Are Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez preparing the world for Bennifer 2.0?
That’s the question on every gossip hound’s mind as Affleck, 48, and Lopez, 51, have been clandestinely spending quite a bit of time together in recent weeks. Less than a month after Lopez and former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez ended their engagement and five months after Affleck split from actress Ana de Armas, rumors of a reconciliation 17 years after Bennifer ended their 18-month relationship are running wild.
Affleck and Lopez first began dating while filming notorious flop “Gigli” in July 2002, and got engaged later that year. The couple then called off their 2003 wedding four days before it was set to take place, and broke up in 2004.
While there has been plenty of speculation by the likes of People, TMZ, Page Six, and E! News, nothing has been confirmed about the nature of the pair’s relationship, other than that they have been spending a lot of time together. (Representatives for Affleck and Lopez did not return requests for comment.)
Even Matt Damon doesn’t know what’s going on, but he’s rooting for a reunion.
“I hope it’s true,” Damon told “Today” host Hoda Kotb on Tuesday when asked about the Affleck and Lopez dating rumors. “I love them both. I hope it’s true. That would be awesome.”
“I love them both. I hope it’s true. That would be awesome.” -Matt Damon on speculation that Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have rekindled their relationship pic.twitter.com/GPbmZX9fQT
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 11, 2021
Here’s everything we know — or at least what we think we know, based on rumors, reports, and anonymous sources — about Affleck and Lopez’s rekindled relationship.
When did all of this start?
The first big Bennifer news item came out on April 30, when Page Six reported that Lopez and Affleck had been hanging out together at her California home following the end of her relationship with Rodriguez.
Paparazzi captured photos of Affleck leaving an SUV reportedly owned by Lopez, and a source told the publication that J.Lo’s security team “picks him up at a nearby location and drops him off after spending a few hours at her house.”
That same source, however, told Page Six that the pair were “just friends,” and had been close for many years following the end of their relationship in 2004.
Why did J.Lo sing “Sweet Caroline”?
Two days after the Page Six report, both Affleck and Lopez took part in the Global Citizen’s “Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World” concert in Los Angeles, which was taped on Sunday, May 2, and aired on Saturday, May 8.
Affleck and Lopez appeared separately during the telecast, with Affleck doing a skit with pal Jimmy Kimmel, and Lopez raising eyebrows when she performed Red Sox anthem “Sweet Caroline.”
Joining Lopez on stage was her mother, Guadalupe, who said that she used to sing “Sweet Caroline” to J.Lo as a baby. Given the song’s personal connection for Lopez, her performance could easily have been coincidental. Still, less than a month after Lopez split up with a Yankees legend and only days after being spotted with Affleck, who wears his Sox fandom on his sleeve and once refused to don a Yankees cap in a movie, the timing of the performance was certainly interesting.
Wait, they went on vacation together, too?
One day after “Vax Live” aired on television, news broke that Affleck and Lopez had vacationed together in Big Sky, Montana, with The Daily Mail obtaining photos of the pair holding hands and riding in the same white SUV with Affleck at the wheel.
A source told E! News that the pair had spent about a week together in Montana, where Affleck owns a home. The pair reportedly spent some one-on-one time at the ultra-exclusive Yellowstone Club, which also counts Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen among its members.
“They were alone,” the source told E! News. “Just the two of them.”
The same source told E! News that Affleck had reached out to Lopez after she finished filming scenes for the upcoming movie “Shotgun Wedding” in the Dominican Republic, and the pair had dinner a few times in April.
“It’s natural between them and the chemistry is unreal,” the source told E! News. “They picked up where they last left off and are enjoying each other’s company right now.”
A source told People magazine that Lopez had a “great time” with Affleck during their Montana sojourn.
“[Jennifer] spent several days with Ben out of town,” the source told People. “They have a strong connection. It’s all been quick and intense, but Jennifer is happy.”
Flirty pen pals?
While Affleck and Lopez’s reunion has only been in the public eye since April 30, TMZ reported Tuesday morning that Affleck began reaching out to Lopez via email way back in February.
According to a TMZ source, Affleck began emailing Lopez while she was filming “Shotgun Wedding,” and continued to correspond with the singer/actress while he filmed “The Tender Bar” with George Clooney in Boston.
TMZ says that Lopez spoke about her love of Affleck’s writing in the emails, and that Affleck told her “how beautiful she looked” in photos taken around the time and how “he wished he could be down there with her” in the Dominican Republic.
“While it looked like Bennifer II went from 0 to 100 in record time, the emails show they were doing at least 55 by the time they started hanging out again,” TMZ wrote.
Even more clues?
Interestingly, an April 5 InStyle cover story about Lopez “in her own words” featured glowing quotes about the actress from several sources, including Affleck.
InStyle editors asked Lopez a question written by the actor about how she managed to maintain her looks.
“Where are you keeping the fountain of youth?,” Affleck asked. “Why do you look the same as you did in 2003 and it kind of looks like I’m in my 40s…at best?”
“Ben is funny!” Lopez responded. “He still looks pretty good too.”
Affleck also praised J.Lo’s work ethic.
“She remains, to this day, the hardest-working person I’ve come across in this business,” Affleck said. “She has great talent, but she has also worked very hard for her success, and I’m so happy for her that she seems, at long last, to be getting the credit she deserves.”
Not quoted in the story? Rodriguez, who at the time was still her fiancée, at least publicly.
What does A-Rod think of this?
Not long after the joint announcement from Lopez and Rodriguez on April 15 ending their engagement, A-Rod was reportedly “shocked” and “upset” to find out his ex had been spending time with Affleck, according to E! News.
“A-Rod is shocked that J.Lo has moved on,” the source told E! News. “He truly thought they would be able to make it work and reconnect. He has been reaching out to J.Lo trying to meet with her and she has been very short with him.”