A Timeline Of Jennifer Lopez's Husbands And Boyfriends Explained

Jennifer Lopez is a star multiple times over. The "In Living Color" alum earned notices for her acting and became one of Hollywood's biggest draws in movies like "Selena," "Out of Sight," "The Wedding Planner," "Maid in Manhattan," and "Hustlers." Then Lopez proved herself a formidable musician, embarking on a career as a pop singer and hitmaker behind hits like "If You Had My Love," "Jenny from the Block," and "I'm Real."

During her quick ascension to mega-stardom — and continued renown, fortune, and influence after she got famous — Lopez has always lived her life out loud, and in the public eye. Since the 1990s, she's enthralled a public that wants to know every last tantalizing detail of her personal life. She's engaged in a number of high-profile relationships, from hometown loves to multiple marriages to famous boyfriends to former fiancés to rumored romances. Here's a full accounting of the loves of Jennifer Lopez, from her first major roles up to the present.

Jennifer Lopez and David Cruz connected in high school

Before she emerged as both an over-the-title movie star and a pop music sensation, Jennifer Lopez broke out on television. She was a member of the Fly Girls, the "In Living Color" in-house dance troupe, and then starred in a few network TV series, including "South Central" and "Hotel Malibu." When attending her first Hollywood events and movie premieres, Lopez sometimes brought a date along, a man named David Cruz. According to TMZ, they first got together in their New York high school days in the mid-1980s — he was 16 and she was 15. The two stayed a couple for around 10 years, through school, the years immediately after, and into Lopez's breakthrough years in Hollywood. According to People, Cruz and Lopez split up right when the latter started landing starring roles in major movies.

Cruz moved on to a woman named Isa, with whom he was in a relationship for 18 years until his death in March 2020 from heart disease. Cruz was 51.

Ojani Noa was Jennifer Lopez's first husband

As Jennifer Lopez's star was on the rise, she connected with a waiter named Ojani Noa. According to The Mirror, they met at the high-end Miami restaurant (owned by pop superstar Gloria Estefan) where he was working. Lopez and Noa married in February 1997 (right around the time Lopez would ascend to the A-list with "Selena"), but it wouldn't last. In January 1998, the romance was over and the pair entered divorce proceedings.

The relationship was short-lived, but Noa apparently had a lot to say about his ex-wife. According to the AP (via East Bay Times), he allegedly planned to publish a tell-all book, but Lopez asked for and received a court order in 2007 preventing the project (which would have purportedly revealed explicit details about Lopez's sexual proclivities and some alleged extramarital affairs) from going forth. The book would have violated another settlement with Noa in which he agreed to never publicly disclose private details about their marriage, and in September 2007, a judge ruled that Noa pay Lopez $545,000, according to 19 News. Things got messy again when, as The Hollywood Reporter noted, Lopez "was sued for allegedly interfering with a film that would have told the story of her doomed marriage to Ojani Noa." In 2012, the suit was dismissed.

Jennifer Lopez and Puff Daddy were an 'it' couple

Sean Combs — known variously as Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy, and Sean Jean — was one of the most popular rappers around in the '90s, responsible for many smash hits of 1997, like "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" and "Been Around the World." In the video for the latter, he danced a sensual tango with Jennifer Lopez. Two years later, Lopez had emerged as a pop singer with a level of success on par with Combs', and when they reconnected and started a romance, they became music's biggest power couple.

J.Lo and Puffy's most famous public appearance is the one that had them running for their lives. In December 1999, per New York Magazine, the couple attended an album release party at a New York club and were on their way out when Combs accidentally pushed an attendee, who shoved back. The fight got worse and before long shots were fired. Three people were injured, and Combs and Lopez fled the scene in a vehicle with a gun in its trunk. Both were arrested and ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing. Nevertheless, according to ABC News, Combs confirmed through his publicist on February 14, 2001 — Valentine's Day — that he and Lopez had split up months earlier.

