I have been behind on everything this week because New York Magazine sent me to Stockholm to write about the first night of the Renaissance World Tour. You can read that piece here 👽✨
We are (nearly) one year and two on camera tiffs into the Bennifer marriage. It is, obviously, my favorite relationship ever.
They have their issues: The fifty-leven weddings. The J.Lo movie Mother, a movie that apparently exists and is somehow not a Julia Roberts biopic. Ben Affleck sulking at his wife’s work mixer (I would feel some type of way too if I had to be subjected to Trevor Noah’s standup). The latest is the car door slam heard round the world: After a pap walk, Ben Affleck appeared to slam the door on Jennifer Lopez this week.
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As quickly as I will shhh! the person next to me at the tiniest indicator of a couple fighting nearby on the street — and as much as Bennifer and divorce are damn near my two favorite things — this doesn’t look like a fight to me. This looks like Affleck, generally paparazzi-polite, losing patience with a photographer who’d already gotten a shot of them. In the full video he clearly addresses the pap: “I think you’ve got it.”
There are two types of Leos, in my experience as a lifelong Leo: the J.Lo varietal, who must be at the center of everything all the time, who is always doing too damn much, who will sing “Let’s Get Loud” at the damn inauguration, who will make a point of selling you makeup that she herself is not using. This leo is the center of attention, dammit, no matter what.
Then there is the Ben varietal who is pretty aw shucks-low maintenance except that this low maintenance (Dunkin’ Donuts) is actually extremely high maintenance (picky about coffee). “Ben Affleck doesn’t even try to do the most, but manages to still do it, all the time,” I wrote in July 2021. This leo is the center of attention in spite of themselves, a little bit because they can’t help themselves, because they slam a car door in such a way that it is too dramatic to ignore.
Speaking of this couple: Jennifer Garner was on the cover of Allure this month, and this line gagged me a bit: “The problem with, ‘Oh, she’s so nice’ is that when I have any kind of boundary, people think of it as much more than it actually is,” Garner said. “The problem is being recognized on a day where I’m not so nice or when I have blackness in my soul.” She said blackness in my soul. Not irritable, not frustrated, not even short with people or having an attitude — blackness in my soul. At that moment it clicked for me. What a J.Lo-ass line. You see how a man could have been in love with both of them.
Taylor Swift’s Rebound
A month after Taylor Swift terminated her relationship with the actor and inside seat-sitter Joe Alwyn — most etiquette rules are dumb but why are you as a man sitting in the inside seat? — her romance with 1975 frontman Matty Healy appears to be blossoming. Swift and Healy went on a double date with Margaret Qualley and her fiancé get him Jack Anton-OUT of the studio (legal name: Jack Antonoff).
Over Tree Paine’s 99% full inbox will this relationship turn into anything substantial. Healy is a walking liability — all that damn sloppy kissing! — and too already-famous to be properly absorbed into Swift’s orbit. Hung Up will continue to follow this developing situation.
Succession: Back at One
This is something for my fellow aunties … for my fellow women of a certain age … have you been following the Brian McKnight family drama?
Brian McKnight, the iconic R&B singer behind “Back at One,” is in the middle of his own Logan Roy-worthy succession drama. McKnight has two sets of children: his adult children from whom he is estranged, Brian McKnight Jr. and Briana McKnight, and his youngest child, a baby who is also named Brian McKnight Jr. Online, McKnight has referred to the baby as his “one true legacy,” and defended himself when the internet called him a deadbeat dad.
This is a real life “what if the child has bad vibes” moment: “I don’t live in the past,” McKnight says in that video, referring to the child he claims and the children he doesn’t. “I live in the present and the future.” McKnight’s parenting policy — and, by extension, his social media policy — is that “The children that I do not currently have relationships with, I don’t post about them. Instead, I post about the children with whom I do have relationships, with whom I am proud of, and about whom I want to share my pride in their accomplishments.”
His child count, according to him, is “Back At One.” (I am soooo sorry like it is such low hanging fruit I could not resist!)
People “obtained the birth certificate” of Rihanna and that man’s son: the baby’s name is RZA. Sorry but “obtaining” a birth certificate is so creepy to me. (People)
A thorough, exhaustive rundown of a truly exhausting couple: Reeves Wiedeman examines Alex and Hilaria Baldwin for Vulture. Mark my words: Hilaria will work tirelessly to be her Baldwinitos’ Kris Jenner in 15 years. (Vulture)
This should’ve been a push alert, the way it made me gasp: RHOA’s original Karen, Kim Zolciak filed for divorce from her husband Kroy Biermann. (Us Weekly)
Whitney Port is bragging about texting Leonardo DiCaprio once upon forever ago. (ET)
The Bear star Jeremy Allen White is getting a divorce, so:
That’s all this week! Thank you for reading, and bearing with me through a wildly busy week. In the last 160 hours I’ve been to: Jersey for a wedding, Stockholm to review the Beyoncé tour for New York Magazine, Kansas City to pick up a puppy, and Brooklyn to start her crate training.
I’ll be back in your inboxes later tonight for Succession. And happy Mother’s Day! Today is about her.
taylor swift’s rebound rebound should be jeremy allen white
I’m sorry but naming both of your sons “Brian McKnight Jr.” is absolutely WILD and I will never get over it.