Has Ben returned to Jen?
Like a screening of ”Gigli,” the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez saga never ends. The latest, according to TV’s ”Extra,” is that Affleck was spotted Tuesday boarding a private jet in Los Angeles, supposedly bound for Miami, where Lopez spent the weekend frolicking without her is-he-or-isn’t-he fiance and without her 6.1-carat engagement ring. In other words, ”Extra”’s source says, break-up talk is ”premature.” People magazine, however, is reporting that Affleck flew not to Florida but to Savannah, Ga., where the couple bought a vast estate in April. Still, a Lopez pal tells People a face-to-face meeting is on the agenda. ”They’re going to sit down and talk. They’ve spoken on the phone, but it’s different in person. They need to do it away from the glare of New York and Los Angeles.” Both ”Extra”’s and People’s sources say that, though Affleck and Lopez aborted their wedding plans four days before their scheduled Sept. 14 nuptials, neither side is ready to say the relationship is over.
One pal willing to go on the record is Kevin Smith, who directed the pair in ”Jersey Girl,” and who says he spent Wednesday night (hours after they announced the wedding was off) with the couple at their Los Angeles home, watching a movie together. ”It’s flat-out speculation,” Smith says on his website of the breakup reports. ”Read all those articles and you’ll find there’s not an ounce of legitimate corroboration.” Of course, Smith has been gushing about the couple’s chemistry in his upcoming movie since he filmed it a year ago, and it would certainly help his box office if Affleck and Lopez stay together. He says, ”I’m still giving them their wedding gifts. The s— I got them both is too cool not to give ’em just because they’re not getting married TODAY (not to mention, the gifts are unreturnable).”
Other reports, however, insist the couple is kaput. Us Weekly analyzes the split, blaming it on both parties. Affleck reportedly was leery of Lopez’s psychic/spiritual adviser, and his mom had supposedly warned him that life with J. Lo would be a media fishbowl. For Lopez, the final straw was not the stripper incident a few weeks ago (the magazine calls it a mere ”speed bump”) but his gambling binges; apparently, she felt he’d traded one addiction (to alcohol, for which he was treated last year) for another. Affleck himself noted, in a 1999 Playboy interview, that he has a tendency to sabotage his relationships in order to get out of them. Even Tim Affleck, the prospective bridegroom’s father, doesn’t know what’s going to happen. ”I couldn’t possibly tell you one way or the other what’s going through Jennifer’s mind or Ben’s mind,” he tells People.