Jennifer Lopez's Ex-Boyfriend David Cruz Dead At 51

Jennifer Lopez's ex-boyfriend, David Cruz, who she dated for almost 10 years, died on March 21, 2020, TMZ reported. A spokesperson for the New York City Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that the death didn't have anything to do with coronavirus, revealing that Cruz passed away from heart disease at Mount Sinai West Hospital in Manhattan, according to Page Six.

Lopez and Cruz met as teenagers, when they were 15 and 16 respectively, per TMZ. They parted ways in the mid-90s, just as Lopez's entertainment career was about to blast off. Cruz later found love with his partner of 18 years, Isa.

In a statement to TMZ, Isa called Cruz "kind and loving," adding, "He never held on to anything and was always very open. He was a devoted father, he helped raise his step-son who is now in the Marines. He loved the Yankees and Knicks. He loved going to the theater with me. My favorite moment was family date night because it wasn't just special for me but for the kids as well. He always made sure to end things with an 'I love you.'"

Cruz was just 51 years old at the time of his death.

David Cruz and Jennifer Lopez shared a "lifetime" together

Jennifer Lopez, who grew up in the Bronx, dated David Cruz for nearly a decade before splitting in 1994, per Us Weekly. At the time, Lopez was mostly working as a backup dancer; she got her big break as a "Fly Girl" dancer on In Living Color in 1990. Although Lopez and Cruz broke up before she rose to her current level of ultra-fame, they did attend a few red carpets together.

After the split, though, Lopez retained a fondness for Cruz. In 2004, she said that Cruz "probably knows me better than anyone else," (via The Daily Mail). "I have many memories of David because nine years is like a lifetime," Lopez continued. She also shared that, due to their young ages, the pair "grew up together." The Grammy winner revealed, "He still lives in the neighborhood in the Bronx where we grew up and so does my grandmother. I see him whenever I go there to visit her. When we run into each other we keep in touch for a while through phone calls."

Lopez has had a number of high-profile partners since Cruz, including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Ben Affleck, and Marc Anthony, the father of her two children. She's been married three times, but it's interesting to note her relationship with Cruz outlasted her seven-year marriage to Anthony. The star is currently engaged to Alex Rodriguez.

As of this writing, Lopez has not commented publicly on Cruz's death.