A Brief History Of ‘Bennifer’ — and How They Got Back To One Another

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, an iconic couple of early aughts, rekindled their romance last year. And now, they’re married! “Bennifer” wed at a Las Vegas chapel on Saturday night.

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So in honor of their union, let’s lake a look at the romance that’s spanned more than two decades.

The Start of Bennifer

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez met as co-stars on the set Gigli in 2003; their coupling was an instant tabloid sensation. Affleck had burst into the spotlight five years earlier as a co-writer and co-star of Good Will Hunting. Lopez’s own star was also on the rise. In the same year, 1997, the singer landed her first major acting role in Selena and made history as he first Hispanic actress to earn over more than $1 million for a U.S. film.

Prior to dating Affleck, Lopez was married twice. The first was to Ojani Noa, from 1997 to 1998; and to her backup dancer Cris Judd, from 2001 to 2002. Following their split, rumors swirled about Lopez and Affleck, and photos published in August of that year canoodling confirmed the budding romance. At the time, People entered into a bidding war with Us Weekly for exclusive access to the photos. And as things heated up between Lopez and Affleck, tabloid magazines were experiencing their own golden age of gossip. It wasn’t long before those colorful covers had coined the new couple with a catchy nickname: Bennifer.

By November 2002, Bennifer was engaged. Affleck proposed with a, now famous, six-carat pink diamond ring and they attended the premiere of Gigli together the following summer. But as the movie flopped, the dissolution of Bennifer followed.

The Disastrous ‘Gigli’

Gigli wasn’t just a bad movie. It was a historic flop: to date, one of the most expensive box office bombs in cinema history, grossing just $7.2 million against a $75.6 million budget. Panned by critics and viewers alike, it was withdrawn from theaters during its third week of circulation.

The story centers around Affleck’s Larry Gigli, a low-ranking mobster who is assigned to take orders from a female boss, played by Lopez. And even the nation’s insatiable interest in Bennifer was not enough to save that plot. The couple had no on-screen chemistry.

Similarly reviled was the 2004 film Jersey Girl, in which Lopez appeared briefly as the wife of Affleck’s character, who dies during childbirth. They were nominated as the Worst On-Screen Couple in that year’s Razzie awards.

Lopez and Affleck broke up just months after the premiere of Gigli.

The following year later, Lopez married the musician Marc Anthony. Affleck wed actress Jennifer Garner in 2005. Lopez shares her two children with Anthony, 14-year-old twins, and Affleck shares three children with Garner.

A Bennifer Reunion

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner remained a Hollywood super couple for more than a decade, and many fans were shocked when they separated in 2015. Speaking to The New York Times in February 2020, Affleck opened up about his substance abuse issues which worsened for him during marital problems as he and Garner were having problems. Affleck had an affair with the nanny and subsequently entered rehab for the third time. The way their relationship ended, he said, is is biggest regret.

After that, Affleck had a high-profile affair with his Deep Water co-star Ana De Armas. Around the same time, Lopez was dating baseball player Alex Rodriguez — J-Lo and A-Rod were even engaged to be married. But suddenly, Affleck and Lopez were back together! After remaining in contact and on good terms since their breakup, they started dating again in April 2021: exactly 20 years after they first met.

And now, they are husband and wife. Keeping it low-key, Bennifer married late on Saturday night in Las Vegas at a drive-through chapel.

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