Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck hid breakup for months, amid ‘Greatest Love Story Never Told’ release – New York Daily News

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck hid breakup for months, amid ‘Greatest Love Story Never Told’ release – New York Daily News

For months, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck tried their best “to put on a united front,” including during the release of her new album and “The Greatest Love Story Never Told,” the pop star’s Amazon Prime documentary that offered her side of her many failed romances and her belief that she had finally true love by rekindling her romance with Affleck after 20 years.

A new report by Page Six asserts that Lopez, 54, and Affleck, 51, broke up in March, “months” before the first reports began circulating that their marriage was in trouble and that he had moved out of their marital home.

According to Page Six sources, Lopez and Affleck have been apart since March, but they hid the spit because Affleck is “very protective of Jennifer.”

That is, Affleck might have wanted to protect Lopez when she was in the midst of a major career moment. In March, she had just released her album, “This is Me … Now,” along with a complementary musical film, “This is Me … Now: A Love Story” and “The Greatest Love Story Never Told” documentary, which followed her getting back together with Affleck and marrying him in 2022.

US actress Jennifer Lopez and actor Ben Affleck arrive for a special screening of
US actress Jennifer Lopez and actor Ben Affleck arrive for a special screening of “Marry Me” at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles, February 8, 2022. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Certainly, if the truth of Lopez and Affleck’s troubled relationship became known in March, it would undermine the happily-ever-after message of “The Greatest Love Story Never Told,” whose release date was February 27. The documentary explored the complicated production of the musical film, while exposing Lopez’s “ambitions, responsibilities and insecurities with a merciless but deeply rewarding rawness,” Variety reported.

In promoting the documentary, Lopez told USA Today that she had been “on this search for so long.” The singer and actor explained that the combination of the album, the musical film and the documentary “kind of closed the loop in a way.”

“It captures this moment to really say the things I want to say about love, and that is that true love does exist and some things are forever,” Lopez told USA Today, touting her relationship with Affleck. “Please don’t give up on that because that’s all that matters in life … love.”

In “The Greatest Love Story Never Told,” Lopez seemed to get candid about her much publicized habit of cycling through relationships, engagements and marriages. At one point in the documentary, Lopez acknowledged that people are probably wondering, “What is this girl’s (expletive) problem?

Critics on social media had a field day with the documentary, with the momentum to pick it apart building in March — around the same time that Page Six said she and Affleck had split. On TikTok especially, critics called her documentary “creative narcissism,” USA Today reported. They also pounced on Lopez’s “perceived callousness” and accused her of inauthenticity in her documentary and failed attempt at relatability.

Critics from Variety and other outlets generally gave the documentary positive reviews, but these reviews didn’t help Lopez with sales or reviews for her album. She also abruptly canceled her planned summer “This is Me … Now” tour amid reports of dismal ticket sales.

Rumors of the couple’s split actually didn’t break into the public until early May, after Affleck was noticeably absent from Lopez’s side at major red carpet events, including the Met Gala, which she co-chaired this year. Then, TMZ revealed that the “Argo” director and actor was moved out of their $60 million Beverly Hills mansion and moved into a $100,000-a-month rental in Brentwood, near the home of his ex-wife Jennifer Garner.

In light of the breakup news, fans and media outlets began viewing “The Greatest Love Story Never Told” in a new way. They scoured it for clues of conflict between the two and seized on some of its revelations as signs of trouble.

For example, Affleck, appearing as himself in the documentary, expressed trepidation about certain aspects of his wife’s process in putting together her ninth studio album and the accompanying musical film. He was concerned that she was self-financing the film and appeared miffed to learn that she shared a gift from him with her musical collaborators: A book holding a collection of all their correspondence since the beginning of their relationship.

The documentary also pointed to differences the couple had over the extent to which they should conduct their relationship in public. Affleck expressed his discomfort, saying that the intense media scrutiny they faced when they first dated from 2002 to 2004 was a factor in them splitting back then.

“Getting back together, I said, ‘Listen, one of the things I don’t want is a relationship on social media,’” he said. He also made it clear he didn’t like the way she made aspects of their private life public, calling these private moments “sacred.”

But Affleck also admitted, “Then I sort of realized it’s not a fair thing to ask. It’s sort of, like, you’re going to marry a boat captain and you go, ‘Well, I don’t want the water.’ We’re trying to learn to compromise.”

But it’s looking like they were unable to find ways to compromise on a number of issues. In May, Lopez  helped fuel the breakup rumors when she liked an Instagram post about unhealthy relationships.

“You can’t build a relationship with someone who is disconnected from themselves,” said the post.

But sources in the Affleck camp insisted to Page Six in May that he is the one who had “come to his senses.”

“He feels like the last two years was just a fever dream, and he’s come to his senses now and understands there is just no way this is going to work,” the source told Page Six.

Another report said that Affleck pressed for the divorce. “He’s looking forward to the next chapter,” a source told In Touch Weekly. “He wants a life with serenity and peace, and escaping this roller coaster will be a relief.” This source also said that Affleck, who has struggled in the past with alcohol addiction and repeated stints in rehab, is remaining “sober” and “healthy” amid the breakup.

But a music industry source told the Daily Mail in June that Lopez had reached her “wit’s end” with Affleck and no longer feels she can save the marriage.

“Ben is a great guy but he can be grumpy and a downer,” the source said. “He chain smokes and cusses and seems irritated a lot of the time. Great director and actor, but not a lot of laughs with him, you know?”

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