Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez generated plenty of headlines when they were Hollywood’s "It" couple from 2002 to 2004, and they’re doing so again now that they are single at the same time and rumors are swirling that they've reunited.
The year-and-a-half-long relationship that earned the couple the nickname "Bennifer" led to an engagement. They eventually canceled their wedding days in advance before later splitting for good. The pair also famously worked together as co-stars in the widely-panned film "Gigli."
And while Affleck and Lopez haven't publicly addressed their relationship status in 2021, Hollywood public relations experts are weighing in on how this could be a power move for the former power couple.
"Jennifer Lopez plays the dating field by her own set of rules," said Holly Baird, a veteran crisis public relations consultant.
"The PR strategy here would be to … ensure the most accurate and truthful information is being reported since both Ben and Jennifer have minor children — whether they are romantic or platonic.
"It was apparent when they dated, years ago, they had a special bond and a fantastic working relationship," Baird added. "This past year living through a pandemic has been difficult for everyone. I’m not surprised she has sought refuge with a trusted friend after a breakup."
Representatives for Affleck and Lopez declined to comment.
Some pointed out how a "Bennifer” reunion would be the ultimate storyline for celebrity-fueled news media.
That buzz is "why they should strive to shape the narrative as early and as much as possible,” said celebrity and crisis PR expert Evan Nierman, of Red Banyan.
“Framing their rekindled romance as expressing an authentic and deep connection that has survived the test of time would be a great way to play it," he said. "A winning PR strategy for Bennifer 2.0 would entail both of them showing and telling the story that they are two people who have loved and lost, but are now back where they belong, in each other’s arms.”
Others say that by staying quiet about reports of a recent getaway together, the celebs could be saying plenty.
"J.Lo does not need any special attention to get attention, she gets it just for being herself … nor do I know if J.Lo would go to Montana and spend a week with him just to help him with a PR project," Juda S. Engelmayer, president of HeraldPR, wrote in an email. "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and maybe they just wanted to spend time together and genuinely enjoy one another’s company."