Anthony in June 2004. Anthony and Lopez welcomed twins in 2008, but then announced their split in July 2011.
While it appeared that was the end for Affleck and Lopez — not so much. It seems like Hollywood’s golden couple may live again in 2021 after a slew of seemingly romantic meetups and several reports claimed Lopez and Affleck are back together. So, let’s sit back and take a look at some of the strangest things to ever come from the world of Bennifer…
Remember the strange gift Ben Affleck reportedly gave Jennifer Lopez?
There’s no doubt Jennifer Lopez is a fan of bling (she often shows off her range of glamorous blinged out cups and sequin face masks on Instagram) but a supposed present from her then fiancé, Ben Affleck may have taken things a little too far.
In April 2003, the National Enquirer claimed that Affleck supposedly purchased a blinged out toilet seat for his "Gigli" co-star. Yes, a toilet seat. The totally extra home accessory was said to be "designed by Affleck himself" and reportedly cost him $105,000 because it contained "rubies, sapphires, pearls and a diamond" embedded in a plastic seat. Talk about a throne!
Affleck even joked about the claim a few months earlier during a February 2003 appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," where he quipped (via Yahoo!), "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." As for how J-Lo felt about it? Well, you do the math. Affleck admitted, "That didn’t go over that well. You know what I mean?"
As for what Lopez had to say, she was asked by People (per In Style) in 2011 if she had a jewel encrusted toilet seat but replied, "Obviously not. That’s just so crazy!" As for whether it really existed or if the star just decided to ditch it, we may never know.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez called off their engagement days before their wedding
In what is surely not a great memory for Jennifer Lopez, it’s been widely reported that it was Ben Affleck who supposedly got cold feet about getting married — and only mere days before they were set to walk down the aisle, no less.
In September 2003, the two issued a statement four days before they were set to tie the knot that read (via Hello!), "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." They added that "the spirit" of their big day "could be spoiled for us, our families and our friends." Of course, they didn’t just end up postponing their big day. They cancelled it altogether in January 2004 and Lopez’s rep called it a "difficult time" (per MTV News).
A People source blamed Affleck for the eventual breakup, claiming that "reality set in that this may not be the person Ben wants to spend the rest of his life with" and claimed he "started getting scared." Lopez later admitted she was devastated by the split and got very candid in her 2014 book, "True Love," where she wrote the breakup "felt like [her] heart had been torn out of [her] chest."
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck reportedly got back in touch while she was still dating Alex Rodriguez
Although everyone knows Jennifer Lopez’s meet ups with Ben Affleck happened very soon after she announced her split with A-Rod, reports have claimed that the famous exes actually got back in touch while Lopez was still engaged to the baseball star. A source alleged to TMZ that Lopez and Affleck started emailing one another in early February 2021, around two months before they first sparked rumors they were back together in late April.
According to the outlet, the two were supposedly in "very regular contact" and Affleck’s messages were reported to be "more loving and longing" for the "Same Girl" hitmaker. Lopez was in the Dominican Republic at the time to film the movie "Shotgun Wedding" and Rodriguez was even photographed there with his then-fiance after the now former couple denied initial reports they’d split in March 2021.
A source clarified the timeline of Lopez and Affleck’s reunion to People. They admitted the two were "in contact" before she officially called things off with Rodriguez but noted that "she didn’t see Ben until it was over with Alex," adding, "they didn’t make a plan behind Alex’s back that they would date." Still, we wouldn’t blame Rodriguez if he wasn’t exactly thrilled with how quickly his ex moved on.
The video for Jenny From The Block isn’t Ben Affleck’s favorite thing
This one probably has to be a little hurtful for Jennifer Lopez. Prior to their 2021 reunion, there were a couple of occasions when Ben Affleck didn’t exactly have the nicest things to say about his time with the "Second Act" star, particularly when it came to all the public interest that followed their romance.
Affleck famously appeared in his fiance’s music video for her 2002 single, "Jenny From The Block." The video is clearly to be an allusion to their very highly publicized romance and shows the two being filmed and photographed by paparazzi in a number of lavish situations, including in a car and on a yacht. It also shows the two getting close in front of the cameras, with Affleck even untying Lopez’s bikini bottoms and rubbing suntan lotion on her booty.
