Does ‘Bennifer’ ring a bell? Once upon a time, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were the talk of tinseltown. Headlines followed the pair no matter where they went, resulting in media attention that was “reckless and irresponsible,” according to Ben. The 48-year-old Oscar-winner opened up about his famed two-year relationship with the now-51-year-old superstar during a new episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast this week.
“You know, there’s always a story of the month, and me dating Jennifer Lopez happened to be that tabloid story at the time when that business grew exponentially,” he explained. “The tabloids exploded, the internet started... they needed something to write about and we were that thing.”
“Particularly in that case, at first it was like Dick and Liz,” the actor said, comparing their courtship to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. “It was sort of this infatuation, ‘What an interesting couple!’ Then there was a ton of resentment.”
Ben went on to describe how much the media particularly scrutinized Jen. “The irony is not lost on me that Jennifer now — people were so f****** mean about her,” he continued. “Sexist, racist. Ugly, vicious s*** was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now, you would literally be fired for saying those things you said. Now it’s like, she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished — as well she f****** should be!”
When their relationship ended in 2004, Ben says he was distraught. “I was depressed, had depression when I was younger, that was very difficult… I kind of had to develop a sense of, like, ‘I’m going to get through this no matter what. No matter how shitty it feels,’” he said.
We’re happy to hear that the pair are friends today. “I don’t think I met anybody that worked harder than Jennifer Lopez,” he said.