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    Ben Affleck Shared Some Thoughts On His And Jennifer Lopez's Breakup In 2004 And How The Media Contributed To It

    "The idea that...being together is poison and ugly and toxic and the thing none of us want to be part of."

    The early 2000s was a notoriously destructive time in celebrity-centric media coverage, one where hostile Hollywood gossip ran rampant and tabloids were influential enough to wreck someone's career. Ben Affleck said negative press hurt his personal life too and possibly his relationship with Jennifer Lopez.

    The couple on the red carpet of an event
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    Ben and Jen both surprised and delighted folks across the globe when they rekindled their romance earlier this year, following a hiatus that lasted almost two decades.

    Ben kissing Jen on the cheek at the premiere of The Last Duel
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    The couple was engaged between 2002 and 2004, but eventually called off the wedding plans before breaking up entirely.

    The couple at a red carpet event in the 2000s
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    Ben shared his thoughts on their revamped relationship in a few recent interviews, with his latest comments shedding a bit of light on how he and J.Lo navigated dating again in 2021.

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    He also spoke about their first relationship and acknowledged that the media played a role in its decline during the early aughts. While appearing on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show, Ben suggested that bad press "was about 50%" responsible for their split.

    The couple exiting a hotel
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    Ben is receiving a lot of criticism right now for different, viral remarks made to Howard Stern during their conversation. Looking back at his marriage to Jennifer Garner, the actor — who has talked openly about struggling with alcohol addiction — said he'd "probably still be drinking" if they hadn't divorced in 2018.

    "The idea that people hate you and they hate you together and that being together is poison and ugly and toxic and the thing none of us want to be part of," Ben explained in the radio show appearance, referencing news stories that peddled public disapproval of him and J.Lo 20 years ago.

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    "And 'Who the fuck would want to have them to dinner?'" he continued. "And 'What the fuck are they doing together?'"

    Ben and Jen at an NBA game
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    The actor additionally recalled Jennifer ending their engagement. "I got fucking hurt and angry and felt like a fool," said Ben.

    The couple hugging and smiling
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    The Last Duel star reflected on his and Jennifer's new relationship in an interview with the Wall Street Journal at the beginning of December.

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    "I am very lucky in my life in that I have benefited from second chances, and I am aware that other people don't even get first chances," he said. "I've had second chances in my career. I've had second chances as a human being."

    You can dive into Ben and Jennifer's 19-year relationship timeline here.