It turns out it wasn’t exactly Affleck’s proudest work though, as he admitted while speaking to Daily Record in 2008. "If I have a regret, it was doing the music video. But that happened years ago. I’ve moved on," he said. With the paparazzi crush back in full effect for Bennifer 2.0, we wonder if Affleck’s still not a fan after once again getting cozy with his co-star?
Jennifer Lopez was married to someone else when she got engaged to Ben Affleck
In another allegation of relationship overlap, Jennifer Lopez was married when she first met Ben Affleck while they worked together on "Gigli." Lopez was wed to dancer Cris Judd, with whom she tied the knot in September 2001, but filed for divorce from in July 2002 after they separated the month prior (per People). Affleck popped the question to Lopez in November 2002, with Entertainment Weekly reporting that the "Selena" actor’s divorce to Judd wasn’t set to be made final until January 2003.
Affleck even touched on the apparent overlap in a 2003 interview with Vanity Fair. "At first, because she was married, there was no thought of a romantic relationship, so that created the opportunity to get to know each other without any of the falseness that goes with courtship because you’re trying to make a good impression," he recalled.
Affleck then went on to call claims things turned romantic while Lopez was still married "absolutely not true" and said that would go "against the fundamental code [he believes] in and [lives] by." He continued, "The very idea of hiding or misrepresenting anything I’m doing makes me really uncomfortable. And that’s not something that’s in Jennifer’s character, either. Both of us wanted to err on the side of doing the right thing."
Is Bennifer 2.0 just a big hoax?
While it’s safe to say plenty of fans were excited when reports surfaced in late April 2021 that Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were spending time together once again, some onlookers were sceptical about the supposed reconciliation.
Australian radio host Em Rusciano suggested on her podcast, "Emsolation with Em Rusciano," that their dalliance is nothing but a publicity stunt after receiving a message from a supposed source. It was suggested their highly publicized meets were designed to make it seem they were still "desirable" in the wake of Lopez’s turbulent relationship with Alex Rodriguez and Affleck’s split with Ana de Armas. The apparent insider claimed to "have a very close family connection to someone in [Lopez’s] camp" and said they "laugh a lot about this story" and were "so shocked that people are buying it" because it’s "total bulls**t."
That’s not the only time Lopez and Affleck have been accused of misleading the media and fans, either. A source also alleged to Heat World that the apparent 2021 romance is supposedly "more to do with PR and saving face." They claimed Lopez has allegedly "always been obsessed with how she comes across to fans and in the media" and didn’t want people to think she was a "victim" after things went south with A-Rod. "She’s adamant that the world needs to see she’s still capable of another high-profile type of romance," they suggested.
Ben Affleck once said dating Jennifer Lopez was ‘bad for [his] career’
In the wake of the first Bennifer break-up, Ben Affleck didn’t hold back when it came to his time with Jennifer Lopez — and he didn’t necessarily look back on it with fondness in 2008. "It was probably bad for my career," he admitted to Details (via People) in an interview, which since appears to have been removed. He went on to accuse the media of "mostly" lying about their relationship and spreading "a bunch of salacious stuff for the sake of selling magazines," adding that he "paid a certain price for that."
The star seemingly doubled down on those sentiments when he claimed (via Cosmopolitan) that he "felt suffocated, miserable and gross" while dating Jennifer, as the attention was all too much. "I was no longer in control of my life. I thought I wanted certain things, but I didn’t. I got lost," he said.
However, despite the not so nice things he had to say about Lopez then, the star backtracked a little during a 2008 interview with Daily Record. Affleck appeared to allude to his previous comments and said, "It not only makes me look like a petulant fool, but it surely qualifies as ungentlemanly? For the record, did she hurt my career? No." Well, at least he had some nicer things to say in the end.
Is it weird that Ben Affleck reportedly stayed in touch with Jennifer Lopez’s mom after their split?
Having your mom stay in touch with your ex after your breakup isn’t exactly anyone’s dream scenario, but that’s supposedly what happened between Jennifer Lopez’s mom, Guadalupe Rodríguez, and Ben Affleck. This one wasn’t even right after the split, either. Apparently, Ben and Guadalupe were still on emailing terms years after Ben and Jennifer’s engagement ended.
