Jennifer Lopez’s first husband is “not convinced” her marriage to Ben Affleck will last.
The Marry Me star tied the knot with the 49-year-old actor-and-director earlier this month, almost 20 years after their engagement ended for the first time, but Ojani Noa – who was married to the On the Floor singer from February 1997 to January 1998 – is sceptical about how strong their union will be.
He told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: “I wish her and Ben the best, but I’m not convinced it will last. Jen loves being in love but she’s been engaged six times. Ben is husband number four. I was husband number one and she told me I was the love of her life. When we lay in bed on our wedding night, she said we would be together for ever…
“I’m happy she has gone back to Ben but I have a feeling this won’t last.
“I think she’s someone who will be married seven or eight times. I can’t see her ever settling down with one person. She pushes herself to constantly go forward in her professional life, which is why she’s had a three-decade career, but she also moves on in her private life.”
Ojani was working as a waiter at Gloria Estefan’s Miami eatery Lario’s On the Beach when he first met Jennifer – who had appeared in movie Money Train and was busy filming Blood and Wine – but had no idea who she was and her life as a “megastar” eventually took a toll.
He recalled: “There were many times I felt like Mr Cinderella. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. In the beginning, I had no idea who she was.
“We fell in love when she was already famous. But during our marriage she became a megastar. For years it was too painful to talk about. I wanted to lie low and live my life. But when I saw she got married to Ben, who is a good guy, the feelings came flooding back.”
The pair first kissed at the Blood and Wine wrap party but Jennifer then flew back to Los Angeles, and the pair spent weeks talking over the phone before Ojani – who had illegally arrived in the US from Cuba when he was 15 years old – joined her at the premiere of the movie.
He recalled: “After the premiere we went back to her hotel. That was the first time we made love. It was perfect. She was perfect. We lay there afterwards and she said, “I want you to always be in my life. I love you.”
While the pair were smitten with one another, Ojani’s life was turned “upside down” when Jennifer landed the lead role in Selena, the movie which made the On the Floor singer a megastar.
He reflected: “She went from Jen to being J Lo, this big business bringing in millions. She had all these new people around her, all wanting to make money off her. I would call and an assistant would say, ‘Sorry, she’s not available.'”
But even after they married, things got worse in their relationship as photos of Jennifer with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs – who was producing her album – began to circulate and she told her spouse she “couldn’t” have children yet because it would damage her career.
He said: “I rang Jen and asked why she was going out with him on dates and she said, ‘It’s just business. This is what I’m being told I have to do.’ I was jealous and would scream, ‘But you are married!’
“We wanted kids, we discussed having kids. Then she told me she couldn’t have a baby because it would interfere with her career.”
And the personal trainer was encouraged to “fake it” when they travelled to Chicago in 1997 to film an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Ojani recalled: “Oprah knew we were having problems. I was sitting in the audience and thought Oprah would come to me because we had talked about it beforehand.
“Oprah said to Jen, ‘I hear you guys are having problems.’ With that beautiful face and that beautiful smile, Jen said, ‘No, everything is amazing’, or something like that.’
The couple eventually split and the Hustlers actress went on to publicly date Diddy, but she remained close to her first husband.
He said: “There were times she told me she wanted to get back together. In quiet moments she would say, ‘I need you in my life. I don’t want to lose you.’ “