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December, 3

Jennifer Lopez claims tabloid culture 'destroyed' first romance with Ben Affleck

Jennifer Lopez has claimed celebrity and tabloid culture "destroyed" her first relationship with Ben Affleck.

The superstar entertainer and the actor/director started dating in mid-2002 after meeting on the set of the film Gigli and got engaged a few months later.

But following media and public attention, Ben and Jennifer made the call to break up in September 2003, just days before they were due to wed.

Reflecting on the split during an interview with Apple Music 1's Zane Lowe, the On the Floor hitmaker noted that public interest in "Bennifer" was a big factor in them parting ways.

"(Tabloid culture) was a new thing and it destroyed us. That was part of what destroyed us was the outside energy that was coming at us," she said. "And we loved each other. It was hard. It felt, at times, unfair, but neither one of us is that person to be like, woe is me."

After the romance ended, both Jennifer and Ben went into "hyper-gear" on a variety of projects and started families with other people.

"He went on to start directing, win his Oscar, do his second Oscar, do his thing where people had written him off in a way. The same thing with me. It was just like people were like, 'Her music career's over. She's this, she's that.' You know what I mean? I wasn't getting movies. I had to power my way back," the 53-year-old continued. "It fuelled us in a weird way that we felt we had to prove ourselves again."

But JLo is adamant the timing was right when she rekindled her relationship with Ben in April 2021. After a year of dating, the couple tied the knot in Las Vegas in July.

"He's my biggest fan, which is awesome, and supporter. When he came back into my life again, the same thing happened where I felt so inspired and so overtaken with emotion that (new music) was just pouring out of me," she added.

Jennifer's new album This Is Me... Now, a sequel to her 2002 record, This Is Me...Then, is set to be released next year.

Photo: Cover Media
Source: Cover Media
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