Passionate — and very public — it’s the kiss that says Bennifer 2.0 is official: now bigger, bolder and hotter than ever.
And this time, they both vow, it’s ‘for ever’.
The gilded couple arrived on a £70 million private jet, before heading straight to a £110 million yacht for the celebrations — their fourth holiday together since they started dating again just 12 weeks ago.
So far they have had a stay in Montana, a break in a rented house in Miami and another in the Hamptons, before landing in Europe.
On Saturday, singer Jennifer Lopez celebrated her 52nd birthday aboard a super-yacht in St Tropez with boyfriend Ben Affleck, 48. A steamy picture posted to her Instagram account shows her and Affleck kissing like teenagers on the yacht’s deck
Their taste for luxury should come as no surprise given their first love affair, from 2002 to 2004, saw him pop the question with a pink diamond ring that is now thought to be worth £2 million.
However, with J.Lo boasting a net worth almost three times that of her beau — £290 million compared with his £109 million — it’s unknown who footed the bill for the trip.
Their first romance, sparked on the set of flop film Gigli, saw J.Lo recruit Affleck to star in the music video for her hit song Jenny From The Block in 2002, in which they were seen canoodling on a yacht with Affleck kissing her peachy rear.
Now, 19 years on, they’ve come full circle. The pair are said to be ‘obsessed’ with one another and are floating on a cloud of happiness.
‘Their relationship is very strong,’ says one source, while another adds: ‘Jen is elated and really trusts Ben.’
Indeed, J.Lo is so thrilled by the romance — rekindled after 17 years apart — that she has gone ‘Insta official’ with her beau.
A steamy picture posted to her Instagram account shows her and Affleck kissing like teenagers on the yacht’s deck.
And it’s no unplanned happy snap — it was taken by J.Lo’s official photographer.
The gilded couple arrived on a £70 million private jet, before heading straight to a £110 million yacht for the celebrations — their fourth holiday together since they started dating again just 12 weeks ago
There is certainly no hiding away, and no attempt to. On Saturday night ‘Bennifer’ — as fans nicknamed them first time round — were accompanied by a retinue of security guards and a now familiar coterie of paparazzi when they went out for dinner at the swanky L’Opera restaurant.
Multiple sources brief that they both regard their second chance as heaven-sent and hope that this time the romance works out.
They may even end up having the wedding they planned in 2003, but never went through with.
Two weeks ago, J.Lo said in an interview: ‘I’m super happy. I know people are always wondering: ‘How are you? What’s going on? Are you OK?’ This is it. I’ve never been better.’
An insider told People magazine the pair are ‘the love of each other’s life’, adding: ‘She’s wonderful for him. They want to do everything they can to make this work.
‘Even though their split many years ago was devastating for Jennifer, she has never had a bad word to say about Ben. She believes that it just wasn’t meant to be then and feels like they’ve been given a second chance.’
It seems there are some omens in their favour this time. Jennifer’s mother, Guadalupe, has always been fond of Affleck and the two of them ended up gambling together at the Wynn casino in Las Vegas last month when Affleck was in town filming.
‘Guadalupe loved Ben and was sad when they couldn’t work things out years ago,’ says a pal. ‘She is thrilled they are back together now.’
There is certainly no hiding away, and no attempt to. On Saturday night ‘Bennifer’ — as fans nicknamed them first time round — were accompanied by a retinue of security guards and a now familiar coterie of paparazzi when they went out for dinner at the swanky L’Opera restaurant
Meanwhile, friends of Affleck — who has openly struggled with addiction — say they are delighted by the romance, as teetotal Lopez is ‘good for him’.
It can also be revealed that his former wife Jennifer Garner, who supported him through two stints of rehab, is delighted as well.
‘Jennifer is very pleased for him. She wants only the best for him and for him to be happy, and it’s obvious that he’s in a good place now,’ the friend explains.
This is certainly forgiving of Garner, who married Affleck when he was on the rebound from J.Lo — their relationship having ended amid rumours she was furious at his increasingly wild party lifestyle. Garner and Affleck have three children together — Violet, 15, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, nine — and split messily in 2015.
It was alleged that Affleck had become involved with their children’s nanny, Christine Ouzounian, although Garner later said they had been ‘separated for months’ at that point.
Affleck then dated TV producer Lindsay Shookus and a 22-year-old Playboy model. In 2018, Garner turned up at his home with a Bible and a lawyer and took him to rehab.
In an interview last year, Affleck said: ‘People with compulsive behaviour, and I am one, have this kind of basic discomfort . . . that they’re trying to make go away.
‘You’re trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever. But that ends up making your life worse. Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can’t break.’
Their first romance, sparked on the set of flop film Gigli, saw J.Lo recruit Affleck to star in the music video for her hit song Jenny From The Block in 2002. Now, 19 years on, they’ve come full circle. The pair are said to be ‘obsessed’ with one another and are floating on a cloud of happiness.
In October 2019, he suffered a ‘lapse in sobriety’ at a charity ball, and ended up heading off to a casino with a blonde and buying $20,000 worth of poker chips.
Apparently, he was so drunk he could hardly sit up on his stool.
If this weekend’s pictures are anything to go by, those difficult times are well behind him.
J.Lo has also decisively moved on from her failed romance with baseball star ex-fiancé Alex Rodriguez, known as A-Rod, who was the subject of gossip about other women.
In her song Cambia El Paso, released two weeks ago, she sings in Spanish about moving on from an unworthy guy.
She told a radio interviewer: ‘The song is about change and not being afraid to take the step. If something’s not right, whatever it is in your life, just make that move and dance.’
Though, earlier in the year, A-Rod accompanied J.Lo to a film shoot in the Dominican Republic, by that point she had started exchanging friendly emails with Affleck, who was single after splitting from Bond actress Ana de Armas.
Gushing about how much he admired his former girlfriend, in March Affleck told an interviewer: ‘I thought I had a good work ethic, but I was completely humbled and blown away by what she was committed to doing day in and day out, the seriousness in which she took her work, the quiet and dedicated way she went about accomplishing her goals.
‘She remains the hardest-working person I’ve come across in this business. She has great talent, but she has worked very hard for her success.’
J.Lo announced her split from A-Rod on April 15 — and on April 30 she and Affleck were spotted in a car together in Los Angeles. At the Vax Live charity concert on May 2, she sang Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline — the anthem of Affleck’s beloved baseball team, the Boston Red Sox.
Earlier this month, an insider told U.S. Weekly: ‘The past few months have been a whirlwind. They’re aware some cynics will roll their eyes at the speed of it all, but it doesn’t faze them one iota. They’re fully committed to taking the next steps and spending the rest of their lives together.’