When did Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez meet, get engaged and break up? Inside the relationship's long timeline
The two first met on the set of ‘Gigli’, a rom-com that premiered in 2003 and disastrously tanked in the box office
Rumors of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez getting back together are in the air. Lopez reportedly has enjoyed her recent trip to Montana with her former fiancé. "She had a great time with Ben," an insider said. "She is happy with him and enjoys spending time with him."
That’s not all. Close to two weeks ago, the exes were pictured outside her Los Angeles home. On May 10, they were again spotted riding a car together near a resort in Big Sky, where Affleck has a home. An insider suggested that Lopez “spent several days with Ben out of town. They have a strong connection. It's all been quick and intense, but Jennifer is happy.”
More than a decade and a half ago, Bennifer was the most talked-about celebrity couple. And even when the relationship fell apart and their marriage got canceled, they still dominated tabloids and gossip magazines for a while.
So, let’s take a look at the timeline of Bennifer
2001: The two first met on the set of ‘Gigli’, a rom-com that premiered in 2003 and disastrously tanked in the box office. At the time, Lopez was married to her second husband, dancer Cris Judd. The pair went public with their relationship shortly after Lopez and Judd’s marriage ended.
In 2014, Judd opened up about his marriage to Lopez. "You know it's very tough," he said. "Your privacy is breached. You're no longer a normal person. [Our wedding] was a circus. I think several people got arrested trying to climb up a mountain… trying to sneak in. We actually rented the airspace."
Judd added that it was "tough to be in that limelight," and said, "You kind of sign up for that, you know? You kind of have to take it and accept it and embrace it. Once you stop fighting it, it smoothes itself over. If you try to keep that privacy, it drives you nuts and that's why people break."
2002: Affleck made an appearance in the music video for JLo's iconic number ‘Jenny from the Block’. The video made tongue-in-cheek jabs at the tabloids' obsession with their relationship. This highly publicized nature of their relationship would become its bane.
In 2010, Lopez opened up about it and said, "I love Ben, he's a great guy, but it was a lot for both of us to be under that type of siege for two years straight. We were on the cover of every magazine, every week, it was just a weird thing... Our relationship, I think, did suffer because of that. That's not the only reason... but I think it definitely played a part in the dynamic of our relationship."
In November that year, Affleck reportedly proposed to Lopez with a custom-made 6.1-carat pink diamond ring from Harry Winston. The diamond reportedly cost Affleck $2.5 million. In an interview at the time, Lopez said that Affleck was “brilliantly smart, loving, charming, and affectionate.” adding, “I just admire him in every way.”
2003: In August, the National Enquirer reported an exotic dancer’s account of her evening with Affleck. Tammy Morris said that she was with Affleck and three other exotic dancers after he picked them up in Brandi's Exotic Nightclub in Vancouver.
"It's a night I'll never forget and I'm sure one he'll want to forget," she said. "He had this little boy look on his face." She also said that Affleck gave the strippers large tips and told them: "Keep this just between us." However, Antonella Santini, another exotic dancer filed a libel and slander suit against the National Enquirer, claiming that the story was false. Santini also alleged that Morris was paid $100,000 by the tabloid for a fabricated version of the events.
Just days before the two were set to get married, in September 2003, they released a joint statement announcing the ceremony's postponement. “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 said.
“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,” they added. In her 2014 book, ‘True Love’, Lopez wrote, "Ben and I split up at the moment when I thought we were committing to each other forever, it was my first real heartbreak, it felt like my heart had been torn out of my chest.”
2004: The two ended their engagement on January 22, 2004. Lopez confirmed the news through her spokesperson. "I am confirming the report that Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement with Ben Affleck," the statement said at the time. "At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy."
In June 2004, Lopez married singer-songwriter and longtime friend Marc Anthony. The two later had twins, daughter Emme Muñiz and son Max Muñiz, in 2008. Their marriage ended in 2014.
2005: Affleck married actress Jennifer Garner. The couple had three children together: Daughters Violet and Seraphina Affleck and son Samuel Affleck. They divorced in 2018.