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The biggest revelations from Jennifer Lopez's 'The Greatest Love Story Never Told’ documentary

From Ben Affleck sharing reservations about the film, to the singer crying about her lack of self love, these are the biggest moments in J.Lo's Amazon doc.
/ Source: TODAY

Jennifer Lopez shared her healing and self love journey with the release of her new album, “This Is Me... Now.”

To share an additional inside look at the last 20 years of her life and rekindled romance with husband Ben Affleck, the super star also released an accompanying visual film, “This Is Me...Now: A Love Story,” and the recently released documentary “The Greatest Love Story Never Told.”

In the Amazon Prime Video documentary, out now, Lopez begins by saying that she has been married four times, candidly stating, “I’m sure people watching from the outside were like, ‘What is this f------ girl’s problem?!’”

J.Lo is currently married to Ben Affleck. She was previously married to Marc Anthony (2004–2014), Cris Judd (2001–2003) and Ojani Noa (1997–1998).

Lopez says it was the result of her “compulsive behavior” and how she pretended like everything was OK after her failed marriages.

This is just one of many biggest revelations that the “Hustlers” star shares with viewers in “The Greatest Love Story Never Told.” Read on for what we learned.

Ben Affleck gave Jennifer Lopez a book filled with letters when they got back together

Lopez and Affleck first got engaged in 2002 and planned to get married in 2004. However, just three days before their wedding they called things off.

They eventually rekindled their relationship in 2021 and got married in 2022.

“Twenty years, I ago I fell in love with the love of my life and during that time I was making an album called 'This Is Me...Then,'" Lopez is heard telling a crowd in the documentary. "I hadn’t made an album since then. Eighteen years later, we got back together and I was very inspired.”

The inspiration also came from her “bible,” which was a book Affleck gave her on their first Christmas together.

“It is every letter and every email that we wrote to each other from 20 years ago to today,” she says, sharing that he titled it, “The Greatest Love Story Never Told by Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck 2001 to 2021... and Counting.”

Lopez placed the book in the studio and let her collaborators go through it for song inspiration — to Affleck's surprise.

Ben gets a nickname from Lopez's collaborators

Affleck appears shocked and surprised to find out that Lopez shared the book he gave her with everyone in the studio. When talking to the artists working with his wife, Affleck discovers that they gave him a nickname.

“I was like, ‘You’ve been showing all the musicians all these letters?’” Affleck says in the documentary. “And they were like, ‘Yeah, we call you Pen Affleck.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”

Ben had his reservations about Jennifer sharing their love story

Affleck recalls feeling some hesitation about Lopez being so open with their relationship in her work.

“I did really find the beauty and the poetry and the irony in the fact that it’s the greatest love story never told,” he tells the cameras. “And if you’re making a record about it, that seems kind of like telling it.”

In another scene, Affleck expresses how it was an adjustment for him to have her share their private life with the world.

“Jen was really inspired by this experience, which is how artists do their work," he says. "I certainly do the same things, but things that are private, I have always felt, are sacred and special because, in part, they’re private. So this was something of an adjustment for me.”

Ultimately, Affleck comes to terms with Lopez’s project after realizing that it's not all about it.

“I don’t really love being in the making of documentary about my personal life, which is why I’m so relieved that I’m not really, it seems like I might be in this, but I’m not really,” he says. “I was worrying for no reason. The movie wasn’t about me. It was about the ability to love yourself and that love story is a lot f------ harder to find than Prince Charming.”

Ben explains the compromises he had to make when they got back together

When rekindling their relationship 20 years later, Affleck shares that compromises had to be made.

“Getting back together, I said, ‘Listen, one of the things I don’t want is a relationship on social media,’” he says. “Then I sort of realized it’s not a fair thing to ask. It’s sort of like you’re going to marry a boat captain and (you’re like), ‘Well, I don’t like the water.’”

He added, “We’re just two people with, kind of, different approaches trying to learn to compromise.”

Affleck is heavily featured in the documentary, sharing sweet moments with Lopez while the cameras are rolling.

Aside from his special role in "A Love Story," it's also revealed that Affleck is the one interviewing Lopez in the documentary. Her husband is behind the camera when she is doing her sit-down interviews and wearing a black long-sleeve turtleneck shirt.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend the "This Is Me...Now: A Love Story" premiere at Dolby Theatre on Feb. 13, 2024 in Hollywood.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend the "This Is Me...Now: A Love Story" premiere at Dolby Theatre on Feb. 13, 2024 in Hollywood.Lionel Hahn / WireImage

Anthony Ramos turned down a role in Jennifer's project because he's friends with Marc Anthony

In the doc, Lopez reveals that the “In the Heights” star was offered the role of her significant other in the “Rebound” scene of “A Love Story.”

