Way back in the early Aughts, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were the celebrity couple on the scene. They were on the cover of every tabloid magazine, and their whirlwind romance temporarily fascinated the nation. They were engaged to be married, but they ended their engagement in 2004.
They were together for a year and a half, first getting together in 2002, and while things didn’t work out between them, they have no hard feelings toward each other. “I think different time different thing, who knows what could’ve happened, but there was a genuine love there,” Lopez said about Affleck in 2016.
Here’s what you need to know about their engagement and relationship:
1. Ben Gave JLo a Pink Diamond Engagement Ring
Ben got JLo a very unique engagement ring. Affleck purchased a $2.5 million, 6.1-carat pink diamond made by Harry Winston for Lopez in 2003, and at the time, it was a huge topic of conversation. The pink gemstone was an unusual choice because at the time, it was relatively unheard of to purchase colored diamonds. The ring started a trend in the engagement ring industry. “Jennifer Lopez’s pink diamond engagement ring from Ben Affleck tends to get credit, deservedly, for sparking interest in colored diamonds,” said Greg Kwiat, CEO of Fred Leighton Diamonds.
2. The 2 Met While Making One of the Most Panned Movies of All-Time
JLo met Affleck while filming the box office bomb Gigli back in 2002. The two played love interests in that film, and they also co-starred in Kevin Smith’s Jersey Girl while they were together, although the film was released sho rtly after their breakup in 2004. Gigli was in and out of theaters in just a week, and got universally bashed by film critics.
3. They Were the First Celebrity Couple to Get a Mashup Nickname … Or Were They?
Ben and JLo were widely considered to be the first celebrity couple with a nickname, as the press and tabloids immediately dubbed them “Bennifer.” At the time, they were the most famous couple on the planet, and their moniker was everywhere — but “Bennifer” wasn’t the first couple name to get a mashup. That honor would go to two silent movie actors from the 1920s, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, who the press referred to as “Pickfair.” Affleck went on to marry actress Jennifer Garner, and the nickname was seemingly transferred over to his new relationship with Garner.
4. JLo Has Suggested They Broke Up Due to Insecurity & Tabloids
In an interview a few years ago, Lopez spoke a bit about her relationship with Affleck”Men in their 20s are very confident and cocky, and women are super insecure. And then it flips – men get super insecure, and women get comfortable in their own skin, in a way that makes them more beautiful,” JLo explained in 2018. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything, and my relationship [with Affleck] self-destructed in front of the entire world,” she said. She also noted that the constant press, particularly the tabloids, may have played a part in breaking them up.
“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 wasn’t the only reason … but I think it definitely played a part in the dynamic of our relationship.”
5. They Documented Their Relationship in Her Music Video
In Lopez’s 2002 music video, “Jenny From the Block,” the two former love birds incorporated their frequent dodging of the press into the video. Affleck also gets more than a little handsy with his former fiancée in the vid, and he also proposes towards the end of it.
The video was filmed towards the beginning of their relationship, and JLo included the song in her halftime performance at the Super Bowl. You can watch the video in its entirety below:
Lopez is now engaged to retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez, while Affleck is single, after divorcing Garner in October of 2018.