Us Weekly claimed in July 2011 (seven years after Bennifer ended, for those keeping count) that Guadalupe purportedly emailed Ben to ask for advice about her daughter. As for what initiated it, Guadalupe was said to have wanted a little help after Jennifer announced her split from Marc Anthony after around seven years of marriage. The outlet claimed to have confirmation by "multiple sources" that Jennifer’s mom supposedly "always liked and trusted [Ben]," though it’s not clear exactly what she wrote in the supposed email.
What we all really want to know is though, did Ben respond to her email request? Apparently, yes! According to the site, Affleck allegedly "replied back on email, wished her well and offered what he could." In that case, we’re guessing Guadalupe is probably pretty happy about Bennifer 2.0.
J-Lo got all the dirt on Ben Affleck’s exes
How much a person chooses to divulge about their dating past when they start seeing someone new is a pretty personal decision, but it sounds like Ben Affleck wasn’t afraid to spill all his past juicy romance details to Jennifer Lopez when they started dating. And she actually kind of liked it.
The two got very candid about the early days of their relationship in a very in-depth joint interview with "Access Hollywood" in July 2003, where J-Lo joked about her new man’s intimate past. "We talked about past relationships," Lopez recalled (via NBC News), admitting that the two "gave out too much real quick" when they got together. "It was fun… He told me all about his ex-girlfriends. … I had nothing bad to tell. Him, on the other hand…" she added. Affleck didn’t seem to keen on his then wife-to-be revealing much more than that to the world, as he hit back, "Ah, turn the volume down on that."
As for whose name came up during the chat, that would be famous Affleck ex Gwyneth Paltrow, who dated the "Armageddon" star from 1997 until 2000, and who also later famously said of Affleck in a 2018 Howard Stern in a 2018 interview (via People), "You’re trying to heal certain stuff from your childhood and he was very much a lesson in that way."
Ben Affleck was accused of cheating on Jennifer Lopez while they were engaged
Ben Affleck wasn’t immune from cheating rumors during his three years with Jennifer Lopez. During the first round of Bennifer, Affleck was accused of allegedly cheating on his then fiancé shortly before they were set to walk down the aisle.
In 2003, a stripper named Tammy Morris claimed to the National Enquirer that she allegedly spent the night with Affleck and "three other lapdancers" after he met them at a club (per the Daily Mail). "It’s a night I’ll never forget and I’m sure one he’ll want to forget," Morris said of their supposed interaction. However, one of the dancers named in the original report went on to sue the publication for insinuating she got intimate with Affleck and accused Morris of lying (per Entertainment Weekly).
Equally, Affleck never confirmed the alleged infidelity and the two have always maintained that it was too much attention and public scrutiny that led to their breakup. "We didn’t try to have a public relationship. We just happened to be together at the birth of the tabloids… It was just a lot of pressure," Lopez told People in 2016. She added she thought Affleck was the one when they were together, but cryptically noted, "Sometimes I feel like what you think people are and how you see them when you love them is different than when they reveal later."
Was there any truth to Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s bizarre prenup?
Though they, of course, never actually made it down the aisle, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were reported to have signed a somewhat eyebrow raising prenup before their planned nuptials. A source claimed to the Daily Mail in 2003, in a report that’s still available as of May 2021, that Lopez had allegedly put a no cheating clause in the supposed agreement, which meant she was "entitled to go after half his money" if he was ever unfaithful.
According to People, another report surfaced claiming that if Affleck ever cheated on Lopez he would supposedly have to pay her $5 million for each indiscretion. Not only that, but there were even more bizarre rumors swirling that the alleged prenup contained a stipulation the couple would have to have sex "four times a week."
However, during a very candid March 2003 interview with Vanity Fair, Affleck denied the allegations and claimed there was never a prenup to begin with. "You can’t legislate behavior. You’ve got to believe in the person and believe you can meet the challenges you face," he clarified. "Neither of us are stupid or naïve. It would be nice if you could have ‘The Rules,’ but you just can’t write it down." Well that settles that one then.