“He was going to do the ‘Rebound’ number with me, ‘The Glass House,’” she tells wardrobe supervisor Shawn “Beezy” Barton during rehearsals. “And he was like, ‘Ah, I’m friends with Marc.’”

Lopez was married to Marc Anthony from 2004 to 2014. The pair share 16-year-old twins Max and Emme.

The “Rebound” scene shows Lopez in an abusive relationship with a drunken partner. The singer, however, never specifically mentions who the song and scene is about.

Lopez is then seen on the phone talking to Ramos, explaining to him the meaning behind the scene.

“I didn’t know that you and Marc were, like, good friends. I didn’t know that. That’s nice,” she says. “He’s the father of my kids, obviously. I’m never going to do anything that’s going to really pinpoint him out.”

She assures Ramos that the scene “is very meta.”

“It is about, kind of, the 20-year journey between that last album and this album,” she explains over the phone. “A lot of things happened. There were a lot of relationships that I was in. That thing that you’re playing in it is representative of many relationships, not one specific relationship.”

While Ramos is not heard speaking to Lopez, she later tells Barton that he told her, “Yeah, I just think that people are going to think that... you know how the media is.’ I said, ‘But if we only did our art thinking about what the media’s going to say, what the f--- are we doing?’”

Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Jason Momoa and more were asked to appear in the film

Aside from Ramos turning down the offer to participate in “A Love Story,” the documentary reveals that Taylor Swift also said no to appearing in the film.

Jason Momoa, Jennifer Coolidge, Lizzo, Vanessa Hudgens, Ariana Grande and Snoop Dogg were also unavailable for cameos.

“I don’t want to force anybody to do this who doesn’t go, ‘This is gonna be fun,’” Lopez says, before telling her manager Benny Medina, “Nobody wants to say no to me, Benny. I get that. But when an actor doesn’t like a script, doesn’t think it’s good enough or is worried about it, that’s what they’ll say.”

Lopez also had wanted Khloe Kardashian to be a part of her project, but it didn't work out.

“People scared, scared to put themselves out there. I get it. Took me a long time,” she says. “I’m scared. I don’t act like I’m scared. That’s the secret to my whole f------ career.” 

Jennifer paid for the whole project herself

The documentary shows how Lopez had a deal to finance her film before things fell through. She didn't have anyone to finance the project, so she decided to put in $20 million of her own money.

“Making a movie with your own money is the most famous cardinal sin in Hollywood,” Affleck says in a voiceover.

Lopez’s producing partner Elaine Goldsmith Thomas explains that Lopez's decision to pay for it herself “was about investing in yourself, literally.”

Eventually, Amazon bought it for an undisclosed amount.

Jane Fonda tried to talk Jennifer out of sharing her and Ben's story

Jane Fonda, who makes a cameo in the film and documentary, advises Lopez not to share so much of her private life with Affleck.

Fonda, who co-starred with Lopez in the 2005 comedy “Monster-in-Law,” shares her concerns and tells Lopez that she feels protective over her relationship.

“I want you to know that I don’t entirely know why, but I feel invested in you and Ben, and I really, really, really want this to work,” Fonda tells Lopez over the phone. “However, this is my concern. Like, it feels too much like you’re trying to prove something instead of just living it. You know, every other photograph is the two of you kissing and the two of you hugging.”  

Lopez laughs and replies, “That’s just us living our life.”

In another confessional scene, Lopez shares how Fonda is “very protective of me and she felt like, you’re putting yourself out there to get beat up again.”

After confirming her involvement in “A Love Story,” Fonda is in the hair and makeup chair and once again tells Lopez how much she cares about her and Affleck.

“I get real scared, you know, with all that s--- about the Grammys and he looks unhappy and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, what’s happening?’” Fonda says.

Lopez replies, “Nothing! He was like, ‘I’ve become the symbol of the beleaguered man.’” Affleck would go on to poke fun at that moment in a 2024 Super Bowl ad.

Jennifer reveals she had a lack of self love

Throughout the documentary, Lopez is very candid about the heartbreak she experienced after she and Affleck called off their wedding.

“I feel like I lost the love of my life, I felt like I lost the best friend that I ever had,” she says, while also talking about her song “Broken Like Me.” “And I couldn’t talk (to him) for so many years and that was the hardest part.”

She shares during a vulnerable moment that she didn't "think much" of herself. Lopez also says that Affleck helped her love herself.

“What he says and what he saw in me, what he made me believe about myself, only comes from love, because nobody else could make me see that about myself,” Lopez says through tears. “It’s very moving. I didn’t think much of myself, and so the world didn’t think much of me.”