Cris Judd became Jennifer Lopez's second husband

"Love Don't Cost a Thing," the first single off Jennifer Lopez's second album "J.Lo," was a huge hit in 2000. The accompanying music video, which featured a scantily clad Lopez frolicking on a beach, earned the singer two MTV Video Music Awards nominations and it also brought her to her second husband. Cris Judd performed as one of Lopez's half-dozen tank top-clad male backup dancers in the clip, and the set of the video marked the jumping off point for their relationship, according to Hola! Less than a year later, in late September 2001, according to People, Lopez and Judd got married in a lavish, nondenominational ceremony in which the celebrant was Lopez's personal attorney.

Diamonds may be forever, but the marriage was not. According to People, Judd and Lopez separated nine months later. And in July 2002, the couple filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Judd continued to work as a dancer and choreographer, and he won his season of the reality show "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!"

The world went wild for Bennifer

There are many reasons why the pairing of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck caused the cultural stir that it did. Perhaps it was because in 2002 and 2003, Lopez was at the height of fame and success in both acting and music, and Affleck was huge, too. At the time, the Oscar-winning screenwriter and actor had just taken over as Jack Ryan in the "Jack Ryan" movies and was starring in the superhero movie "Daredevil."

While they made the case for opposites attracting, it wasn't destined to last this first time around. As People notes, the cultural obsession around their relationship meant that they were hounded by paparazzi and a constant topic in tabloids. That level of public pressure surrounding their personal lives took a serious toll on them. They got so far as planning a wedding in Santa Barbara but in September 2003, they announced that they were postponing it. "Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date," they said in a statement, noting that they were planning on decoy brides to dupe paparazzi. It all became too much and in January 2004, they split up. "I think different time different thing, who knows what could've happened, but there was a genuine love there," Lopez said of Affleck.

Marc Anthony was Jennifer Lopez's third husband

By 2004, Jennifer Lopez was at the top of the Latin pop movement, a style helped along by pioneers like Marc Anthony, the bestselling artist ever in the subgenre of Spanish-language romantic salsa, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. (He also had a couple of Latin pop-era smashes with "I Need to Know" and "You Sang to Me.") One musical superstar deserves another, it would seem. Per MTV News, the two met in 1998, backstage at Anthony's Broadway musical "The Capeman." They were just friends at first, and contributed to each other's projects — Lopez in Anthony's video "Contra La Corriente" and Anthony guesting on Lopez's 1999 track "No Me Ames." They dated briefly, but ultimately married other people: Lopez to Cris Judd, Anthony to Miss Universe Dayanara Torres. When both found themselves single by the end of 2003, they reconnected romantically. As MTV News noted, Anthony married Lopez in a small ceremony days after his divorce was official.

Then they were inseparable, professionally and personally. They performed at the Grammys together, recorded songs together, toured together, attended Barack Obama's presidential inauguration together, starred on American Idol together, and had some kids together — twins Emme Maribel and Maximillian David, in 2008. And three years after that, the couple announced that they would be ending their marriage.

Jennifer Lopez briefly dated dancer Casper Smart

Shortly after her marriage to Marc Anthony sputtered to its ignominious end in 2011, Lopez started up a romance with Casper Smart, one of her backup dancers. According to Smart in an interview with Univision's "Wake Up America" (via Hola!), he first met Lopez a year earlier, on the set of her video "Dance Again" but they didn't pursue a relationship until they were both available. "I was single, she was single," Smart said. "There was a connection. Neither of us thought it would be more than a fun time and suddenly we were spending time together, we enjoyed each other's company."

What ultimately doomed the relationship: age issues. Lopez is 18 years older than Smart, and apparently far more mature. "I was very young and selfish," he said in the aforementioned interview. "I thought I was ready for a relationship with a woman with kids and everything." Another fatal blow for the romance? According to People, Smart reportedly stepped out on Lopez.

A rumored 'dalliance' with Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy has ascended to some of the highest positions available in his field: He's performed in Broadway productions, served as a partner for numerous famous women over the course of a decade on "Dancing with the Stars," and he danced backup for Jennifer Lopez. And in 2014, there were rumblings that something might've been brewing between the two. After Lopez tweeted that she wasn't seeing anyone in June of that year, a source told Us Weekly they spotted Lopez and Chmerkovskiy apparently being "very flirty with each other" at a club. Naturally, gums started flapping. 

