Jennifer Lopez reflects on split with Ben Affleck 20 years ago: ‘Honestly, thought I was going to die’
In the early ’90s, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck had their relationship on the brink of breaking up. “He said, ‘I don’t expect you to be with me,’ I was crying in the car,” says Lopez in the new documentary “I Love the ’90s: The Best of Jennifer Lopez.”
She was dating Affleck for four years before they began dating again in 1994. “I remember the day I said, ‘I’m in love with you,’ he said, ‘I think you are, but you’re going to have to leave me right now,'” she recalls in the film, which premiered on Saturday (April 29).
Lopez, who was then 25 years old and living in New York City, was at her sister’s wedding when Affleck, then 34, proposed to her. “I said to him, ‘If you don’t take this step, then I think you’re crazy,'” Lopez says. “He said, ‘I think you’re really crazy because I’m going to lose my whole self and I won’t be you anymore. I won’t even have that feeling.’ And he was right. He turned me into a stranger. It was a very painful process. It was the beginning of a long journey that was just very, very painful.”
In the documentary, Lopez shares her memories of the final breakup and the pain of having to leave Affleck for a second time, which was over a nine-year relationship. For the film, she spoke with close friends about her time with the affable actor, who played her on two hit sitcoms: “How to be a Superstar” and “Friends.”
“I think when you’ve been with someone for nine years, your bond is so deep and there’s a trust there,” says her co-star, John Stamos (they played teenage lovers on “Friends” and served as parents on “The Big Bang Theory”). “I think that’s the only reason we have a good relationship now. We know each other and we respect each other and we care for each other. That has everything to do with a healthy relationship.”
Lopez has remained close with Affleck, who she says “loves being with me” and who was her first “friend” in Hollywood.
“When I think about what Ben and I are doing today,