'No one cares about' love with Ben Affleck

GOSSIP & RUMORS: ‘No one cares about’ love with Ben Affleck



Ben Affleck is Jennifer Lopez’s “Achilles heel.”

That’s why her former publicist, Rob Shuter, believes the singer’s first album in 10 years is a flop — “This Is Me…Now” debuted at a paltry No. 38 when it was released in February, before it quickly dropped off the Billboard 200 and sank without a ripple.

“Jennifer’s always been a marketing and PR genius but her biggest miscalculation here is that she thinks the world is still interested in Ben and Jennifer’s love story,” Shuter told The Post. “But no one cares about Bennifer anymore. The world has moved on.”

J. Lo’s former publicist Rob Shuter told The Post that Affleck is her “Achilles heel.” Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images
Despite adding three additional concerts in Miami, Toronto and New York in February, a number of dates on Lopez’s forthcoming tour were recently cut. MEGA

Not only has the album been a failure so far, but she’s had to cancel concerts.

A number of dates — including in Nashville, New Orleans and Houston — on Lopez’s tour, her first tour in five years, were cut this month with no explanation after Lopez previously announced three additional shows in Miami, Toronto and New York in February.

A source told The Post that the tour had added dates those dates due to popular demand.

A veteran music industry insider, who has worked with some of the biggest stars in music, told The Post: “If they’re canceling tour dates with someone at her level, it’s bad, very bad.”

“There are only a few people who can still draw the crowds after decades, like Springsteen or Madonna,” the music industry insider said.

And in what must be a painful blow, residents of The Bronx — where Lopez, 54, proudly grew up, as chronicled in her 2002 hit song “Jenny From the Block” — are viciously mocking a clip of her from the “The Is Me Now: A Love Story” companion movie, in which she lets down her hair and the gym and says the look reminds her of being “16 in The Bronx [and] running up and down the block.”

Lopez’s first album in 10 years, “This Is Me…Now” debuted at a paltry No. 38 when it was released in February, before it quickly dropped off the Billboard 200. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Lopez said she put $20 million of her own money into the passion project including the album “This Is Me …Now,” the star-studded Amazon Prime musical, “This Is Me…Now: A Love Story”, and a documentary. Courtesy of Prime
“Everybody thought I was crazy,” Lopez, 54, told Variety, admitting of using her own money to fund the passion project — including the movie “This Is Me … Now: A Love Story,” after a partner pulled out because they didn’t understand her vision. Courtesy of Prime

“Real Bronxite here, straight from South Bronx,” one user claimed in a TiTok video. “JLO, we did not run up and down the block looking like that. Even as a kid.”

“Jennifer hasn’t had a big hit since 2007’s ‘On the Floor.’ The younger generation isn’t really checking for her. Other than her diehard fans, no one was looking for a new J. Lo album, which she says herself in the documentary,” the source who knows Lopez’s family said. “The project was a complete misfire.”

Lopez has said she put $20 million of her own money into this passion project: the album, as well as a star-studded Amazon Prime musical of the same name and a Prime documentary, “The Greatest Love Story Never Told” — all unpacking her rollercoaster search for love, and rekindled romance with Affleck, who she finally wed in 2021, 18 years after their first engagement was called off.

“The mindset was, ‘Let’s create a Jennifer Lopez ecosystem that can push out into all the different worlds that she has traversed,” her manager/business partner Benny Medina told Billboard.

Bronx residents viciouslymocked a clip of her “The Is Me … Now: A Love Story” movie where J. Lo lets her hair down at the gym and says the look reminds her of being “16 in The Bronx [and] running up and down the block.” TikTok/@primevideo
Lopez has long embraced her “Jenny From the Block” Bronx girl image. Aaron P/bauergriffin.com

A source said that “Jennifer loves music and has created a beautifully written and produced album. There are some who only know her for her incredible work and career as an actor with her recent successes such as ‘The Mother,’ ‘Shotgun Wedding,’ ‘Hustlers’ and more. So coming back into a full album, is very exciting for her.”

The movie “This Is Me … Now: A Love Story” has received some positive reviews, including from The Post’s Johnny Oleksinski, who gave it three stars.

“Everybody thought I was crazy,” Lopez, 54, told Variety, admitting that she used her own money to fund the ambitious production after a partner pulled out because they didn’t understand her vision.

