Connect with us

Entertainment

How did Bennifer 2.0 turn into Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s will-they-won’t-they split saga?

Published

on

It’s the greatest love story over-told — and it’s already gone cold.

But don’t cry for Jennifer Lopez, or Ben Affleck either, even though they’re reportedly living apart after their much-ballyhooed 2021 reunion and two splashy weddings in 2022.

Not to mention J. Lo’s over-the-top album, hour-long musical film that she self-financed for $20 million, and the accompanying documentary about her great love for Ben, all released just a few months ago.

Lopez insiders told The Post the two are “taking time apart,” while People magazine this week quoted a source saying the marriage “is not in the best place at the moment.”

Bennifer 2.0 may be on life support, but sources who know them say there’s no villain or victim here — just two big clashing egos who may not even mind the headlines inferring the end is nigh.

After a three-part multimedia tribute to her love for Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez’s marriage seems to be on shaky ground as the two “take time apart.” Will Heath/NBC
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at the February premiere of “This is Me…Now,” a 60-minute “musical film” that she financed herself. It was part of a three-pronged project including an album and documentary (which Affleck’s company funded.) FilmMagic

“They have this amazing Donald Trump quality, the both of them, of having no shame,” a Hollywood insider who worked with Lopez told The Post. “I’d be hiding under the carpet at the point but they’re both out and about — separately — smiling and grinning and keeping us guessing. They could clear this up with one simple statement but they don’t. Don’t feel sorry for them. She loves it, and what people don’t realize is, Ben loves it more.”

But other sources close to Lopez says she doesn’t love it and is genuinely upset — especially about being being cast as a villain who wants the spotlight at any cost, while Affleck is portrayed as publicity-shy and overwhelmed by the media scrutiny that comes with marrying a diva.

In fact, one industry insider says, Affleck is throwing her under the bus in the wake of all on the hype surrounding Lopez’s musical film about her lifelong search for love, “This is Me Now … A Love Story,” its accompanying album “This is Me … Now,” and the documentary “The Greatest Love Story Never Told.”

Lopez at a promotional event for her new film, “Atlas,” in Mexico City. While there she scolded an interviewer for asking about her rumored split from Affleck. Zuma / SplashNews.com

The insider points out that Affleck’s company Artists Equity, which he co-founded and runs with longtime collaborator Matt Damon, produced and financed “The Greatest Love Story Never Told.”

“Affleck was across every element of production — including editing,” the industry insider said of the film, as well as the negotiations to sell it to Amazon. “As soon as the documentary came out, that’s when the online hatred and negativity towards Jennifer went rampant.”

“She has been torn apart. She’s been blamed for exposing their private life. People have called her a narcissist and said how embarrassing it is for Ben; but at no point did he come to his wife’s defense and say, ‘Actually, it was my idea and my company that made this documentary.’”

Affleck and Lopez, seen en route to SoHo House earlier this month. Thecelebrityfinder/MEGA

Lopez sharply shut down an interviewer who asked her about the Affleck split rumors during the Mexico junket for “Atlas” last week, saying “You should know better than that.”

People started noticing earlier this month that the couple — who notoriously pulled the plug on their 2003 wedding three days beforehand — had not been spotted in public together since March 30.

Affleck was then seen coming and going from a new rental in Brentwood that’s near the home of his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, and their three kids, while Lopez remained solo at their $60 million Beverly Hills mansion.

The duo spent two years looking for the home, which J. Lo showed off to her 253 million Instagram followers to great fanfare last fall.

Lopez attended the Met Gala solo earlier this month. The official word was that Affleck was too busy filming “The Accountant 2” in LA to attend. Getty Images

The actor, currently filming the sequel to his 2016 film, “The Accountant,” has been seen at least once without his wedding band on.

Garner, the faithful ex-wife who has been there to pick up the pieces after Affleck’s past fall-downs, even driving him to rehab after a 2018 intervention, was spotted visiting his new digs.

“Ben is a deeply damaged man who attracts women who want to fix him, and he gives them just enough hope to think that it will be possible,” one insider told The Post. “Spoiler alert: It isn’t. No one tried harder or longer than Garner. J. Lo just learned the same lesson more quickly.”

