The Complete 20-Year Timeline of the Bennifer Saga

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It’s a Hollywood love story 20 years in the making. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez rekindled Bennifer over a week in Montana this May, now that the stars have realigned and they’re both single at the same time … again. Over less than two years, from 2002 to 2004, their glamorous romance fueled early-tabloid culture, set the standard for ship names, then fizzled out faster than it began. Within a year, they were married to Jennifer Garner and Marc Anthony, respectively, occupying celebrity news with other people. Now, they’re back to their old Y2K ways. Their 2021 reunion has inspired endless gossip (bless the “sources”), not to mention several essays devoted to our nearly two-decade-long cultural obsession with this perfectly odd couple. Sorry to everything Ben Affleck stands for, but no film could begin to encompass the daily drama (and hilarity) of his real life. Catch up on Bennifer with this timeline of their relationship across the ages.

‘Co-stars’ and ‘friends’

Early 2002: Pop star Jennifer Lopez and Hollywood golden boy Ben Affleck meet on the set of Gigli while Lopez is married to her second husband, Cris Judd. Where else does Ben Affleck meet any of his girlfriends at this point? Raya doesn’t exist yet.

April 2002: Affleck takes out a full-page ad in trade magazines to compliment J.Lo, which doesn’t exactly say “bestie vibes only.” “It has been nothing but an honor and a pleasure to work with you,” it reads, in part. “I only wish I were lucky enough to be in all your movies.” Signed: “With love, respect, and gratitude, Ben Affleck.”

July 24, 2002: “Co-stars” and “friends” Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are seen kissing and cuddling at a surprise-birthday party for the Leo superstar, one of the first events marking the start of their relationship with the tabloids.

July 26, 2002: J.Lo files for divorce from husband No. 2 after a month of separation (but that’s a story for a prequel timeline).

August 5, 2002: People magazine $75000 for nine photos of J.Lo and Ben Affleck riding in a Bentley convertible, including one where they “lip-lock.”

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