Lopez’s former publicist finds it “strange” that she would create a big project around her romance, given that she and Affleck broke up in 2003 over, in part, “media scrutiny.” Cobra Team / BACKGRID

The singer’s long-time producing partner, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, initially urged against it, telling Lopez: “Why are you sharing your story? It’s too personal. Stop it,” she told Variety.

“What we’re seeing is Jennifer not learning a lesson from the past,” said Shuter, who was Lopez’s publicist when she and Affleck were engaged during the early aughts.

“I wrote the breakup announcement with J. Lo on the phone,” he recalled. “She was devastated. One reason they both gave for the breakup was that Ben didn’t like all the media scrutiny. The fact that she’s gone back to the very behavior that was an issue for them in the past —  this big project with the album and the documentary all about their love — is strange.”

Lopez and Affleck married in 2021, 18 years after calling off their first engagement. EliotPress / MEGA

Bennifer 1.0 was a juggernaut. The two met on the set of the film “Gigli” in 2002, while she was still married to her second husband, dancer Cris Judd. After filming wrapped, Affleck took out a half-page advertisement in The Hollywood Reporter effusing what a great co-star she was: ”I only wish I were lucky enough to be in all your movies.”

Soon, Judd was out of the picture and Affleck and Lopez were a couple — and the biggest Hollywood story around, at a time when tabloid magazines like Star and Us Weekly ruled the newsstands.

Just three months into the relationship, J. Lo said yes to Affleck’s marriage proposal and a 6.1-carat pink diamond ring reportedly valued at $1.2 million.

Lopez and Affleck (here, filming the “Jenny From the Block” video) met on the set of the film “Gigli” in 2002, while she was still married to her second husband, dancer Cris Judd. 2002 RAMEY PHOTO AGENCY 310-828

Paparazzi hounded the couple, who played it up. Lopez included a song called “Dear Ben” on her 2002 album “This Is Me … Then.” He starred in the video for her “Jenny From the Block,” which featured the two cavorting on a yacht (his hand firmly, famously, grasping her bikini-clad buttocks) and dodging snap-happy photographers.

Then “Gigli” bombed. The next month, they postponed — then canceled — their September 2003 wedding, blaming “excessive media attention.”

Lopez admits in the “The Greatest Love Story Never Told” documentary: “We just crumbled under the pressure.” 

The two co-starred in the “Jenny From the Block” video in 2002 — in which she showed off her engagement ring. 2002 RAMEY PHOTO AGENCY 310-828

Yet there is also a scene in the doc in which Affleck looks startled to learn that Lopez has shared his very private love letters and poems with her co-songwriters for inspiration.

It was Affleck “who made me believe in myself. Maybe I’m setting myself up to be f–king criticized again I don’t know,” she says of their rekindled romance. “But this is what my heart’s telling me to do.”

It was also, apparently, telling her to share the story with the world.

Bennifer 2.0 attend the premiere of “This Is Me … Now: A Love Story.” FilmMagic
Lopez talks about the reason her first engagement to Affleck ended in 2003 in the “The Greatest Love Story Never Told” documentary, admitting: “We just crumbled under the pressure.” Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/MEGA

“When people are up that high, like Jennifer, and they take this kind of risk with their own money and it flops, it’s crushing on so many levels,” the music industry insider said.

Cyndi Lynott, SVP marketing at BMG, Lopez’s music distributor, said in a statement that the album was “the first step of an immediate strategy with a long-term goal as the incredible content to support the album continues to roll out” — mentioning the Amazon Original film, the documentary and the summer tour kicking off in Orlando on June 26.

“Jennifer knows she just at the beginning of this journey to share her music and project sharing it with her fans and beyond,” a source told The Post.

Sources said the album failure won’t get Lopez too down: “She’ll focus on moving forward.” Getty Images

And those close to Lopez believe she won’t crumble under pressure this time.

“She’s probably disappointed, but focusing on rehearsing for the tour and has started production on [music film adaptation] ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman.’ She has several film projects in the works. She’ll focus on moving forward,” the source who has known J. Lo’s family told The Post.

“Clearly she has a big ego. And I’m sure it’s bruised. But I don’t think she’s the type to be devastated over it,” the source said. “In her mind, we’re the problem, not her.”





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