The Untold Truth Of Jennifer Lopez's Sisters

The following article includes references to suicide.

Jennifer Lopez isn't the only star in her family. In fact, she's one of many celebrities who have successful siblings. What many don't know is that Jenny from the Block is actually one of three sisters and unlike her love life (which has seen many ups and downs), her bonds with Leslie and Lynda Lopez have always been unshakable. Even if Lynda once joked on Build Series that "when we were kids the two of them would beat up on me."

Showing just how strong their bond is, the "Love Don't Cost a Thing" singer celebrated National Sisters Day in 2020 by posting sweet throwback photos of the trio on Instagram (via Hello!), and as Lynda told HuffPost Live in 2014, she and J.Lo share an especially powerful connection. "I always felt like Jennifer was, despite the fact that we're less than two years apart, sort of a grown-up and adult and [...] somebody who, you know, I could lean on and who would take care of me," she gushed. Meanwhile, during an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002, Leslie told Jennifer — and the world — "You're just a great sister and we're very proud of you and we love you!"

So who are Leslie and Lynda Lopez? Below, we take a closer look at their lives, including Lynda's award-winning career in media and Leslie's headline-making family story. This is the untold truth of Jennifer Lopez's sisters.

Leslie and Lynda Lopez say their superstar sister is 'goofy'

Jennifer Lopez may be a music icon with a $400 million net worth, but Leslie and Lynda Lopez will forever think of her as their goofy middle sister. In 2002, The Oprah Winfrey Show surprised J.Lo by secretly interviewing older sister Leslie and younger sister Lynda. Although the pair admitted to regularly refusing to speak about their famous sibling, they made an exception for Oprah. "As a kid, Jen was the ringleader," Leslie began as her two young kids, Steven and Rebecca, stole the spotlight. "Anything that was concocted was usually [Jennifer's] idea," she continued, laughing, "She's a famous movie star to all of you, but not to me. She's still my sister. She's still my little pain in the butt sister."

Lynda shared a similar sentiment. Recalling the opening of J.Lo's since-defunct California restaurant, Madre's, the week before, the youngest Lopez sister remembered seeing all the screaming fans waiting for Jennifer and admitted, "I don't why it makes me laugh, I'm like 'All these people are here to see my goofball sister!' It's the only thought that goes through your head," she noted, explaining, "It's like, I can't believe these are people who are here to see, you know, Jen, my goofy sister who ran around in her underwear in our house when we were little!" A goofball and her BFF. As J.Lo told HuffPost Live in 2014, she and Lynda have "just always kind of been best friends in that way."

Leslie Lopez's youngest child spoke at TrevorLIVE

Leslie Lopez chose a life outside of the spotlight, teaching music at a Bronx charter school, according to Oprah Daily, but that all changed when her child shared an announcement that made headlines. Brendon Scholl came out as trans to the entire world when aunt Jennifer Lopez boasted about their accomplishments on Instagram in July 2017. "They were the one person selected to represent their school at #globalyoungleadersconference," the singer shared and, according to Page Six, was quickly praised for her use of the gender-neutral pronoun. 

In 2018, Scholl spoke at TrevorLIVE, an annual event hosted by the Trevor Project. That same year, the New York Post profiled them, with the 17-year-old (who came out to their parents three years earlier) telling the outlet, "I was so happy that other family members support my identity and support how I feel." But the journey wasn't easy. Mom Leslie called her youngest "strong," but confessed she was initially thrown off when a 14-year-old Scholl told her they wanted a binder instead of a bra. Leslie recalled asking "Don't you want to be a girl?" and being told "I'm not a girl, Mom." It wasn't until her child attempted suicide she realized the importance of talking openly. Sharing that "it took a couple of years" to accept the truth, she added that she now understands "they're still the same person — the core didn't change." She concluded, "I'm proud of them for being true to themselves."

One of Leslie Lopez's kids is the star of a short

In 2020, Brendon Scholl's life got the movie treatment with the release of a short titled Draw with me. Written and directed by Constantine Venetopoulos, the film spotlights Scholl's journey as a trans kid and the role art played in their self-expression. The idea for the project was sparked when Venetopoulos met Scholl while working with their mom, Leslie Lopez, on 2019's The Man in the Attic. (Leslie plays an opera singer in the film.) "It was friendship at first sight," the filmmaker told Variety, adding that Draw with me is "about telling Brendon's truth and letting trans youth know that they are not alone." As for why Scholl agreed to star in the short, they told the mag, "My mom has good taste and friends. The people she surrounds herself are good. I thought, 'If he's friends with my mom, then no problem,'" they explained.

Aunt Jennifer Lopez hyped the flick on Instagram in 2020, sharing a powerful clip in which Scholl, whom she now calls her "nibling," revealed, "It was in eighth grade when I finally felt comfortable with saying that I'm trans." Meanwhile, later in the preview, mom Leslie shares the realization she had to come to that "you're talking about your identity as a person. Sexual preference is who you go to bed with, and your identity is who you go to bed as."

