By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s relationship has returned to the headlines almost 20 years after their split.
The couple – christened ‘Bennifer’ by the media – got engaged in 2002 and were one of the most talked about couples in Hollywood before they broke up in 2004.
They had delayed their wedding in 2003 due to excessive media attention.
Chart-topping singer and award-winning actress Lopez, 51, later said the split from Batman actor Affleck, 48, was “probably my first big heartbreak”.
Fans have been reminiscing about their romance since Lopez announced her split from former professional baseball star Alex Rodriguez, 45, in April.
Following weeks of speculation about their relationship, the now-exes said in a statement: “We have realised we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so.
“We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects.
“We wish the best for each other and one another’s children.
“Out of respect for them, the only other comment we have to say is thank-you to everyone who has sent kind words and support.”
Affleck and Lopez were reportedly spotted together in Montana earlier this month and are said to have stayed at an exclusive resort.
The former couple are known to be on good terms and in April Affleck paid tribute to his ex-partner in a magazine profile dedicated to her career.
He told InStyle Lopez is “the hardest-working person I’ve come across in this business,” before praising her famously youthful appearance.
“Where are you keeping the fountain of youth?” Affleck asked. “Why do you look the same as you did in 2003 and it kind of looks like I’m in my 40s…at best?”
Lopez and Rodriguez first started dating in 2017 and announced their engagement in 2019 after he proposed in the Bahamas.
Rodriguez was filmed by a reporter in Miami, Florida, and asked about Lopez’s friendship with Oscar-winner Affleck, who is famously a supporter of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
“Go Yankees,” Rodriguez said, referencing the New York team for which he played.