Sources close to Affleck and Lopez will say only that the couple are taking time apart, and no one has heard the word “divorce” mentioned yet.

They also say that Affleck’s wedding band has been off and on because he’s been filming.

Lopez canceled several dates on her upcoming tour, which begins in June, and rebranded it as a greatest-hits tour. Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Luisaviaroma

Meanwhile, Lopez went solo to the May 6 Met Gala where she wore a shimmering, mermaid-style Schiaparelli Haute Couture dress and was dripping in more than 100 carats of Tiffany & Co. diamonds.

Sources add that Affleck’s absence at Lopez’s recent red carpet appearances in LA and Mexico to promote her new Netflix film, “Atlas,” was expected because filming on “The Accountant” has been so intense that he was also, apparently, unable to attend his daughter Violet’s high school graduation this month.

But Lopez insiders say Affleck really should have been at her side as she hosted the Met Gala.

The stars first met on the set of “Gigli” in 2002. AP
Affleck and Lopez at the premiere of “Gigli” in 2003 when they were engaged to be married. The wedding was ultimately canceled. FilmMagic

“It’s a respect thing,” a source who knows Lopez well told The Post. “There’s no excuse for not being there unless you’re in jail or you’re trying to blow up your life.”

In March, after her new album flopped — dropping off the Billboard 200 chart a week after it entered at No. 38, her worst-ever debut — Lopez canceled several concerts of her upcoming “This Is Me…Now.” tour before re-branding it as a greatest hits tour.

Venue-ticket prices for the tour are priced as low as $49 at some stops and many seats remain, according to the Ticketmaster website.

Affleck, sources told Page Six, may be waking up from a “fever dream” that reunited hm with Lopez. Broadimage/Shutterstock

“It feels like a disaster,” a veteran concert promoter told The Post.

But others say Lopez can handle her career; it’s her choice of men that’s the problem.

Affleck is her fourth husband.

Lopez was previously married to Cuban waiter Ojani Noa (1997-1998), backup dancer Cris Judd (2001-2003) and Latin music superstar Marc Anthony (2004-2014), with whom she has 16-year-old twins, Emme and Max.

She was engaged to baseball star Alex Rodriguez before they split in 2021 and she reunited with Affleck.

Affleck and Lopez at their July 2022 wedding in Las Vegas. OnTheJLO
The two followed up Vegas with a huge wedding at Affleck’s estate in Savannah, Georgia, in August of 2022. OnTheJLo

“If there was a way to divorce on grounds of temporary insanity, he would,” an Affleck source previously 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.”

But Affleck will tax any woman he’s with, some say.

“His PR team very cleverly paints Ben as this quality director and actor who hates being a star,” Rob Shuter, who hosts the “Naughty but Nice” podcast and who was Lopez’s publicist during her first engagement to Affleck, told The Post. “Bulls–t, Ben loves being a star. He just doesn’t want to be the lesser star.”

Last year, Lopez and Affleck bought this 38,000-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion that includes a whopping 12 bedrooms, 24 bathrooms and a full basketball court. BACKGRID
Affleck and Lopez with their blended family: her twins Emme (far left) and Max (far right) and his kids Seraphina (behind Emme) and Violet. Alamy Stock Photo

“Jennifer is strong but Ben is stronger,” said a Hollywood insider who has worked with both Lopez and Affleck. “He’s very talented but he’s not easy. The only reason he doesn’t like being in her spotlight it’s because it’s her spotlight and not his. Their [reunion] story sounded beautiful in theory, but sometimes you just can’t go back in time.”

The source shot down online speculation that Lopez and Affleck could be playing at being the 2024 version of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to gin up interest in J. Lo’s new film and concert tour.

“I doubt that,” she said. “But if it is a ruse it’s unforgivable, especially with all their children involved. In fact I don’t know why they’re not handling this better given all their kids and what they’ve been through.”

Another source who has worked with Lopez also insisted that she’s not the villain here: “Everyone is going to think that this is all Jennifer — it’s not. She was in love, she adores Ben, that is not a crime. And it takes two to tango in any situation.”

Continue Reading