When Jennifer Lopez determined to sing the Neil Diamond basic “Candy Caroline” at the World Citizen live performance on Might 2, it served double responsibility.
Not solely was the tune — the unofficial anthem of the Boston Crimson Sox — a diss at her current ex, former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. It was additionally a flirty wink at her long-ago ex, Ben Affleck, who appeared simply after her at the occasion.
“It was completely for Ben! And it additionally labored to piss off A-Rod,” an Affleck supply informed The Submit.
When Affleck and Lopez — dubbed “Bennifer” at the top of their first relationship, which lasted from 2002 to 2004 — had been noticed vacationing collectively in Montana days later, shut buddies had been shocked by what appears like a rekindling.
“We thought they had been simply associates,” mentioned the Affleck supply. “Even folks near Ben had been taken abruptly.”
Then once more, a supply who is aware of each Affleck and Lopez informed The Submit: “She was always obsessed with Ben. They’ve always cherished one another.”
In 2002, Affleck and Lopez had been a match made in tabloid heaven. She was the New York glamour puss. He was the low-key Boston man, into baseball, beer and poker. They met on the set of “Gigli,” with Affleck starring as a hitman and Lopez as an murderer despatched to maintain him in line.
The film would show to be a flop. However the stars clicked — and have become greater than ever off-screen. Regardless of the variations of their Hollywood lives, they discovered compatibility of their backgrounds. Lopez was a working-class child from the Fortress Hill part of the Bronx; Affleck had related roots in Cambridge, Mass.
“I bear in mind Ben bringing her to a buddy’s social gathering,” Lopez’s then-publicist Rob Shuter informed The Submit. “It was beer and crimson wine in plastic Solo cups. She sat on a folding chair and cherished it. Being J.Lo is difficult and Ben was capable of simplify it.”
“The one time you didn’t really feel such as you had been with ‘J.Lo’,” Shuter mentioned of her rigorously crafted picture, “was when Ben was round.”
Lopez was nonetheless married to her second husband, dancer Cris Judd, when she met Affleck. Months later, they had been break up and Affleck and Lopez had been publicly collectively. It was the period when tabloid magazines like Us Weekly and Star had been at their buzziest — and the paparazzi at their craziest. “Bennifer” was the couple of the second.
Their relationship was fueled by “electrical energy,” Shuter, writer of “The 4 Phrase Reply,” recalled. “It was the most enjoyable factor to be round.”
The apex of the relationship got here in the summer season of 2002, with the filming of Lopez’s “Jenny From the Block” music video — wherein the two had been seen kissing in a Bentley and laughing at journal protection of their romance. Affleck appeared the final doting boyfriend: following J.Lo out of her limo, pumping fuel, and actually kissing her butt whereas the two cruised on a catamaran.
In real life, he additionally knew the right way to pay her the sort of consideration she craved. Affleck confirmed up unannounced for a Lopez efficiency on “As we speak.” One other time, he stunned her on the crimson carpet with flowers. She returned the favor by dedicating a music to him, “Pricey Ben,” on her “This Is Me … Then” album: “You’re good / I simply can’t management myself.”
Affleck discovered his manner into the cloth of Lopez’s household. “Ben taught Guadalupe [Lopez’s mom] the right way to gamble,” recalled Shuter of Affleck, a infamous gambler as soon as banned from a Las Vegas on line casino for card counting. “And he or she received a large sum in Atlantic Metropolis.”
Bennifer acquired engaged in November 2002 with a six-carat pink diamond.
They teamed up for the film “Jersey Lady,” however the August 2003 launch of “Gigli” highlighted cracks in the relationship, as the couple was caught selling a stink bomb.
“It nearly appeared that that they had weapons to their heads,” mentioned a photographer who snapped the two at the “Gigli” premiere.
“Ben’s ego is greater than hers,” mentioned a supply who labored with them. “‘Gigli’ tanking was an even bigger deal to him and he was jealous of her superstardom. Photographers would see Ben and Jen collectively and they might ask for Jennifer to face alone. Ben would step out of the shot however not prefer it. The photographers would say, ‘J.Lo alone! J.Lo alone!’ However they by no means requested for Ben to face alone.”
A short historical past of Bennifer 1.0
Houston Curtis, an expert gambler who has performed poker with Affleck, remembered that Lopez gave her fiancée the enterprise throughout a recreation at LA’s Bicycle Membership. “Ben was taking part in in a recreation with [poker pro] Annie Duke when an announcement came to visit the PA system,” Curtis informed The Submit. “It mentioned, ‘Ben, you might have a name from Jennifer! Ben Affleck, you might have a name from Jennifer!’ He appeared aggravated, shrugged and went to reply the telephone.”
One other time, Curtis recalled, Affleck was in a recreation at a Beverly Hills house when a participant misplaced a hand to a pair of queens. Grumbled Affleck: “Attempt dwelling with a queen.”
The supply who is aware of each Ben and Jennifer informed The Submit: “They broke up as a result of he cheated on her and, at the time, he had the probability to be a really huge star. What he was doing with her didn’t match into his picture. He had all these folks in his ear.”
In 2008, Affleck mentioned: “If I’ve a remorse, it was doing the music video.”
Nonetheless, “I believe he was the happiest he’s ever been with her,” mentioned the supply who is aware of each of them.
The couple known as off the wedding ceremony in September 2003 and formally ended their relationship in January 2004. In March, “Jersey Lady” tanked at the field workplace. By June, Lopez wed singer Marc Anthony.
Lopez would go on to divorce Anthony, have a relationship with Casper Sensible — an actor 17 years her junior — and date Rodriguez from 2017 to March of this 12 months. Affleck was married to actress Jennifer Garner from 2005 to 2018 and dated “Saturday Evening Stay” producer Lindsay Shookus and actress Ana de Armas.
Over the years, Lopez and Affleck got here again to being associates. Based on an insider, Affleck acquired his second probability with her after Rodriguez was worn down by the work of courting J.Lo — the picture, not the lady.
“A-Rod by no means understood what Jennifer wanted to do to take care of her public picture,” the insider mentioned. “He was on the lookout for a quieter life and couldn’t sustain with her must be in entrance of the public all the time.”
A rep for Rodriguez denied this. Lopez’s consultant had no remark.
Regardless of stories to the opposite, sources informed The Submit that Rodriguez is not pining away for Lopez. Mentioned one: “Alex is content material the place he is and is engaged on the Timberwolves deal.”
As that relationship was ending, TMZ reported, Affleck despatched Lopez a be aware whereas she was filming the film “Shotgun Wedding ceremony,” telling Lopez how nice she appeared.
The insider informed The Submit that the second time round may very well be the allure for Bennifer.
“Enjoying the discipline and going out with youthful guys is the final thing Jennifer desires to do,” mentioned the insider. “She doesn’t wish to go on Raya and get to know new folks. They each have fond reminiscences of being collectively.”
Shuter believes the time aside will work of their favor. “Jennifer doesn’t drink [or] social gathering, she works out day-after-day,” Shuter mentioned, referencing Affleck’s well-known stints in rehab for substance abuse. “She brings self-discipline to Ben’s life. He brings normality to hers. Ben lives a really regular life.”
“Quite a lot of us would like to have a second probability with the one who acquired away,” Shuter added. “I received’t be stunned in the event that they get engaged once more. So far as I do know, she by no means gave again the ring.”
Further reporting by Ian Mohr