Ralph Fiennes was 'decoy' to distract from first Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez romance


Ralph Fiennes was used as a "decoy" to distract attention away from Jennifer Lopez's relationship with Ben Affleck in the early 2000s.
The 59-year-old actor claimed he was "set up" as he recalled going out for dinner with his 'Made In Manhattan' co-star while shooting the movie in June 2002 - a time when the 'On the Floor' hitmaker was in the process of divorcing Cris Judd and secretly dating Ben - and having their chaste goodbye kiss captured by a paparazzo.
Asked if he was a decoy for the pair's relationship on 'Watch What Happens Live', Ralph told host Andy Cohen: "I was, I was. Yeah, yeah, I was set up.
“I was asked out to dinner with J. Lo and her manager and her agent … We had a nice dinner, chatty chatty chatty. … [Afterward,] I think I was walking home, but [we gave each other a] peck on the cheek goodnight.”
But as they were saying goodbye, “a paparazzi — just one — pops out” and took a photo of Ralph and Jennifer.
He continued: "But somehow, the pictures were angled so that as she’s walking away, [it looks like] I’m walking after her. And I think it said the next day [in the New York] Post, ‘It’s Ralph!'”
The 'Harry Potter' actor doesn't bare a grudge towards the couple - who married this summer after rekindling their romance in 2021, 17 years after they split - and was happy when they reconciled.
He said: “My reaction [when I learned they got back together] was, ‘Good luck to them.' "
The 'Hustlers' actress recently said she and Ben didn't feel the need to be "real discreet" when they first got together, but the scrutiny they endured taught her a valuable lesson.
She said: “We were so young and so in love at that time, really very carefree, with no kids, no attachments.
“And we were just living our lives, being happy and out there. It didn’t feel like we needed to hide from anybody or be real discreet.
“We were just living out loud, and it turned out to really bite us. There was a lot underneath the surface there, people not wanting us to be together, people thinking I wasn’t the right person for him.
“I became very guarded because I realised that they will fillet you. I really wish I could say more. I used to be like that. I am like that. But I’ve also learned.”