Ben Affleck once asked Jennifer Lopez if media criticism bothered her but the pop star said she ‘expected this’

Ben Affleck said that Jennifer Lopez “expected” to receive negative media attention when they were initially dating in the early 2000s.

Affleck appears in Lopez’s new
documentary “Halftime,” and recalled that he was surprised by the criticism leveled at the actor and singer in the tabloids.

“I said to her once, ‘Doesn’t this bother you?'” Affleck said. “And she said, ‘I’m Latina. I’m a woman. I expected this. You just don’t expect it. You expect to be treated fairly.'”

Affleck and Lopez, who got engaged a second time earlier this year, first dated in 2002 after making the movie “Gigli.” The couple was dubbed “Bennifer” by the media, and speculation about their relationship was heavily featured in the tabloids.

Lopez told Rolling Stone earlier this year that the criticism from the media “destroyed” their relationship “from the inside out.”

This is not the first time Affleck has commented on his relationship with Lopez and media criticism in interviews. Last year, he spoke on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast and condemned the media treatment of Lopez.

“People were so fucking mean about her,” he said. “Sexist, racist, ugly, vicious shit was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now, you would literally be fired for saying those things you said. Now she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she’s accomplished, as well she fucking should be.”

In 2012, Affleck said that 2003 was one of the worst years of his life due to the media narrative about his relationship with Lopez and his movies failing.

He told Details magazine: “It’s hard to shake those sort of narratives. You were looking at that oneliner on me in 2003, which was definitely the annus horribilis of my life.”

In the “Halftime” documentary, Lopez also said that she almost “quit” showbusiness many times because of negative media attention about her body and personal life.

“I just had very low self-esteem,” She said. I really believed a lot of what they said, which is, I wasn’t any good. That I wasn’t a good singer, I wasn’t a good actress, I wasn’t a good dancer. I wasn’t good at anything. I just didn’t belong here. Why wouldn’t I just go away?”