Almost 20 years since their broken engagement – and just one month after she split from fiancé Alex Rodriguez – Jennifer Lopez has reportedly become “friendly” again with Ben Affleck.
Last week, Ben, 48, was seen being picked up from a hotel in a white SUV belonging to the 51-year-old star, before being driven to Jen’s Bel Air mansion by her security team.
Jen was seen in the same car earlier that day as sources revealed she had met her ex three times that week, including one rendezvous at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel. Then, days later, Ben attended the Vax Live Concert to Reunite The World in LA, in which Jennifer was performing. Sources claim the pair were having a “great time hanging out” and plan to see more of each other.
Fans on social media went wild amid reunion rumours, with one excitedly exclaiming, “The best thing to happen so far in 2021!”
And while their meet-ups are said to so far be “platonic”, pals tell Closer their reunion has rehashed Ben’s old feelings for Jen, who had a whirlwind two-year romance with the Pearl Harbour actor until their split in 2004.
The source says, “Jen and Ben have remained in touch over the years by congratulating one another on personal and professional achievements and checking-in every so often.
“When Ben heard about Jen’s split, he reached out to offer a shoulder to lean on, which made an already emotional Jen pour her heart out to him.
“They had a couple of long heart-to-heart phone calls before Ben suggested meeting up at a hotel they both knew well and would offer them privacy from prying eyes.
“Jen has understandably been in a fragile state and Ben has offered support to her which has been hugely comforting and, of course, lifted her spirits.
“While she insists they are just reconnecting and being there for one another, she’s admitted that there’s still chemistry between them.”
The pair – who were coined “Benifer” as Hollywood’s power couple – are both single after Ben split from his girlfriend, actress Ana de Armas, 33, in January, while Jen split from Alex, 45, last month amid a string of cheating claims against the baseball star.
They got together in 2002 after Jen split from her second husband, choreographer Cris Judd, 51. Soon after, Ben proposed with a six-carat pink diamond ring.
Gushing about her fiancé at the time, Jen said, “He is brilliantly smart. Loving. Charming. Affectionate and I just admire him in every way. I respect him. I feel like he teaches me things.”
But in late 2003, the couple called off their wedding, citing “excessive media attention”, and finally called it quits four months later.
Jen quickly moved on – marrying her third husband Marc Anthony, 52 – with whom she shares twins Max and Emme, 13 – later that year. However, they divorced a decade later in 2014.
Insiders recently told Closer how Jen had been leaning on singer Marc amid her split from Alex, with the amicable exes even planning a family getaway with their children.
But pals say concerned Marc has urged Jen to tread cautiously with Ben for the sake of their children.
The source says, “Jen’s been open and honest with Marc about her meetings with Ben, and he understands her need to connect at a time when she’s feeling so low.
“But he’s warned her about rebounding when her head isn’t straight, and mostly because he doesn’t want their kids involved in more heartbreak. They have been devastated over Jen and Alex’s split.”
When rumours circulated that Jen had dumped Alex back in March, she shared a snap on Instagram of Marc comforting Emme as she cried, while FaceTiming Jen. The twins were also very close to Alex’s own children – Natasha, 16, and Ella, 12, with ex-wife Cynthia Scurtis – with J-Lo and A-Rod often sharing snaps of their blended family.
And the source says Alex – who met with Jen for dinner just a week before she was seen with Ben – has also reached out to the singer over her reunion with her ex.
“Alex wanted to find out what was going on,” says the source. “He is slightly humiliated at her moving on so quickly. But she’s insisted it’s just a friendship and asked him to allow her space.”
Perhaps in retaliation to the Jen and Ben news, Alex attended an awards ceremony with ex Cynthia and their kids last week, sharing snaps of his “family’s special night”. He also posted a quote, “The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know.”
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After his split from Jen, Ben went on to wed Pearl Harbour co-star, Jennifer Garner, 49, in 2005. However, the couple announced their separation shortly after their tenth wedding anniversary in June 2015.
Last year, the troubled Oscar winner described his divorce as his “biggest regret” as he admitted his long-standing alcohol addiction contributed to his marriage breakdown from the actress, with whom he shares daughters Violet, 15, and Seraphina, 12, and nine-year-old son, Samuel.
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And while pals say Jen’s spirits have been lifted by Ben – who is now sober – amid her heartbreak, they have also echoed Marc’s warnings, as they’re concerned her newfound friendship could backfire and leave her further heartbroken.
The source adds, “While those close to Jen can see how thrilled she is at getting back on good terms with Ben, they’ve warned her about how badly her feelings could get hurt.
“They feel that Ben is making her feel excited now, and she is clinging onto anything that lights her back up – even if that comes with a risk of getting hurt again.
“But Jen insists she knows what she’s doing. Even if they don’t end up back together for good, it’s been lovely having him support her when she needs it the most.”
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