Jennifer Lopez addresses “self-destructive” romance with Ben Affleck

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Kayleigh Dray
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Jennifer Lopez has opened up about her “self-destructive” relationship with Ben Affleck, admitting she lost her “sense of self” after they called off their engagement in 2004.

The singer began dating Affleck shortly after meeting him on the set of their movie, Gigli, in 2002. They soon became a high-profile couple and later became engaged, but called off their wedding plans in January 2004.

Now, in a new interview with Vanity Fair, Lopez has explained that having her personal life thrust under the spotlight left her feeling “eviscerated” – an issue only compounded by the pressure she placed upon herself to “do something great all the time” .

Addressing the press she received while shooting Gigli, Lopez said: “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything. And my relationship [with Affleck] self-destructed in front of the entire world.”

The singer added: “It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Affleck. Sitting down for a 2008 interview on TV show Live, the Batman actor explained that becoming ‘Bennifer’ quickly became overwhelming for both parties involved.

“I think Jen and I made a mistake in that we fell in love, we were excited and maybe too accessible,” he said.

“I don’t think either of us anticipated the degree to which it would take on a world of its own.”

While Lopez admits she was riddled with self-doubt during the ‘Bennifer’ phase in her life, the successful singer and actor – not to mention one of Time magazine’s most influential Hispanic Americans – has said that she feels far more comfortable, in her body and herself, as a woman in her forties.

Speaking to W Magazine, JLo pointed out: “Men in their 20s are very confident and cocky, and women are super insecure. And then it flips – men get super insecure, and women get comfortable in their own skin, in a way that makes them more beautiful.

“I never appreciated my body or my looks when I was in my 20s. Now I’m like, ‘Look at me! Look at you!’ Not in a conceited or arrogant way – I just appreciate myself in a way I didn’t when I was that age.

“And it’s not about perfection. I like the scars that I have.”

After conquering the world of music, television and film (as well as her self-confessed fear of being alone), Lopez is now in a happy relationship with Alex Rodriguez – who insists that he sees the singer as a “role model”, as well as his equal.

“We are very much twins,” the baseball star explained to Vanity Fair. “We’re both Leos; we’re both from New York; we’re both Latino and about 20 other things.”

Lopez added: “I understand him in a way that I don’t think anyone else could, and he understands me in a way that no one else could ever,” she says. “In his 20s, he came into big success with the biggest baseball contract [at the time]. I had a No. 1 movie and a No. 1 album and made history.

“We both had ups and downs and challenges in our 30s, and by our 40s we’d both been through so much. And more importantly than anything, we had both done a lot of work on ourselves.”

Images: Gigli/Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.