Pop Culture

Jennifer Lopez Thought She Was “Going to Die” After First Breakup with Ben Affleck

After ending her engagement to Ben Affleck twenty years ago, Jennifer Lopez confessed that she wasn’t sure she was going to survive.

In a new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music, the pop star reminisced about the first time she and her now-husband almost walked down the aisle and the deep sadness she experienced afterwards. “It was so painful after we broke up,” she confided to 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.” She added that the decision, “sent me on a spiral for the next 18 years where I just couldn’t get it right. But now, 20 years later, it does have a happy ending. It has the most ‘would never happen in Hollywood’ ending.”

And now that Lopez has been reunited with her long lost love, she’s ready to put all those big feelings into her music, announcing on Friday that she will be releasing a new album titled This Is Me…Now, a riff off the name of her 2002 album This Is Me…Then. She told Lowe, “We captured me at this moment in time when I was reunited with the love of my life and we decided we were going to be together forever. The whole message of the album is, ‘This love exists. This is a real love.’” She added, “Now I think what the message of [the album] is—if you have, like me at times, lost hope, almost given up, don’t. True love does exist and some things do last forever and that’s real. I want to put that message out into the world and that does take a lot of vulnerability.”

This isn’t the first time the Grammy winner has opened up about just how heart-wrenching her breakup with Affleck was and how important their reunion has been to her life. In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2017, Lopez explained that she felt immense pressure to “do something great all the time” when she was just starting out in her career. So, when her film Gigli failed at the box office, “I was eviscerated,” she said. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything.” Plus, she added, “My relationship self-destructed in front of the entire world. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”

But Lopez added in an interview with Vogue earlier this month that she still never gave up hope. “I never shied away from the fact that for me, I always felt like there was a real love there, a true love there.” she said. “People in my life know that he was a very, very special person in my life. When we reconnected, those feelings, for me, were still very real.” Affleck added, “There is something innately, magically kind and good and full of love” at the core of who his wife is. He continued, “That’s exactly the person I remember from 20 years ago. Maybe she sees all the changes she’s made, whereas when I see her, mostly I just see someone who has retained, against the odds, the thing about her that always made her the most incredible to me: a heart that seems boundless with love. She is my idea of the kind of person I want to be.”

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