Here’s how J. Lo *really* felt after breaking up with now husband Ben Affleck the first time around

Jennifer Lope reveals she thought she was "going to die" after her "painful" breakup from Ben Affleck 20 years ago.

Bennifer
(Image credit: Kevin Winter / Staff / Getty Images)

In a new interview pegged to the release of her new album This Is Me... Now (which is a play on her 2002 work This is Me... Then), Jennifer Lopez opened up about her much talked about split from then-fiancé Ben Affleck about two decades ago.

"It was so painful after we broke up," said Jennifer, who recently disappeared from social media for this reason, to Apple Music 1 (opens in new tab) host Zane Lowe. "Once we called off that wedding 20 years ago, it was the biggest heartbreak of my life. I honestly felt like I was going to die."

The 53-year-old star went on to discuss how the split affected her life and career moving forward - and why her recent marriage to Ben Affleck actually changed her outlook on everything.

Jlo and Ben first dated in the 2000s

(Image credit: James Devaney/WireImage)

"[The breakup] sent me on a spiral for the next 18 years where I just couldn't get it right," said J. Lo. "But now, 20 years later, it does have a happy ending. It has the most 'would never happen in Hollywood' ending."

In the candid conversation, Jennifer also revealed that her 2002 album was influenced by her relationship with Ben (it even features a song inspired by him titled Dear Ben!). 

The couple got engaged that year, with Ben proposing to Jennifer with a $2.5 million Harry Winston 6.1-carat pink diamond ring. Just a year later, though, the wedding was postponed given the "excessive media attention" that was surrounding it. In 2004, the split was official.

"Twenty years ago, I fell in love with the love of my life," Jennifer said on the program.  "I was working on an album and it was called This Is Me … Then. It was all about capturing that moment in time."

However, post-split, given the heartbreak, Jennifer revealed that she "wouldn't even perform these records. It was so painful after we broke up."

J-Lo

(Image credit: Getty)

Fast-forward 18 years and Bennifer is now one of the most talked-about subjects in all of Hollywood, with the two celebrities getting back together in April of 2021 and officially getting married in July of 2022. 

The pretty surreal relationship isn’t lost on Jennifer, who tackled the subject head on in her latest interview, specifically saying noting how Hollywood figures would never imagine such an ending. "[It's a] 'that would never happen. We're not going to write that because nobody would believe it; ending," she said on Apple Music 1.

As for where they stand now that they're a bit older than they were the first time they got together, J. Lo suggests that maturity has brought with it a certain sense of freedom and certainty to the relationship. 

"I think now that we’re older, we realize it's much more clear, because even [then] when we felt that way, now we know," said the star. "Now, we know. And there [are] no questions and there is no kind of like, 'Well, let's see how this goes.' Like, 'Nope, it's me and you. That's it. All the way, till the end. That's it. It's going to be us."

As for her "redux" album, This Is Me… Now, which is set to debut some time in 2023, Jennifer revealed that it will include yet another track inspired by her now-husband - this one aptly titled Dear Ben *Pt. II.

Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.