Affleck and Lopez go to New York City Hall. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets his wish for a ''date'' with J. Lo, while Ben watches

By Gary Susman
Updated October 28, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Jennifer Lopez: Mike Appleton / Splash News/ NewsCom

Jennifer Lopez returned to her native New York City on Monday, where she was seen cozying up to a rich, Boston-born guy who was not Ben Affleck. It was Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’d been joking since this summer that one of the perks of his office should be a date with J. Lo. She granted the mayor’s wish with an appearance at City Hall — with off-again/on-again fiancé Affleck in tow — to announce the formation of a commission to attract Latino entertainment and media events to the city, a group whose honorary chair will be La Lopez.

”For those of you who were wondering, I finally got my date with Jennifer Lopez,” the multimillionaire mayor said at the press conference in the Blue Room at City Hall. ”The Blue Room isn’t exactly One If By Land, Two If By Sea or some [other] romantic restaurant, but Ben’s here, and you take what you can get.” For her part, Lopez joked, ”I’m just here to get my name in the paper.” Of the flashing cameras at the event, she said, ”This is worse than the Oscars.”

Although her ”Gigli” costar stood off to the side and said nothing, Bennifer observers noted that Lopez was once again wearing the $1.2 million pink diamond engagement ring Affleck gave her. Despite having canceled their lavish September wedding at the last minute, the couple have appeared inseparable again in recent weeks, leading to rumors that the nuptials are still on. The latest issue of Us Weekly magazine reports that they’ll have a smaller-scale ceremony at Affleck’s Georgia estate before year’s end. (Affleck rep Ken Sunshine dismissed the claim as ”complete nonsense,” telling Us, ”I don’t even like to dignify these made-up stories.” Lopez’s rep told Us only that the couple hadn’t married yet, and that any wedding plans were a private matter between the two. We can only hope.