According to the New York Daily News, Chmerkovskiy and Lopez reportedly had a "dalliance," and a source told E! News that they were "talking a lot and she thinks he is great, but she is being very careful." 

Whatever did or did not happen, it sounds like all is well. As Chmerkovskiy said in the aforementioned New York Daily News story, "With the Jennifer thing, look, we're friends. This is it. This is where it ends, pretty much." He also noted that trying to have a relationship in the limelight is "difficult" due to "all these interferences" that come along with it. And when People asked him about Lopez later that year, he said, "Yes, she's great, I have fun. And while other names are out there ... I am not a scumbag."

Did Drake and Jennifer Lopez have a short-lived romance?

According to Entertainment Weekly, rumors were flying in late 2016 that Drake, just about the hottest thing in music in the 2010s, and perennially popular multi-hyphenate Jennifer Lopez, were a romantic item. Drake was seen at two Lopez concerts in Las Vegas, and a source told People that they were just friends. People's insider said that the relationship was all business and that they were literally just working on music stuff, but that did not quell the rumor mill. In January 2017, a source told Us Weekly that the two were "the real deal" and had "gotten very close fast," especially after Drake, learning that Lopez didn't go to her high school prom, arranged a winter-themed dance for her at a Los Angeles church, and had her crowned prom queen. Adding fuel to the fire? All of the oh-so-cozy Instagram photos the two took together. 

In February 2017, Us Weekly reported that things apparently fizzled for the two. And when Lopez appeared on "The Daily Show" that March (via HollywoodLife), she addressed where things stood: "Let me clear this up. I am not with Drake."

Drake alluded to the rumored romance on 2017 track "Free Smoke," where he raps, "I drunk text J-Lo / Old number, so it bounce back." He name-checked Lopez again on "Diplomatic Immunity": "2010 was when I lost my halo / 2017 I lost a J. Lo."

The end of A-Rod

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez crossed paths for the first time in Queens, New York, in 2005 at Shea Stadium. She was with then-husband Marc Anthony and told Sports Illustrated, "We shook hands, and it was this weird electricity for, like, three seconds... Three to five seconds of looking at somebody right in their eyes, and getting stuck."

It wasn't until 2017 that they got the chance to reconnect. Lopez told Ellen DeGeneres that they ran into each other at a California restaurant. "It's very simple. I was having lunch somewhere and I saw him as he passed by," Lopez explained, according to ET. "Afterwards I went outside and for some reason I felt like tapping him on the shoulder." There wasn't as much fanfare as we all would have liked. "He texted me, said, 'Let's go out to dinner,' and I said, 'OK,'" Lopez added. "We had a nice dinner." When DeGeneres teasingly asked if they went home together, Lopez replied, "Mama don't sleep over on the first date."

Things continued to blossom for the couple but J.Lo told Harper's Bazaar in 2018 that she wasn't in a rush to get married. Sure enough though, in March 2019, the duo became engaged in the Bahamas. Despite this apparent perfection, they broke up in March 2021 after some tension around possible infidelity on Rodriguez's part.

Bennifer strikes again

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez had stayed in touch since their breakup, occasionally offering the other some distanced praise. When Lopez was jilted by the Oscars for her role in "Hustlers," Affleck told The New York Times (via Us Weekly) that he was disappointed she didn't get the nom. "I keep in touch periodically with her and have a lot of respect for her," he continued. "How awesome is it that she had her biggest hit movie at 50? That's f**king baller."

After Lopez's split from Alex Rodriguez, she and Affleck reconciled and were spotted together in April 2021. Affleck was also hot off the heels of a breakup with Ana de Armas, so he and Lopez were ripe for another go at it. The couple was extra careful this time around. As Lopez said on "Today," "I think what we learned from the last time is that love, when you are lucky enough to find it, is so sacred and special and you have to hold a little bit of that privately and that's what we've learned."

Things took a serious turn in April 2022. Affleck proposed to Lopez while she was in the bath. In her newsletter, Lopez wrote (via People): "I was taken totally off guard and just looked in his eyes smiling and crying at the same time trying hard to get my head around the fact that after 20 years this was happening all over again." Love again.