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Hey Santa, what's happening with Bennifer?

If the infamous couple is still together, it really must be Christmas. By Ray Richmond
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

Well, here it is: Christmas week. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a little bit overwhelmed this year by a single burning question: Will Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck be together for the holidays?

This is no small issue. It seems as if every time I pick up a copy of the Star or the National Enquirer -- I don’t actually purchase them, I just read them while, you know, waiting in line -- there is a different story about Jen and Ben (I won’t stoop to referring to them as the collective “Bennifer”) and the apparent topsy-turvy state of their relationship.

You know how it is in the tabloid universe. The happy couple is supposedly up one minute, down the next, getting married, breaking up, getting engaged again, busting it off, talking about seeing other people, devoting themselves to one another again.

How does one get a truly accurate gauge on what’s really happening in this relationship? You’ve got to go to the source. And the closest I could get to Lopez and Affleck is their publicists. It would have to do.

A call to Affleck’s New York-based publicist, Ken Sunshine, shed little light on things, however.

“I’ll tell you the same thing that I tell the tabloids,” Sunshine said. “We never comment on Ben’s personal life. I will tell you that his new movie, ‘Paycheck,’ has been testing very well.”

Lopez’s publicist, Liza Burnett, was somewhat more helpful -- particularly in one area.

“First of all, it’s not ‘J.Lo,’ it’s Jennifer,” Burnett said. Perhaps that should merit a press release. And it means that maybe we should check in with the P. Diddy people to see what the story is there.

Burnett continued, “On the record, I will tell you that Jennifer and Ben are very happy and laying low.”

Oh, wait. So they’re still together?

“Yes,” she confirmed. Who says you can’t land great news nuggets during the holidays? “The reality is that they’re great and happy and just want to lead their lives,” she said.

Digging deeperAnd so why did they call off the wedding if they’re so happy? And did this mean that the natural disaster that was “Gigli” didn’t completely ruin their relationship after all? This was unfortunately where Burnett was forced to shut off the information spigot.

Lest I be forced to tell an incomplete picture, I kept digging. I found a source who would speak on the record as long as he/she was identified only as a “rep.”

“Here’s the reality: These are two incredibly gracious people who just want to be left alone,” the rep said. If this really were true, I wondered if maybe they had considered another line of work, like insurance sales or carpentry.

“They postponed their wedding because of the media feeding frenzy. It just got to be too insane. But they are very much together and happy as clams.”

This, naturally, begged the question of precisely how happy clams actually are, given that they are often captured and harvested and eaten and stuff. But I decided not to go there.

And what of all the tabloid hay made about the supposed tumultuous state of the Lopez-Affleck union -- the constant break-ups, the persistent make-ups, the ever-fluctuating nature of their love?

“Simply not true,” the rep insisted. “Nothing has changed. They both have a lot of movies coming out and can’t concern themselves with what everybody is saying or writing about them. But they are very much together and have been for way more than a year.”

And so there you have it, straight from something akin to the horse’s mouth. I think we can all feel more merry knowing that all is right in the Lopez-Affleck world -- until further notice.