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The Birth of Bennifer: A look at Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s iconic love story


The reported return of Bennifer – also known as Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck – has left the showbiz, music and acting worlds in shock, delight and blissful nostalgia in equal measures. 

The superstar couple, who were engaged in 2002 before postponing their 2003 wedding and officially splitting in 2004, were seen reuniting over the weekend following 48-year-old Jennifer’s split with fiancé Alex Rodriguez, and the recent revelation that Ben, 51, has been an active user on the celebrity dating app Raya.  

Travel back in time, at the heady start of the aughts, which Jennifer branded the ‘Birth Of The Tabloid’, stories were dominated with every minute detail of the showbiz couple who courted no end of publicity. 

Their union featured two diabolical movies, gushing musical tributes, a raunchy video cameo and bling – yet it seemed their making was their downfall, when the scrutiny and glamour they attracted ended their romance. 

Despite this, Bennifer ensured there was no acrimony to their high-profile split, with the estranged pair often lauding one another and detailing their friendship – now we take a look back at the highs, lows and all things in between of one of the 2000s most-discussed couples (and their reunion!)… 

Woah! Over the weekend, Ben whisked his former flame Jennifer away on a private jet for a romantic getaway trip to a luxury ski resort in Montana (pictured)

Then and now: Jennifer Aniston first met Ben Affleck on the set of Gigli in December 2001 (left) before falling in love and later splitting in 2004, however they appeared together over the weekend, Ben whisked his former flame Jennifer away on a private jet for a romantic getaway trip to a luxury ski resort in Montana (right)

DECEMBER 2001

Jennifer and Ben first met while filming 2003 romantic-comedy Gigli in December 2001.

The movie, upon its eventual release two years later, won seven Razzies, was branded ‘unwatchable’ by some critics and garnered $7.2m in the box office against a reported $55m budget.

Yet all was not lost, as the film brought Bennifer closer together.

SEPTEMBER 2002 

While they were yet to know about their looming box office failure, Bennifer were in front of the camera once more in 2002 as they reunited to film 2004 movie Jersey Girl. 

The movie was where their love was cemented and the couple’s romance was born. 

Their name was in fact born on-set, as Jersey Girl director Kevin Smith revealed this week: ‘Bennifer’ is trending. It’s a name I first gave the kids during ‘Jersey Girl’ pre-production, before the world found out they were dating…

‘I’d later drop the name in an interview with the @nytimes. Shortly thereafter, it appeared in the article and then entered the vernacular.’

Jennifer and Ben first met while filming 2003 romantic-comedy Gigli in December 2001

They later filmed Jersey Girl together in 2002

Jennifer and Ben first met while filming 2003 romantic-comedy Gigli in December 2001 (left) and later filmed Jersey Girl together in 2002 (right)

2002 ONWARD 

The duo made their red carpet debut at the premiere of her movie Maid In Manhattan and so was the birth of the tabloid favourites and their all singing, all dancing pap personalities. 

From red carpet appearances to Juicy Couture tracksuits, they soon became one of the world’s most photographed couples thanks to their Hollywood good looks and glamorous style.  

NOVEMBER 2002 

Ben popped the question to Jennifer with an eye-popping 6.1-carat pink solitaire diamond from Harry Winston during a visit to see his family in Boston – leading to a delighted surprise. 

She described the proposal, saying: ‘It’s just a blanket, a quilt of rose petals, all over the whole entire house. So many candles, and vases, bouquets. And my song I’m Glad was playing… I walk in and I was just like overwhelmed. I wasn’t expecting it, and I was just like ‘Oh my God.” 

Bling, bling: Ben popped the question to Jennifer with an eye-popping 6.1-carat pink solitaire diamond from Harry Winston

Bling, bling: Ben popped the question to Jennifer with an eye-popping 6.1-carat pink solitaire diamond from Harry Winston

Ben then revealed that his mother Christopher Anne Boldt helped him with the proposal, after which Jennifer said: ‘I just started sobbing. Crying. I was like ‘Oh! My God!”

She went on: ‘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.’ 

Later that month, Ben appeared in Jennifer’s Jenny From The Block music video including one scene – designed to look like a stealth paparazzi video – showing the actor caressing her famous derriere.   

Not content with a video cameo, Jennifer dedicated her sensual and gushing track Dear Ben from her third studio album This Is Me… Then to her husband-to-be. 

Lyrics on the song include: ‘You’re perfect // I just can’t control myself // I can’t be with no one else // Seems I’m addicted to the way you like to touch me // I don’t think they understand // Why I love at your command

‘From the words you speak // So deep about it’s need I have to have you // I love you, you’re perfect // A manifestation of my dreams // You make my body feel // About a million different things’. 

