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We're calling it: 'Bennifer' is back. So let's go right to the very beginning.

We're calling it: 'Bennifer' is back.

After 17 years apart, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have been spending a lot of time together.

The former couple, who dated from 2002 to 2004, have reportedly been 'hanging out' in recent weeks following Lopez's split from Alex Rodriguez.

Watch: Jennifer Lopez gives her honest opinion about Ben Affleck's back tattoo. Post continues below.


Video via Bravo.

In the last month, Affleck has been seen visiting Lopez at her home in Los Angeles. However, 'sources' initially claimed that the pair were just friends.

"They obviously have a romantic history, but at this point, they only have a friendship," one source told Entertainment Tonight"They both admire each other professionally, respect one another and feel comfortable with each other."

But now, the pair have been spotted on a weeklong holiday at the Yellowstone Club in Montana, sparking reconciliation rumours.

"They were alone. Just the two of them," one source told E!

Another source told People: "Jennifer spent several days with Ben out of town. They have a strong connection. It’s all been quick and intense, but Jennifer is happy." 

Read more: Don't panic, but Ben Affleck and J.Lo just went on a week-long holiday together.

In the early 2000s, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's short-lived relationship was the stuff of tabloid dreams.

The former couple first met on the set of Gigli, a rom-com that ultimately flopped at the box office. At the time, Lopez was married to her second husband, former back-up dancer Cris Judd. 

Two months before Lopez and Judd announced their separation, Affleck spent a reported US$15,000 on a number of half-page ads about Lopez in publications including The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. 

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According to The New York Timespart of the advertisement read: "You have shown kindness, dedication, diligence, humility, graciousness of spirit, beauty in courage, great empathy, astonishing talent, real poise and true grace.

"It has been nothing but an honour and a pleasure to work with you. I only wish I were lucky enough to be in all your movies.''

The ad was signed, ''With love, respect and gratitude, Ben Affleck.'' 

While Affleck claimed that he placed the advertisement to refute claims that Lopez was a diva on set, it certainly raised a few eyebrows. In fact, The New York Times referred to the move as "flirtation by full-page ad". And, well, they were pretty much right.

Just a week after the ads ran, Affleck was photographed with Lopez at her parents' restaurant in Pasadena, California. By June 2002, Lopez had filed for divorced from Judd after just nine months of marriage, and 'Bennifer' were officially together.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at the Gigli premiere. Image: Getty. 

From the moment their relationship began, Lopez and Affleck became a pop culture sensation, garnering the attention of the tabloids and becoming one of the first celebrity couples to earn a blended celebrity moniker à la Brangelina or TomKat.

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In an interview with People in 2016, Lopez reflected on the fervent media attention.

"We didn't try to have a public relationship," she said.

"We just happened to be together at the birth of the tabloids, and it was like, 'Oh my God.' It was just a lot of pressure."

The now 51-year-old also told InStyle that the media attention was "just crazy."

"Now at least I can show you who I am a little bit," she said. "Back then you just believed anything you read on the cover of a tabloid. Many times it wasn't true, or it was like a third of the truth."

Jennifer Lopez's ring on November 5, 2002. Image: Getty. 

By November 2002, 'Bennifer' were engaged. If you're a millennial, you'll probably remember the ring. The pink diamond engagement ring reportedly cost Affleck a whopping $1.2 million.

That same month, the pair appeared in the music video for Lopez's song, 'Jenny from the Block'. In the now iconic music video, the couple were seen fooling around on a yacht while being captured by the paparazzi.

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"The video is basically about how she cannot find privacy with her fiance Ben Affleck. A lot of glamour is associated with fame and fortune; however, along with that glamour comes the loss of privacy," The Spectator wrote at the time.

 Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in 2003. Image: Getty. 

Speaking on The Graham Norton Show in 2010, Lopez opened up about the pressure that the tabloids put on their famous relationship, which influenced the music video.

"I love Ben, he's a great guy, but it was a lot for both of us to be under that type of siege for two years straight," she said.

"We were on the cover of every magazine, every week, it was just a weird thing. Our relationship, I think, did suffer because of that. That's not the only reason... but I think it definitely played a part in the dynamic of our relationship."

On September 14, 2003, the couple were set to get married in Santa Barbara. But just days beforehand, the pair unexpectedly postponed their wedding.

"Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date," a statement from the couple read. 

"When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate 'decoy brides' at three different locations, we realised that something was awry. We began to feel that the spirit of what should have been the happiest day of our lives could be compromised. We felt what should have been a joyful and sacred day could be spoiled for us, our families and our friends."

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It was the beginning of the end for Bennifer.

Just months later, in January 2004, a spokesperson confirmed their relationship was no more.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck at the Maid in Manhattan premiere. Image: Getty. 

"I am confirming the report that Jennifer Lopez has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck. At this difficult time, we ask that you respect her privacy," a statement from Lopez's rep read.

Meanwhile, Affleck's rep announced: "I am not going to confirm anything about his personal life. We don’t want to get dragged into quicksand. Everybody wants a war. It’s not happening from our side."

In her book, True Love, Lopez referred to her separation from Affleck as her "first real heartbreak".

"Ben and I split up at the moment when I thought we were committing to each other forever... it felt like my heart had been torn out of my chest," she wrote, according to Page Six.

After their public split, both Lopez and Affleck swiftly moved on from their short-lived relationship.

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In 2004, Lopez married her longtime friend, Marc Anthony. The couple later welcomed twins, Max and Emme, in 2008, before divorcing in 2014.

On the other hand, Affleck married fellow actor Jennifer Garner in 2005. The couple, who divorced in 2018, share three children –  Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel.

Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez in 2006. Image: Getty. 

 Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner in 2014. Image: Getty. 

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Lopez has since been engaged to former New York Yankees baseball player Alex Rodriguez, while Affleck has been linked to television producer Lindsay Shookus and actor Ana de Armas.

Despite their respective relationships, Bennifer have remained friends over the years.

Speaking to The New York Times in February 2020, Affleck said that Lopez should have been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Hustlers.

"She's the real thing. I keep in touch periodically with her and have a lot of respect for her. How awesome is it that she had her biggest hit movie at 50? That's f**king baller," the 48-year-old said.

And earlier this year, Affleck reflected in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter on how the media treated Lopez during their relationship.

"People were so f**king mean about her – sexist, racist. Ugly, vicious sh*t was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now, you would literally be fired for saying those things you said," he said. 

"Now it's like, she's lionised and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished – as well she f**king should be!"

Now that Lopez and Affleck are both single, the pair have sparked reconciliation rumours from fans and media alike. 

In fact, Matt Damon has even weighed in.

Matt Damon speaks to Today from an Australian pub. Image: NBC. 

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"There’s not enough liquor in the world for you to get me to say something about that," Damon shared on the US Today show, speaking from an Australian pub on Tuesday.

"I just heard you guys [talking about it] waiting to come on TV. It's the first time I’ve heard about it. It’s a fascinating story," he added jokingly. 

"I love them both, I hope it’s true, that would be awesome."

It seems only time will tell if the rumours are true.

Feature Image: Getty.

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