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Ben Affleck Defends Ex Jennifer Lopez Against "Ugly, Vicious" Comments

In a new interview, the actor called out the press for "sexist, racist" coverage of the star.

Few celebrity couples generated as much tabloid fervor as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. The stars only dated for two years in the early '00s, and it hasn't been the only high-profile relationship for either of them. Still, fans and the press were captivated by "Bennifer" and paid attention to their every move. Not all of the attention was positive, however. And in a new interview, Affleck called out the "racist" and "sexist" comments that Lopez in particular faced while they were together. Read on for his thoughts, and for former couples who've stayed close, here are Celebrity Exes Who Are Best Friends Now.

Read the original article on Best Life.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez got together in 2002.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock

The actors met when they were cast opposite each other in the legendary bomb Gigli. The movie's poor box office performance and bleak critical reception became a part of their story. Affleck memorably appeared in Lopez's music video for "Jenny From the Block," and they also acted together in Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl. And for more recent bad films, check out The Worst Movie of 2020, According to Critics.

And they were done by 2004.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck leaving a hotel in 2003
Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images

Despite getting engaged just a few months after they started dating, Affleck and Lopez never tied the knot, canceling a planned wedding due to their lack of privacy. They ended up splitting in early 2004. Both of them have looked back on the relationship with some regret over how public it was.

"I think Jen and I made a mistake in that we fell in love, we were excited and maybe too accessible," Affleck said during a 2008 TV interview, as reported by Latina. "I don't think either of us anticipated the degree to which it would take on a world of its own."

In a 2017 Vanity Fair profile, Lopez said that it was "a two-year thing to pick [herself] up again" after their relationship "self-destructed in front of the entire world."

For more co-stars who pursued a romance offscreen, here are 15 Onscreen Couples You Totally Forgot Dated in Real Life.

Affleck has now revealed that he thought Lopez was unfairly judged by the press while they were dating.

Ben Affleck

Appearing on the Jan. 14 episode of The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast, Affleck spoke up for his ex, slamming the coverage she received.

"People were so f****** mean about her—sexist, racist," he said. "Ugly, vicious s*** was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now you would literally be fired for saying those things you said."

In 2021, Lopez is still a megastar, but, in Affleck's estimation, more esteemed than she was back then.

"Now it's like, she's lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished—as well she f****** should be!" he continued. "I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez's career and being who she is at 50 years old today." He also confirmed that the two are still friendly.

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Affleck also slammed reports that he seeks out tabloid attention.

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas Instagram selfie

The 48-year-old actor, whose relationship with 32-year-old Knives Out star Ana de Armas has also generated a lot of buzz, addressed the assumption that they actually arrange the paparazzi photoshoots of them walking their dog, getting coffee, or generally going about their day.

"Still, to this day, [some] will go, 'I see you out there in the paparazzi and the pictures!'" Affleck said. "It's like, 'Yes, I left my house and took out the trash.'"

He and de Armas have been among the more visible celebs during the coronavirus pandemic, but Affleck denies that it's on purpose.

"As if, if you leave your house, you're only doing so in the hope that you could be so lucky that you could end up as the sixth item in The Daily Mail," he scoffed. "It's absurd!"

For more star pairs with big age differences, here are 27 Celebrity Couples With Huge Age Gaps.

Sage Young
Sage Young is the Deputy Entertainment Editor at Best Life, expanding and honing our coverage in this vertical by managing a team of industry-obsessed writers. Read more
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