Home EntertainmentCelebrity The Latest on Jennifer Lopez’s Imminent Divorce from Ben Affleck

The Latest on Jennifer Lopez’s Imminent Divorce from Ben Affleck

by Scott Kacsmar
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Jennifer Lopez Ben Affleck

In Hollywood, sequels are rarely as good as the originals. The same can be said about couples giving romance another shot. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez already broke off an engagement after a high-profile relationship in 2004, and it appears the recently married couple could be heading for an imminent divorce. 

Affleck and Lopez made a little tabloid history when the media nicknamed them “Bennifer” in the early 2000s. That was the 1st known celebrity portmanteau, which is the word for combining parts of words to make a single word.

But this would hardly be the 1st incident of a Hollywood power couple reuniting only to split up again. Actors Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were married and divorced twice. At least they gave us the classic film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1966.

All we got from Bennifer was the universally panned film Gigli (2003), the film they became friends while shooting together, and later a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial for the 2023 Super Bowl.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Let’s look back at the timeline for Affleck and Lopez, and why this marriage is possibly just never meant to be a happy ending for both.

The Beginnings of Bennifer

After becoming friendly on the set of Gigli in late 2001, Affleck and Lopez started dating in July 2002. Lopez had just filed for divorce from 2nd husband Cris Judd. The tabloids ate this relationship up, and soon Bennifer was everywhere despite a series of film flops for Affleck, including Daredevil and the aforementioned stinker Gigli, which is considered one of the worst films ever made.

Lopez and Affleck were even the subject (or target) of a classic South Park episode in 2003 called “Fat Butt and Pancake Head.” The creators ripped them apart in that episode.

But the couple persevered through the negative press. Affleck appeared in Lopez’s “Jenny from the Block” music video, they starred together in a better film from director Kevin Smith called Jersey Girl, and Lopez’s This Is Me… Then album was dedicated to Affleck.

The (First?) Breakup

The couple engaged in November 2002, but their planned wedding in September 2003 was postponed with only 4 days’ notice due to “excessive media attention”. Finally, the engagement was called off in January 2004.

The couple still spoke highly of each other following the end of their engagement. Lopez considered it her 1st real heartbreak, and she cited Affleck’s worry with the media negativity for leading to the split.

Keep in mind this was just before the explosion of social media, and it was on the heels of a decade where media ran wild with tabloid stories like the O.J. Simpson murder trial, the death of Princess Diana, and any other celebrity gossip they could find. That was the definition of clickbait in those days.

The attention was just too much for the young couple at the time, so they went their separate ways. Lopez avoided talking about her personal life in public interviews following this.

The Years Apart for Affleck and Lopez

Both attempted to find their match with varying degrees of success.

Affleck started dating actress Jennifer Garner, who he made Daredevil with, and they were married from 2005 to 2018. They have 3 children together. Once again, Affleck was not pleased with the media coverage of his marriage, including the photographers who would take pictures of his children.

Affleck and Garner separated in 2015 before finalizing their divorce in 2018, which Affleck has called the biggest regret of his life. But in a December 2021 interview, Affleck said that he felt “trapped” in the marriage with Garner and that it could have led to his drinking problems. She considered that comment a slap in the face.

Affleck also had a brief relationship with actress Ana de Armas, but that ended rather quickly too in 2021.

As for Lopez, she too moved quickly after ending things with Affleck. She married singer and actor Marc Anthony in 2004 just 5 months after Affleck’s relationship ended. However, the couple separated in 2011 and their divorce was finalized in 2014. They have twins together, a boy and a girl.

Lopez soon had another publicized relationship with former baseball legend Alex Rodriguez, which began in 2017. They were engaged in 2019 but twice postponed the wedding due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But they would announce their relationship ending in April 2021.

The Return of Bennifer

In April 2021, Affleck and Lopez were both single again. They quickly got back into dating each other, the relationship was confirmed by Lopez that summer, and they were soon engaged a whole 20 years after the original engagement.

The couple were married after eloping to Las Vegas in July 2022, then later enjoyed a large celebration in front of family and friends at Affleck’s summer house in Georgia.

Everything looked to be going well for the couple. Affleck is the stepfather to Lopez’s twins, and co-parenting was reportedly going well with Garner and Affleck for their 3 kids.

Trouble in Paradise?

But the media, now backed with the thoughts of millions of random people on social media sites, was not going to let them rest. At the 2023 Grammys, Affleck went viral for looking “miserable” next to Lopez throughout the evening.

Whether he was miserable or not, these stories kept popping up in 2023, including an infamous candid video where Affleck nonchalantly slams the car door shut after Lopez gets into the passenger seat:

This was interpreted as Affleck being sick of Lopez already, but it could just as easily be his annoyance, as he has expressed for decades, with being filmed in public so often. There is a price you pay with privacy as a celebrity, but some people do cross lines of personal space.

But one source of strain on the relationship that may have some real legs is the claim that Matt Damon’s wife Luciana Barroso and Lopez do not get along, making it hard for the male friends who have known each other for 3 decades to hang out as much as they’d like to. They want their wives to be friendly, but it just hasn’t worked out according to a source close to the couple.

The Recent Signs Pointing to Divorce

There have been several signs in 2024 that point to the couple heading to a divorce.

The couple has put their $61 million Beverly Hills mansion up for sale after sharing it for not even a full year. Apparently, neither is happy with the house as it’s too big and too far away from Affleck’s kids.

But there have been rumors of the couple living apart in recent months. Then, while doing press in May for her Netflix film Atlas, Lopez and co-star Simu Liu shot down a reporter who asked about the status of her marriage to Affleck. Liu said, “We’re not doing that’ and Lopez said “You know better than that” to the reporter.

Other warning signs suggested by some have been Lopez vacationing in Italy without Affleck, going to dinners without him, and then there was the big news about Lopez’s upcoming tour.

In what was supposed to be a big summer U.S. tour, Lopez announced at the end of May that the entire tour was canceled so that she could be with her family.

“I am completely heartsick and devastated about letting you down. Please know that I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t feel that it was absolutely necessary,” Lopez said.

Will the time off fix things if they spend it together, or are we headed for another Hollywood divorce? All we know is there’s a clear pattern of Affleck being disenchanted with the highly publicized lifestyle while Lopez is more outgoing and open to the attention.

They just may not be the perfect match after all.

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Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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