On Sunday, a video was captured of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at Nobu Malibu engaging in what can only be described as couple behavior. They were at a dinner J.Lo’s sister Lynda Lopez’s birthday, and were joined by her kids, twins Max and Emme, and other Lopez family members. On Monday, Affleck had a very different family reunion. He joined ex Jennifer Garner and his kids for daughter Seraphina’s 6th grade graduation (see photos on HollywoodLife here) as videos of the night before made the rounds. With this family’s history with paparazzi, the awkwardness of the scenario may be the least of their concerns.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s three children Violet, age 15, Seraphina, age 12, and Samuel, age 9, have always lived within the public imagination even as their parents have done what they could to keep them out of the public eye. Garner in particular has worked alongside stars like Halle Berry to pass public safety laws restricting the access increasingly intrusive paparazzi have to their children, arguing that, while the public nature of her and now-ex Affleck’s lives by definition invited a certain scrutiny to which they resigned themselves, it ought not to extend to their children.
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This meditation on the nature of celebrity brings us, of course, to the current-day Bennifer frenzy: the sightings of newly-reunited Affleck and his other most important Jen, Jennifer Lopez, with whom he has been spotted holding hands, sharing clothes, and now kissing for the world to see. The keen interest in seeing this couple reunited has driven many fans to the edge of what they would typically consider nosy or intrusive behavior when it comes to their voracious appetite for anything — anything! — to do with Bennifer.
But Affleck is still living his day-to-day life that includes being a dad to three kids Garner has made it very clear she’d like to keep as far from the spotlight as humanly possible, still reeling from the feeding frenzy of attention that surrounded their family at the time of her and Affleck’s separation. While Lopez is no less concerned about her children’s privacy, she’s not quite as media-shy as Garner, which may be the first conversation Affleck needs to have with both women in his life.
It may be that Garner doesn’t care at all what Affleck and Lopez have written about them as long as their kids stay out of it, and as long as Affleck keeps showing up at graduations, birthdays, and everywhere else his kids want their dad. But Affleck’s back-to-back J.Lo date to day with Garner and the kids is a reminder that his (and our!) responsibilities haven’t changed, no matter how intoxicating Bennifer may be. It’s not 2001 all over again; these are families involved on all sides. And we’re going to have to use a little more caution.
Before you go, click here to see celebrities who fight hard to keep their partners and kids away from paparazzi.
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