Two degrees of Ben! Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck‘s ex-fiancée, dined with the cast and crew of Saturday Night Live — including his former flame Lindsay Shookus — in New York City on Tuesday, December 3.
The Hustlers star, 50, and her fiancé, Alex Rodriguez, went to the dinner at Italian restaurant Lattanzi Ristorante ahead of her Saturday Night Live hosting gig on Saturday, December 7, according to the Daily Mail. The couple were joined by 39-year-old Shookus, who is a producer on the sketch comedy series, SNL star Kate McKinnon and series creator and executive producer, Lorne Michaels.
Lopez and Affleck, 47, started dating on set of their 2002 film, Gigli, and became engaged later that year. Their highly publicized relationship — dubbed “Bennifer” in the press — ended in 2004 after they called off their engagement.
The “On the Floor” singer recalled in a 2017 Vanity Fair interview how the press she received while shooting Gigli impacted both herself and her relationship with Affleck.
“I was eviscerated,” Lopez said at the time. “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. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”
Affleck reflected on how his career declined after his break up with Lopez on Bill Simmons‘ Any Given Wednesday in 2016.
“If you went by what people said … I wasn’t cool and I wasn’t talented and I was, like, the lowest run of cool and talented that you could possibly be in the public consciousness at that time,” the Gone Girl star said. “I had broken up with Jennifer Lopez and I had, like, three or four movies in a row that had bombed.”
Affleck went on to marry Jennifer Garner in 2005 before their split in 2018. The former couple share daughters Violet, 14, and Seraphina, 10, and son Samuel, 7. The Argo director found love again with Shookus following his separation from Garner, 47. Affleck and Shookus went public with their relationship in July 2017 but broke up in August 2018.
The duo briefly reconciled in February before calling it quits a second time in April. A source told Us Weekly at the time that their bicoastal romance was hard to maintain.
“She has a kid and an ex-husband and a job in New York and Ben has his family and a job in L.A., and while they love and respect each other, they just realized it wasn’t going to work,” the insider revealed. “They really gave it another solid try.”
The source added that the duo “will always have love for each other.”
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Lopez, for her part, went on to marry Marc Anthony in 2004 before their split in 2011. The Second Act star and the Grammy winner, 51, share 11-year-old twins Emme and Max. She began dating Rodriguez, 44, in March 2017 — two years later the former professional baseball player popped the question during a romantic vacation in the Bahamas.
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