Fans of Hollywood A-listers Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck can recall all the craze around their first affair. Although the couple was in love, the press scrutiny surrounding their relationship was too much for them to handle.
A rundown of their time together showed that the media was the third wheel from start to finish. They relentlessly followed the pair everywhere, even crashing movie sets, to get hot tidbits to headline the tabloids.
Facing such a dilemma, it’s not surprising that one of them tried to do something to bat away the attention.
Case in point, Ralph Fiennes once starred with Lopez in “Maid in Manhattan.” The media spotted them off the film’s set at a restaurant, which sparked rumors of dating. Fiennes later alleged that Lopez used him as a decoy from her real fling with Affleck.
Fiennes And Lopez’s Fake Relationship
When Lopez starred in “Maid in Manhattan,” the media was already making conjectures that the “Dance Again” singer was in a relationship with Affleck. They had followed the pair around for a while and could perceive something was going on.
However, while starring in the romantic thriller, Lopez and her co-star hung out, which stirred relationship rumors, making it difficult to tell who was Lopez’s actual romantic interest.
As per Pop Dirt, Fiennes disclosed that the speculations about him and Lopez were to divert the press from picking up the scent of Bennifer. He also joked that he was merely a beard for Lopez during that time.
“Later I said, ‘Jennifer, I’m a little jealous. We were having a thing– now it’s Ben. I was the decoy,'” Fiennes revealed. Despite the drama onset and offset, the English actor admitted that he thought highly of his co-star professionally and personally.
Ralph Fiennes Admired Jennifer Lopez
When rating all the pretty female entertainers in the American industry, Lopez is always on the list. The singer turned actress is in her early 50s and barely looks it. She has aged gracefully over the years, and her flawless skin, toned physique, and immense talents have garnered her the love of many.
Fiennes, who once gushed about his admiration for the Latin performer, is not left out.
“She’s got all kinds of appealing attributes,” Fiennes said to the Irish Examiner. “She’s an attractive woman and a great screen actress. I have to say that I was a little on the nervous side because I’ve never done light romantic comedy, but I found her very inspirational to work with onset. She has wonderful, natural ease.”
Fiennes also admitted that he enjoyed his intimate scenes with Lopez and would not mind reenacting those moments.
Squashed Dating Rumors
Coming off the back of her 2002 divorce from her ex-husband Chris Jude, Lopez was freshly single and available for a relationship. At that time, the buzz around the “Maid in Manhattan” actress was building, putting more spotlight on her.
Subsequently, Lopez and Fiennes were spotted hanging out at a restaurant, and a photo caught them embracing one another. It fueled the rumors that the pair had started a fling on the movie set.
Fiennes’ spokesperson dismissed the relationship speculations as balderdash without mincing her words. “Utter nonsense,” she claimed as per Entertainment Weekly. “I assume they were just saying goodbye.”
The news outlet also wrote about Fiennes’ romantic tangle with actor Francesca Annis, which made the stories linking him to Lopez’s more confusing. Eventually, the “On The Floor” singer also came out to deny the reports.
Lopez Denied The Stories Linking Her To Fiennes
In 2002, Lopez was in her prime as an actor, singer, and dancer. Candidly, she was the rave of the moment, and every time she hung out with a colleague, there were always rumors linking her to the person.
According to Pop Dirt, Lopez found the speculations about her and Fiennes as ridiculous, saying she opts out of getting personal with her co-stars.
“I’ve done a lot of movies, and I have not gotten involved with one of my co-stars,” Lopez said before bringing up Affleck. “Even during Gigli, Ben and I just worked together. I don’t have any trouble keeping it professional. Ralph is obviously a very handsome and appealing man, but I didn’t touch it.”
Although Lopez claimed she doesn’t get involved with colleagues onset, relationships seem to be allowed after filming. Sooner than later, she and Affleck informed the public that they were romantically involved.