Jennifer Lopez was seen in Italy earlier this week while Ben Affleck was photographed in LA with his kids, adding to the speculation that a divorce announcement is imminent.


We’ve been talking about this for a month now – whether or not Bennifer is over. So I’m not sure that her being in Italy makes that more of a certainty. Like, it was already looking bleak. But also, she’s been in Italy every summer, at least once, for years. Last year she was there, and she happened to be on her own, no Ben. You can see those photos and read those posts here and here. My point is that a trip to Italy, where JLo is concerned, at this time of year, isn’t out of the ordinary, nor necessarily indicative of a “broken heart, recovery from breakup” getaway. We already have the indications that we need: the fact that they haven’t been living together, they’re selling their marital property, and they’ve done nothing to dispel the noise. Then again…

Maybe she’s out of the country and it’s Friday and… well… best to be out of the country if you drop bad news…? F-cking hell, can I not enjoy my Friday gummy and my Friday pizza in peace?! 


Making headlines today is Ben’s appearance on Kevin Heart’s Peacock talk show, Hart to Heart. Ben mostly avoids talking about his marriage, and this was likely taped well before all the divorce gossip, but JLo does come up when he shares with Kevin what it’s like being married to her and how famous she is. Which, in better times, was actually a common talking point for him. He has, on many occasions, at business conferences and on podcasts (like the one he did with Matt Damon on Bill Simmons’s show) compared his level of fame to hers. And it’s almost like he’s a little starstruck too – a star struck by the star power of his star wife. Which is, to me, kind of the vibe of the story he’s telling to Kevin Hart – which you can read here at the Daily Beast in its full context. Which, by the way, includes a detail about his daughter Violet and her dry and creative sense of humour. She makes a joke about JLo being her stepmother. And this relates back to his point at the beginning – that his kids clown on him all the time. The clowning in this case relates to the fact that he is BEN AFFLECK, but even his children know that the woman he married is a way bigger deal than he is. 


The way this is being covered in entertainment media, however, is for the purposes of the presumed upcoming divorce and how uncomfortable Ben is with being one half of the heatscore that is Bennifer. Here’s Page Six’s take and they throw it in with another quote of his from the interview about how he “doesn’t like attention”, related to his facial expressions and why he looks so miserable all the time. 

Over the 20 years of this website, I have used this quote many times – and it comes from Gwyneth Paltrow, who said of Ben a long time ago that “Ben makes life tough for himself”. Ironically it was back in the fall of 2003, right after Bennifer called off their first wedding but before they broke up. 


Did he just end up going around in a big circle? 

How did we get back here, to the place where her fame and her comfort with the fame is the problem when that has remained unchanged, consistent, reliable even. It might have been excusable for him then but after alllll this time, how is this new for him… now? In the most f-cked up twist of the universe, her album titles have become his curse. 

That was him, then. 

This is him, now. 

The same!


Anyway, you know the most interesting part, to me, of the Kevin Hart interview with Ben is when they talk about money, early money, the first money they made when they hit it. I also feel like a lot of people don’t remember or even know how much buzz and hype that Ben and Matt were riding when they first hit. They were on the cover of the trades after they sold the Good Will Hunting screenplay for $650K. That just doesn’t happen anymore. And the way he tells the story, with Kevin’s reactions, is hilarious. Super entertaining gossip nostalgia. But also, in the context of celebrity studies and just how fame and finances can f-ck you up, it’s worth tucking this away in your notebook for reference. 


At the end, when both of them say they wouldn’t change a thing and would do it the same all over again? Yeah, you can say that because more money came in. So many others didn’t end up on the same ride. 


Join us over at The Squawk to talk about Ben. (app link here)