Ralph Fiennes reveals bizarre link to Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck

Ralph Fiennes has spoken about being used as a “relationship decoy” for Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck when they first started dating.

The British actor starred alongside Lopez in the 2002 romcom Maid in Manhattan, with filming taking place when she had just begun dating Affleck after meeting him on the set of Gigli.

Appearing on Watch What Happens Live on Tuesday (15 November), Fiennes was asked how he’d reacted to news that the pair were now married.

The Harry Potter star began explaining how he had covered for the pair, with host Andy Cohen responding with a look of shock: “Were you a decoy for their relationship?”

“I was,” Fiennes replied, jokingly adding: “I was set up.”

Cohen then asked if Lopez had suggested the move to make the film look good, to which Fiennes explained: “I was asked out to dinner [by] her two managers… at Cipriani’s in Soho. Nice dinner, chatty chatty chatty.

Lopez and Fiennes in 2002 (Getty Images)
Lopez and Fiennes in 2002 (Getty Images)

“I think I was walking home, peck on the cheek, ‘goodnight’, ‘goodnight’, go. A paparazzi, one, pops up, clunk clunk, just as we do the ‘goodnight’ chaste kiss. Somehow the pictures were angled so as she’s walking away, I’m walking after her.”

Laughing, he continued: “I think it said the next day on The Post, ‘It’s Ralph’ or something like that, ‘We know who it is.’”

Lopez and Affleck dated from 2002 to 2004, during which they got engaged but never married. They rekindled their romance in early 2021 and married in July.

Last week, Lopez defended her decision to legally change her name to Jennifer Affleck.

“People are still going to call me Jennifer Lopez,” she said. “But my legal name will be Mrs Affleck because we’re joined together. We’re husband and wife. I’m proud of that. I don’t think that’s a problem.”