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In 2002, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck met on the set of their film, Gigli, and began dating soon after. The couple were together for two years before going their separate ways. While they have since reunited and married, Lopez said their first relationship was full of challenges and pain. A lot of this stemmed from the way the public treated them.

Jennifer Lopez said the media was ruthless in their coverage of her romance with Ben Affleck

Lopez and Affleck went public with their relationship in 2003, becoming “Bennifer” in the eyes of the media. In the early, heady days of their romance, Lopez didn’t want to hide her relationship from the public. She was in love, and secrecy went against her nature.

“In the beginning, I was of the mind that I could say or do anything,” she told Vogue in 2022. “I was from the Bronx, and who didn’t say what they thought there?”

They were among the most popular couples in Hollywood and received unceasing tabloid attention. Much of this coverage was cruel and without grounding in the truth.

“Back then you just believed anything you read on the cover of a tabloid,” Lopez said, per People. “Many times it wasn’t true, or it was like a third of the truth.”

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez stand on a red carpet together.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Lopez became the target of racist and misogynistic coverage. 

“We were so young and so in love at that time, really very carefree, with no kids, no attachments. And we were just living our lives, being happy and out there. It didn’t feel like we needed to hide from anybody or be real discreet,” she said. “We were just living out loud, and it turned out to really bite us. There was a lot underneath the surface there, people not wanting us to be together, people thinking I wasn’t the right person for him.”

She said her two years with Affleck taught her to be far more guarded.

“I became very guarded because I realized that they will fillet you,” she said adding, “I really wish I could say more. I used to be like that. I am like that. But I’ve also learned.”

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck reunited years after their break-up

In 2004, not long after postponing their marriage, Lopez and Affleck announced their breakup. In the ensuing years, both married other people, but they remained friendly and in touch. In 2021, though, they began spending more time together. By that summer, they were officially back together. 

In 2022, Lopez and Affleck married in a quiet ceremony in Las Vegas.

“It’s a beautiful outcome that this has happened in this way at this time in our lives where we can really appreciate and celebrate each other and respect each other,” Lopez said. “We always did, but we have even more of an appreciation because we know that life can take you in different directions.”

Divorce rumors are currently swirling about the couple

Their 2022 wedding seemed like a fairytale ending to Lopez and Affleck’s years-long romance. Two years later, though, people began to speculate that there was trouble in paradise when the couple went over a month without being photographed together. Stories began to surface about Affleck’s dissatisfaction with the marriage.

Ben Affleck wears a tuxedo and stands with Jennifer Lopez, who wears a white dress. They stand on a red carpet.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Why Is Jennifer Lopez Getting so Much Hate Right Now?

“If there was a way to divorce on grounds of temporary insanity, he would,” a source told Page Six. “He feels like the last two years was just a fever dream, and he’s come to his senses now and understands there is just no way this is going to work.”

Neither Affleck nor Lopez has confirmed these rumors, and they attended his daughter Violet’s graduation ceremony on May 30.