celebrity

"It's a beautiful outcome." Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are engaged.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are engaged, again!

On Saturday morning AEST, the 52-year-old teased the announcement on social media in a video where she invited fans to subscribe to her newsletter for a "really exciting and special story."

Upon signing up to her site, viewers can see a video where JLo looks lovingly at a very sparkly green ring.

Image: OnTheLo.

Speaking to People, Lopez shared that their engagement is "a beautiful outcome".

"We can really appreciate and celebrate each other and respect each other," she said. 

"We always did, but we have even more of an appreciation because we know that life can take you in different directions.

"We have been in the game in the public eye long enough to know who we are as people and what really matters and what doesn't matter. We have kids and we respect each other... We really live our lives in a way we can be proud of and our kids can be proud of you. 

"We're just operating from a place of love and respect for everyone in our lives and that is very important to us. We know what the truth is [and] we hold it sacred."

ADVERTISEMENT

Believe it or not, it's been about a year since the pair were rumoured to be dating again. So, we thought we'd take a look back at their relationship history up until now.

In the early 2000s, Bennifer'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.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez on The Tender Bar red carpet. Image: Getty. 

According to The New York Times, part 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.''

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. 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.

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."

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.

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."

Image: Getty.

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."

It was the beginning of (what we thought was) the end for Bennifer.

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

ADVERTISEMENT

"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, and began seeing other people, reportedly 'staying friends'.

And that brings us to their rekindling.

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***ing baller," the 49-year-old said.

Then in 2021, 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***ing 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***ing should be!"

And with the pair both single again, rumours of their romance began. 

For months from April 2021, the pair drip fed the media tiny morsels of their new, blossoming relationship. 

Photos of Affleck leaving Lopez's house. Rumours they went on a holiday to Montana together. Affleck spending time with Lopez's mother, who always said he was her favourite of all her daughter's exes. A kiss and some neck nuzzling during a dinner out in LA. 

It was only on JLo's 52nd birthday that the pair went Instagram official with a carousel of images — one of which featured her and Affleck have a good ole' fashioned snog. 

And so, this announcement was really only a matter of time. 

Long live Bennifer. 

Feature Image: Getty / Mamamia

Do you have young children or a baby? Take this short survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!