In July 2021, paparazzi captured photos of international pop sensation Jennifer Lopez and actor-director Ben Affleck getting cozy on a superyacht in the Mediterranean. For weeks, rumors had been swirling about a rekindled romance between the pair, and the pictures of them on the yacht were remarkably similar to vignettes from JLo’s 2002 ‘Jenny From the Block’ music video.
In no time it turned into one of the world’s biggest pop culture stories. Publications scrambled to rehash the pair’s romantic timeline, while many more studied paparazzi photos for hints of staging. Regardless, the photos confirmed what many had thought: the trip to the Mediterranean was a lovers’ escape to celebrate Lopez’s 52nd birthday.
A Trip for Two
While the couple’s time on a superyacht nabbed most of the attention, JLo’s birthday trip wasn’t totally for her. At one point, she and Affleck stopped in Monaco to head back onto land for the day. As a known gamer with a passion for poker and blackjack, the stopover in Monaco to visit the Casino de Monte Carlo was likely a special day trip for Affleck.
While most people opt for an online casino with an active sign up bonus, a trip to the Mediterranean would be a waste without a high-profile visit to the tables in the Monte Carlo—at least for the rich and famous. And with JLo’s ex, Alex Rodriguez, reportedly vacationing nearby on another superyacht, it seems the love birds wanted to pull out all the stops for a truly glamorous reunion.
A Repeat of the Past?
The spotlight isn’t anything new for Bennifer. In fact, the pair’s whirlwind romance from 2002 was the subject of massive media attention. Throughout their time co-starring in romantic comedy Gigli, the media hounded them about a speculated relationship.
In fact, People magazine paid a cool $75,000 for pictures of the couple cavorting around Los Angeles. Their relationship quickly turned into a public affair, which launched them into the proverbial stratosphere of fame.
This same attention would also be their downfall. Multiple reports of cheating swirled in the headlines; though later declared as false by both parties, the speculation was intense, personal, and persistent.
Whilst they were engaged by November 2002, they had broken up by January 2004. Even worse, Gigli flopped and is still considered one of the worst rom-coms (and films) ever made. By June 2004, JLo had married Marc Anthony.
A Growing List of Theories
Though audiences hated Gigli, they loved that the film gave the world Bennifer. And though Bennifer didn’t last more than two years, and both celebrities went on to marry other partners and start families, pop culture fans never gave up on the whirlwind romance.
Throughout the years, JLo and Affleck publicly complimented and defended the other; Affleck went to bat regarding Lopez’s talent as an actress and singer, while she defended his character as he waded through multiple personal breakdowns that went public.
It would seem both were open to an eventual rekindling and, in 2021, the stars aligned… but that doesn’t mean everyone is convinced about the authenticity of their relationship. In fact, there are multiple theories that could account for their reunion.
First and foremost, the pair could both be interested in a PR boost. Both are approaching a time when they’ll need to pivot their public images, so why not capitalize on what was possibly their biggest moment in the spotlight?
Second, the pair could actually be in love. One caveat here is that Bennifer could also be leveraging this true love into a tabloid dream, benefiting both personally and professionally from a long-awaited reunion.
Lastly, there’s a strong likelihood that both options are at least slightly true; Bennifer are a genuine relationship that’s already been co-opted by the media and littered with small, intriguing falsities. In this case, the obsession with the pair is more an indictment of the public’s tendency to hound Bennifer for salacious details… which led to the pair’s separation in the early 2000s.