Pop Culture

Ben Affleck Says When He Dated Jennifer Lopez People Said ‘Mean, Sexist, Racist’ Things

In the first part of the 21st century, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were an item. I mean, come on, it was Bennifer! An iconic couple for the ages. They fell in love while filming their movie Gigli, and by the fall of 2002, they were engaged. Lopez’s 6.1-carat pink diamond engagement ring was suddenly the photo every tabloid wanted.

“I had cried a lot over sadness over the years,” Lopez told Diane Sawyer in an interview following the engagement. “And for the first time in my life, I cried incredible purging tears of happiness.”

Seventeen years after the two broke off their engagement, Affleck shared with The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast that the J.Lo was treated horribly by people who made “racist” and “sexist” comments about her.

“People were so fucking mean about her—sexist, racist. Ugly, vicious shit 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 fucking should be! I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today.”

Affleck added that he and Lopez were in the spotlight when the tabloid business had reached new heights, which didn’t help things. “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.”

Lopez, who is now engaged to Alex Rodriguez, has also spoken out about her relationship with Affleck and the attention it received at the time.

“It was actually worse then,” she told InStyle of tabloid culture. “It was just crazy. Now at least I can show you who I am a little bit. 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.”

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