Hollywood celebrity couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have split up, at least temporarily, after postponing their wedding over a media frenzy, People magazine reported on Sunday. Even so, reporters in Santa Barbara, Calif., remained on high alert, wary that the couple might secretly tie the knot.
PEOPLE MAGAZINE'S Web site quoted unidentified sources as saying Affleck decided he wanted out of the relationship, but it was not certain if the break-up will be permanent.
Representatives for the pair could not be reached for comment. People magazine reported that the representatives said they had no knowledge of the break-up.
The pair, who reportedly planned to wed on Sunday at an estate in the hills near Santa Barbara said in a joint statement last Wednesday that they had postponed the nuptials because of unwanted publicity.
Lopez, 33, and Affleck, 31, are currently America's hottest celebrity couple, but doubts were cast over their engagement when stories surfaced in tabloids and magazines last month about Affleck visiting a strip club without Lopez in July.
Lopez publicly shrugged off Affleck's night out.
The couple also suffered bad publicity when their first movie together, "Gigli," was panned by critics and flopped at the box office in the summer.
PRESS ON ALERT
Fueled by skepticism and paranoia, legions of camera crews, reporters and photographers remain dug in for the weekend, just in case the photogenic stars should try slipping away to the altar in disguise or under cover of darkness.
"Love conquers all, but usually it conquers it away from the cameras. So, one is left to speculate what's going on," said Brian Unger, anchorman for TV's syndicated celebrity show "Extra."
Or as columnist Barney Brantingham put it in the Santa Barbara News Press, trying to decipher the rumors has been "like listening to the Beatles' 'Strawberry Fields,' nothing is r-e-a-l."
Lopez and Affleck announced on Wednesday that the media frenzy had become too much and they were putting off their nuptials indefinitely.
Far from deflating public interest, however, the announcement only ratcheted up intrigue surrounding what had begun as a fairly routine media stakeout.
"They're not just two people," Unger said. "These are two industries merging here. Like Vivendi and NBC, Affleck and Lopez are merging, and I think everyone wants to see how that synergy's going to work."
"We're all staying up late at night, keeping one eye open," one newspaper reporter told Reuters after conducting a TV interview. "We'd love to just lay back and do nothing, but we don't want to be lulled into a false sense of security that there's nothing to do. ... We don't want to be duped by J.Lo."
File this away in the "who gives a fuck?" folder.
Why is this all over my TV? Why can I not visit any news site without hearing something about Ben and JLo? Who really gives a flying fuck?
Squee and I are going to run the gambit on entertainment this afternoon, it seems.
"We don't have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it." -Douglas Adams