Jennifer Lopez has opened up about the emotional toll her first highly publicized romance with Ben Affleck took on them, admitting they both “have PTSD” from the experience.
In a new interview with Variety, Lopez shared that she and Affleck struggled with the intense media scrutiny of their relationship in the early 2000s, which ultimately led to them calling off their wedding in 2003 and splitting shortly after.
“We both have PTSD,” Lopez said. “But we’re older now. We’re wiser. We also know what’s important, what’s really important in life, and it’s not so much what other people think. It’s about being true to who you are.”
Lopez’s comments come ahead of the release of her new album “This Is Me…Now” in February, which serves as a follow-up to her 2002 album “This Is Me…Then” that was inspired by her and Affleck’s early romance. A companion film will also be released documenting their rekindled relationship.
Despite any lingering trauma, Lopez said she felt compelled to tell their story again through her art.
“As artists, we have to follow our heart and this is me following my heart and doing something that maybe everybody didn’t think was the best idea, but I had to do it,” she explained.
Lopez and Affleck, dubbed “Bennifer” by the media, have certainly weathered their share of scrutiny over the years. Their high-profile relationship in the early 2000s, including Affleck’s appearances in her music videos, dominated headlines.
Ultimately, the intense attention became too much and led to the demise of their relationship. Both Lopez and Affleck would go on to marry other people, have children, and get divorced prior to reconnecting in 2021.
The public fascination with their romance never fully faded, however, and was reignited with a vengeance when they got back together. Still, Lopez said she has no regrets.
“I think we are strong enough now to know what’s real and what’s not, whereas when we were younger maybe some of those outside voices were a little bit tougher for us to reconcile,” she told People magazine last year.
While Lopez acknowledges lingering effects from their first go-around in the spotlight, including PTSD, she seems confident their relationship will go the distance this time.
By boldly and unapologetically documenting their rekindled romance again through her music and film, Lopez is making it clear she refuses to hide or be ashamed simply because of other people’s opinions.
Only time will tell whether increased public scrutiny will impact “Bennifer 2.0.” But Lopez believes that their maturity, wisdom and commitment to being true to themselves will carry them through whatever comes next on their journey together.