- Celebrity News -This J Lo, A-Rod, Madison Thing... It's Just So Fun
On Friday, multiple news outlets reported that Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez had broken up, ending their four-year relationship. This came shortly after allegations that A-Rod had FaceTimed with Southern Charm’s Madison LeCroy. By Saturday, Alex made a statement to TMZ that these reports were “inaccurate,” and the couple was “working on some things.”
By Sunday, J Lo had made a TikTok referencing headlines about their breakup, seemingly calling the rumors “dumb.”
By Monday morning, A-Rod had flown to see Jenny in the Dominican Republic (where she's shooting a movie called ... Shotgun Wedding) and posted a vague sunrise photo with the caption, “Happy Monday. New week. New day. Onward. Upward.”
By Monday night, Madison had turned off commenting on her Instagram. By Tuesday, she was posting videos of her taking a shot out of a pink test tube on a tropical beach. (I swear to God, if she's in the DR...).
By Wednesday, J Lo posted about transgender rights; A-Rod is still posting vacation pics from the Dominican Republic; and Madison wanted everyone to see her photo of a horse on a beach.
Meanwhile, tabloids are swirling with “sources” fueling the rumor mill: J Lo and A-Rod's kids know, the kids don’t know, the wedding is off, they’re in therapy, and so forth.
It’s a roller coaster, and we can’t and won’t get off.
It gives one whiplash, but the fun kind of whiplash that's less about neck injuries and more about the potential to get a lot of attention for wearing a neck brace. We’re invested, and we’re obsessed. But why? They didn’t even have a fun nickname like “Bennifer!”
First, it’s rare that any “Bravolebrity” changes the course of real celebrity history. Sure, RHONY’s Dorinda Medley sold cashmere to Princess Di; yes, we’ve learned that Erika Jayne’s “weird neighbor” is Armie Hammer. But Madison LeCroy used her H (?) list fame and traded it up for a legit, Met Gala-attending, cologne-line-having, world-renowned athlete. Andy Cohen must be so grateful.
But let’s get back to basics. When it comes to Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, two main camps have emerged: the “Saw This Coming” (STC) camp and the “Dang, I Liked Them Together” (DILTT) camp. What’s great is that both of these camps are absolutely correct and valid.
The STCs – you know who you are – are likely avid gossip news followers. They knew about the early cheating rumors with A-Rod, saw the wedding postponements as a precursor, knew that Rodriguez cheated on his wife before J Lo, and knew that Jenny loves to choose a bad boy (i.e., Drake, Ben Affleck, and Diddy). Perhaps these cynics saw their romance as a business relationship geared at raising their Q scores and earning the label of “power couple.”
Or, as a few sage people on this internet have noted, J Lo and A-Rod are both Leos, a chaotic pairing.
The DILTT camp is also not wrong. Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez were a legitimately cute couple. He was her supportive plus one when she was nominated for a Golden Globe and performed at the Super Bowl last year and when she performed at the Inauguration this year. They were very serious about buying The Mets together last fall. Their blended family of four kids is picture-perfect. They share the cultural background of being Latin New Yorkers.
Even if you believe their love is long dead (fine), you have to admit that these two did an incredible job of building a fantasy for some of us to believe in.
But whether you’re DILTT, STC, or somewhere in the middle, the obsession is fueled because no matter what happens, it’s a win-win for everybody watching on the sidelines.
If reconciliation is a possible outcome, think of all the great tabloid moments to come: J Lo gets a new wedding dress designed for a fresh start; maybe they do a sit-down interview with Oprah about the positive effects of couples counseling; perhaps Madison! Madison! and Austen Kroll weep hand in hand knowing they've been uttered in the same sentence as J Lo and A-Rod; and hey, perhaps instead of buying The Mets, J-Rod purchases the rights to Maid in Manhattan and make it a smash Broadway musical. Who knows!
Plus, we all have that one friend who got back together with her boyfriend after a bad breakup, and somehow they’re married with three kids and own a vineyard. A successful reconciliation means a victory for every couple like that. Besides, A-Rod is visiting J Lo in the Dominican Republic right now, but think of the other overtures he’ll have to make to win her back. We all love a big, stupid romantic gesture, and Alex owes a few.
And for what it's worth, I think what the “stay together” crowd understands is that the stakes are highest here for A-Rod. For any athlete, the further they get from retirement, the fewer people remember who they are. Being almost married to Jennifer Lopez softened the dire need for a successful retirement career for Rodriguez. But now, that’s all in jeopardy.
Sure, Alex is a chairman of Presidente Beer and does commercials for Planters’ Peanuts, but his brand is him. And if A-Rod becomes known as “the man who cheated on J Lo,” his brand confidence goes way down. Following Tiger Woods’ 2009 cheating scandal, shareholders of companies that Tiger had sponsorships lost between $5 and $12 billion.
But, if A-Rod and J Lo breakup, we get a single Jennifer Lopez. And let me tell you, there is nothing better than single Jenny. She is one of the most resilient pop stars we’ve ever had as a culture. She always bounces back, and we never have to feel sorry for her confident ass. This doesn’t mean she’s not vulnerable.
In our heads, she’s her character in The Wedding Planner; though she hasn’t been lucky, she’s just one heel caught in a subway grate away from meeting the Matthew McConaughey of her/our dreams.
And let's not forget, states of trauma bring great art. Do you think a happily married J Lo would write the bone-chilling lyric, “All my pride is all I have / You'll be needing me but too bad/ The path you chose to run alone /Here with me you had a home”? I mean, I'm not sure who hurt her co-writers James Todd Smith, Makeba Riddick, Curtis Richardson, Ron G, Dave McPherson, Lisa Peters, and William Jeffrey but who's to say they weren't each traumatized by a relationship, too!
And listen, all I'm going to say here is that after a pandemic-long relationship with co-star Ana De Armas, Benjamin Affleck has also recently entered singlehood. If Bennifer 2.0 happns, do not blame me. It’s a possibility, and we have to face it head-on. A J Lo / A-Rod split could also mean seeing Alex date Madison and if A-Rod shows up to a barbecue hosted by Shepard Rose I'll scream.
I'll scream like I would on a roller coaster.
Feature Image: ARod/Instagram