Ooh err! Later that month, Ben appeared in Jennifer's Jenny From The Block music video including one scene - designed to look like a stealth paparazzi video - showing the actor caressing her famous derriere

Ooh err! Later that month, Ben appeared in Jennifer’s Jenny From The Block music video including one scene – designed to look like a stealth paparazzi video – showing the actor caressing her famous derriere

SEPTEMBER 2003 

Days before their highly-publicised wedding, the couple astounded fans when they announced a postponement due to increasingly feverish media attention.

Their statement read: ‘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.’

Shock: Days before their highly-publicised wedding, the couple astounded fans when they announced a postponement due to increasingly feverish media attention (pictured in 2003)

Shock: Days before their highly-publicised wedding, the couple astounded fans when they announced a postponement due to increasingly feverish media attention (pictured in 2003)

The couple confirm their split with a simple statement in January 2004 (pictured in May 2003)

 The couple confirm their split with a simple statement in January 2004 (pictured in May 2003)

JANUARY 2004 

The couple confirm their split with a simple statement.

Jennifer’s representative announced: ‘I am confirming the report that Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck. 

‘At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy.’ 

2004-2005

Later that year, Jennifer sought comfort in her longtime friend, Marc Anthony, explaining: ‘[I wanted to] find someone who could make me feel loved and wanted in my loneliest hour… 

‘Thinking back, maybe deep down I knew that this was a Band-Aid on the cut.’

She married the singer that June and went on to have twins with the star in 2008. She divorced Marc in 2014.

Ben meanwhile wed actress Jennifer Garner in 2005 and they share three children, Violet, 15, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9. The couple split in 2018. 

Later that year, Jennifer sought comfort in her longtime friend, Marc Anthony and they wed in June (pictured in 2006)

Ben meanwhile wed actress Jennifer Garner in 2005 and they share three children, Violet, 15, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9. The couple split in 2018.

Later in 2004, Jennifer sought comfort in her longtime friend, Marc Anthony and they wed in June (pictured in 2006) Ben meanwhile wed actress Jennifer Garner in 2005 and they share three children, Violet, 15, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9. The couple split in 2018

2012

Ben made it clear that they very much remained friends, when he told The Hollywood Reporter: ‘We don’t have the kind of relationship where she relies on me for advice but we do have the kind of relationship where there’ll be an e-mail saying, ‘Oh, your movie looks great’…

‘I remember when she got American Idol. I said, ‘This was really smart. Good luck.” I respect her. I like her. She’s put up with some stuff that was unfair in her life, and I’m really pleased to see her successful.’

2014

Two years on, Jennifer told Huffington Post: ‘I would do it all over again, I think. I really would. Even the relationship part. I just feel like everything is part of your story and your journey and is meant to be and helps you grow if you’re willing to look at it, and I’m willing to look.’

2016

On making their relationship work, Jennifer detailed why things struggled for the pair. 

She said: ‘I think different time different thing, who knows what could’ve happened, but there was a genuine love there, We didn’t try to have a public relationship. We just happened to be together at the birth of the tabloids, and it was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was just a lot of pressure.’

Rekindled: In exclusive pictures obtained by DailyMail.com, Ben, 48, and Jennifer, 51, appeared relaxed and at ease around one another as they then sat side-by-side in an SUV in Montana

Back on: The former lovers appear to be rekindling their romance 17 years after they split

Rekindled: In exclusive pictures obtained by DailyMail.com, Ben, 48, and Jennifer, 51, appeared relaxed and at ease around one another as they then sat side-by-side in an SUV in Montana

MAY 2020 

Ben whisked his former flame Jennifer away on a private jet this past weekend for a romantic getaway trip to a luxury ski resort in Montana, where the actor is understood to own a chalet. 

Keeping cover: Sources had previously said Ben and Jen were 'just friends' though these pictures appear to tell a different story

Keeping cover: Sources had previously said Ben and Jen were ‘just friends’ though these pictures appear to tell a different story

In exclusive pictures obtained by DailyMail.com, the former couple appeared relaxed and at ease around one another as they sat side-by-side in an SUV, with the Good Will Hunting star in the driver’s seat, amid rumours he’s been spending time at the singer’s LA mansion on multiple occasions. 

In pictures of the pair arriving back to LA, both Ben and Jennifer looked dressed for comfort as they stood close together while exiting the private plane following the short trip, where they had packed a considerable amount of luggage.  

The actor is said to own a ski chalet at the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana – where he’s believed to have stayed with Lopez – having taken family vacations there with ex-wife Jennifer Garner and their three children, Violet, 15, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9.      

The Yellowstone Club is a private residential club, ski resort, and golf resort located in Madison County, just west of Big Sky, and attracts megastars like Bill Gates and Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel.

Sources have claimed to E! that the pair spent ‘about a week’ together at the club, and they ‘were alone’ during their stay. They arrived back in LA on Saturday. 

It is the second time Ben and Jennifer have been spotted together in just over a week.  

Keeping close: It appeared as though Ben and Jen were dressed for comfort on their trip and kept very close to one another after they landed

Keeping close: It appeared as though Ben and Jen were dressed for comfort on their trip and kept very close to one another after they landed 



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