All the flying rumors and conflicting reports over Ben Affleck’s night out at a strip club on July 17 (the same night NBC aired the lovey-dovey ”Dateline” interview with him and Jennifer Lopez) may culminate in a courtroom. Even as those close to him and to J. Lo deny that she’s called off their engagement over the incident, his publicist says the actor is considering suing the National Enquirer, which broke and continues to pursue the stripper story. ”The reports of drugs and alcohol use are just vicious. We are exploring legal options,” Affleck spokesman Ken Sunshine told E! on Wednesday.
Actually, the Enquirer didn’t state that Affleck — famously on the wagon after a rehab stint last year — took drugs or drank alcohol himself, only that booze and drugs were present throughout the evening. The Enquirer did allege, however, that Affleck had ”sex in the private back room” of Brandi’s Exotic Nightclub in Vancouver, where he’d stopped after a night of barhopping and heavy tipping ($50 a round). Fellow partiers reportedly included Tara Reid, Christian Slater, and Slater’s wife, Ryan Haddon. According to the Enquirer, two eyewitnesses said Affleck cheated with another stripper after the party moved on to Slater’s house. The Enquirer says the two have passed polygraph tests and challenged Affleck to take one as well.
This week’s Us Weekly quotes Haddon as saying, ”Ben did not cheat. He did not have sex with anyone. Ben was listening to music, hanging out, talking to people, that’s it,” though Haddon’s spokesperson told E! on Wednesday that Us had misquoted her. One of the strippers told the New York Post that Affleck drank only water and didn’t touch any of the girls.
As for J. Lo, who reportedly spent last weekend dancing with friends (and without her engagement ring) in Los Angeles while Affleck remained in Canada to wrap production on the movie ”Paycheck,” her side tells E! that it’s ”emphatically untrue” that she’s dumped him. A J. Lo associate told Reuters, ”They’re completely together. She knew he went to the strip club… and her attitude is: ‘What’s the big deal?’ Moving on.”
Lopez’s only comment came a week ago during an interview by her sister, New York radio personality Lynda Lopez. When Lynda asked what Jennifer thought of the Enquirer story, she answered, ”It sounds like Ben. He, uh, does tip a lot.”