Jennifer Lopez's little sister is an Emmy-winning journalist

Lynda Lopez's successful career more closely follows Jennifer Lopez's as the youngest Lopez girl chose a life in media. According to her Macmillan bio, Lynda started out as a VH-1 correspondent, went on to work as an anchor at Fox 5 and My9 in New York, wrote for several magazines, and contributed to ABC News and WCBS-TV. She and her WB 11 Morning News colleagues won the New York Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Morning News Program in 2001, and in 2006 she joined ABC Radio as host of GMA After Hours.

The bulk of Lynda's career, however, has been spent at WCBS NewsRadio 880 where she was a news anchor and special correspondent from 2009 to 2016, before leaving and coming back in January 2020. "I'm so excited to be returning to WCBS NewsRadio 880 as the midday news anchor and to continue my broadcast career in this great city," she said in a statement, adding that the station is a "trusted source for news and information and serves as a reliable home for its listeners, and I'm proud to once again be a part of it." Meanwhile, Susan Larkin, the Regional President and Market Manager of Entercom New York, which owns the station, enthused, "I am confident her breadth of experience and her skillset engaging audiences, as well as her established presence in this market, will enable her to thrive in this role and successfully keep New Yorkers informed daily."

Lynda Lopez is also an author, actor, and producer

In addition to her successful journalism career, Lynda Lopez's IMDb page reveals a handful of Hollywood gigs. Jennifer Lopez's younger sister executive produced Hustlers and a 2015 TV documentary series called Los Jets, produced a 2015 TV special called Neighborhood Sessions: Jennifer Lopez, narrated two short films in 1995; and she appeared as the voice of "Radio Reporter" in 2020's Apocalypse of Ice. But the side project she's most passionate about is writing and, in August 2020, Lynda became a published author with the release of a 240-page book titled AOC: The Fearless Rise and Powerful Resonance of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

According to publisher St. Martin's Press, AOC follows "in the vein of Notorious RBG" and brings together work from 17 contributors who "explore the multiple meanings of a young Latina politician who has already made history." The book was dubbed a must-read by the likes of CNN, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire and Lynda couldn't contain her excitement as she shared its release. Taking to Instagram, she gushed (via Hello!), "I can't believe this book is now a thing out in the world." She continued, "I was thrilled to be able to bring together all the powerful voices of these women (and a couple of amazing men!) to speak about the themes that are important to so many communities. Thank you to each and every one of you," she concluded. Sister J.Lo was also thrilled, sharing Lynda's post and writing, "So proud of my baby sister on her first book!"

Giving back is also important to Lynda Lopez

When Lynda Lopez isn't busy working, she's busy giving back. While Jennifer Lopez may be the face of The Lopez Family Foundation, Lynda is a proud co-founder of the not-for-profit which, according to its website, is "dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women and children [...] by dramatically increasing the availability of quality health care and health education for underserved mothers and their children everywhere." The organization has worked to expand the reach of telemedicine, has partnered with the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, and has reached out to communities in need in Puerto Rico and Panama. 

In March 2013, the two sisters also took on another charitable project when they joined the Global Mom Relay as co-chairs. The event, which kicked off on International Women's Day, was "a first-of-its-kind virtual relay with a goal of improving the lives of women and children around the globe," according to the United Nations Foundation. In the press release, Lynda shared why she wanted to be a part of it: "As a journalist, I know the power of the voice to inspire others and create change. As a mother, I also know the unique power of a mom and her voice to help her children, family, and community." Lynda also said the effort appealed to her because it made so "a mother anywhere can ... help improve the lives of women and children everywhere."

Jennifer Lopez is inspired by Lynda Lopez

In May 2008, People confirmed that Lynda Lopez and boyfriend Adam Goldfried were expecting their first child and that August, they welcomed daughter Lucie Wren Lopez-Goldfried. Sadly, the couple eventually broke up, but as Jennifer Lopez told Cosmopolitan (via Us Weekly) in 2013, Lynda fully embraced her newfound life as a single mom. "I just love and respect her so much," J.Lo gushed. "She's a single mom but not like I'm a single mom. I have a lot of help — she doesn't," the pop star shared. "I always ask, 'Do you need anything?' And she's like, 'I'm good.' But I know she's exhausted." Jennifer also hosts play dates (Lucie is close in age to twins Max and Emme), like in July 2020 when she took the kids to enjoy "socially distanced beach time."

Despite any hardships, Lynda calls herself a "lucky mom" in her Instagram bio and she wouldn't change a thing. In 2013, she told the Global Mom Relay that "being independent" is incredibly important and advised parents, "You don't need someone to dream big. Take care of yourself, do what you want, you don't need to worry about [if] anyone's out there for you — you're out there for you," she enthused, adding, "The best thing someone said to me was, 'You're doing okay.'" While things "may get overwhelming sometimes or feel very daunting" at times, all that matters is that "you know you're wanting to do the right thing and the good thing and the best thing all the time." 

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.