Inside Jennifer Lopez's Previous Marriage To Cris Judd

Jennifer Lopez shot to superstardom in 1997 when she took on the starring role in the film "Selena". The role catapulted her into a household name and helped her launch a successful film and music career. After solidifying herself as a Hollywood triple threat, she quickly became an A-list star with her name constantly in the headlines. One element of Lopez's life that has always caused a stir is her love life. Fans and media outlets have always paid close attention to the men in her life, which resulted in every relationship of hers becoming high-profile. 

In 2000, the "Let's Get Loud" singer already had a divorce and a high-profile fling with P. Diddy under her belt. Those messy breakups didn't deter her away from pursuing true love. After that heartbreak, she quickly started a whirlwind romance with backup dancer ​​Cris Judd. Though the marriage didn't exactly have a fairytale ending, their relationship is still one that's frequently talked about due to the early '00s nostalgia. Let's take a walk down memory lane with this short-lived marriage. 

Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd met on the set of her music video

If you're a Hollywood star as big as Jennifer Lopez, finding love is never easy. In 2000, the singer and actress had a high-profile breakup with P. Diddy and probably wasn't looking to land in another messy romance. However, in typical Hollywood fashion, she stumbled upon love during filming. While shooting a music video for her smash-hit "Love Don't Cost a Thing," an attractive and talented backup dancer caught her eye. Cris Judd danced alongside the star in one scene and in between takes the two sparked an immediate connection. 

"When Jennifer walks in, I shake her hand and we kinda look at each other — and in my head, I'm like, 'Oh my God, I'm going to marry this woman,'" Judd recounted on Oprah Winfrey's "Where Are They Now?" (via YouTube). For Judd, it was love at first sight, and for Lopez, it was a chance to mend a broken heart three months after the breakup with P. Diddy. 

"Coming out of a torrid relationship, I meet this sweet person who's so refreshing," she gushed at the time to Vibe Magazine (via Entertainment Weekly). Despite Lopez's megastardom, the early stages of this relationship were kept under wraps. The two arrived and left a few restaurants separately so they were able to quietly date without tipping off the paparazzi.

Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd made their first appearance at the Oscars

In March 2001, Jennifer Lopez was ready to introduce the new man in her life to the world — and what better place to do that than on a red carpet? After secretly dating Judd for some time, Lopez felt it was time for them to make a big splash on Hollywood's biggest night. The actress was invited to the Oscars to present the award for Best Song and brought none other than Cris Judd along to make their official debut on the Oscars red carpet. 

Judd, who had spent his career dancing in the background for others, had his first taste of life in the spotlight. "I've never seen so many people concentrated in one place, especially cameras," Judd said of the red carpet experience on Oprah Winfrey's "Where Are They Now?" (via YouTube). "I knew she was there to do a job, and so I was just that guy who was just by her side." With him as her plus-one, the stunning couple caught the eyes of fans everywhere. Later that night, the couple made an appearance at the famous Vanity Fair afterparty.

Cris quickly popped the question

Two months after making their debut as a couple at the 2001 Oscars red carpet, Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd made headlines with news of their engagement. Judd reportedly got on one knee and proposed to his lady at a private barbeque in Los Angeles, per Hello! The star of course said yes, and the two were spotted ring shopping the following day at a Santa Monica jeweler. It wasn't long before Lopez emerged wearing an emerald-cut ring worth an estimated six figures on her finger.

The jaw-dropping rock and hefty price tag proved that "The Wedding Planner" actress was on the verge of walking down the aisle yet again. The press soon caught wind of their plans in August when invitations for their secret engagement party were leaked. With hints that a lavish wedding was coming soon, the media began the official countdown for the ceremony and hoped for exclusive photos of the bride and groom's big day. 

Their high-profile wedding needed extra security

When news broke in June 2001 of Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd's engagement, many suspected it would take some time for the star to carve out time for a lavish wedding. At that time, Lopez was starring in blockbuster films and releasing chart-topping albums. With a jam-packed schedule, it shocked everyone that she and Judd pulled off a wedding in less than three months after getting engaged. The couple got married in September of that year at a ceremony with over 170 guests. The short turnaround time and the media frenzy during the lead-up to the wedding didn't deter them from pulling it off. 

"I had one of my friends fly in for my wedding," Judd recalled on Oprah Winfrey's "Where Are They Now?" (via YouTube). "And I'm like, 'You see that car, that car, this car, that car, that car? They're all following me.'" Dealing with paparazzi was new to Judd, who had never been linked to a star of Lopez's magnitude. "It's dangerous. It sucks. It's not fun, it's very intrusive," he explained. "And who would want that? No one wants that." In an effort to maintain some sort of privacy, the couple beefed up on security for their special day. 

According to People, the couple had invitations hand-delivered to guests the day before the wedding. They also had guests go through two security checkpoints before taking them to a secret location. It included a metal detector to confiscate phones and cameras.

They had their honeymoon in Italy

When your wife is a huge A-list star, your honeymoon should be nothing short of luxurious. After tying the knot in September 2001, Cris Judd and Jennifer Lopez headed out for their dream honeymoon in Italy. The couple spent their honeymoon in a villa in Lake Como owned by none other than Donatella Versace. The legendary designer — who was the mastermind behind Lopez's iconic Grammy dress — even held a party in honor of the two. The glamorous event included over 3,000 roses, 1,000 golden candles, and of course, endless champagne. "I want to make sure Jennifer and Cris feel like they are in paradise," the designer explained (via Hello!).

In between the honeymoon and the party, the couple dropped by Milan fashion week to show their support for their close friend and famous hostess. "She has been very generous to say we could come and stay with her," Lopez told the press (via Hello!). "We just couldn't turn it down." Versace was more than happy to give Lopez and her new husband the royal treatment, in fact, they aren't the only couple she lent the famous villa to. "Our house here has a tradition of newlywed guests. Madonna and her husband were here, as were Sting and his wife," she explained. While in the villa, they were joined by Lopez's manager Benny Medina, who served as the best man at their wedding and the official third wheel on their honeymoon.

They quietly split and Jennifer filed for divorce

In June 2002, rumors began to swirl hinting that the honeymoon phase in Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd's marriage was over. The Associated Press confirmed that the couple split after just nine months of marriage (via People). The report indicated that the two weren't ready to divorce just yet, but amicably decided to split. The news confused many of the singer's fans and close friends. "I spoke to her two days ago, and she sounded great," an anonymous friend of Lopez told CNN at the time. Judd's father even told the outlet that he saw zero signs of trouble in paradise. 

While Lopez sounded fine, Judd on the other hand was reportedly devastated. "He wanted this to work," said a source. "I'm sure he thought it would last. Marriage is a very sacred thing to him. He didn't take it lightly or he wouldn't have done it." A month later, Lopez officially filed for divorce and cited "irreconcilable differences" as the cause, per People. "The resolution was extremely amicable ... The two will remain friends," their lawyers said in a statement. 

As the world was buzzing over their divorce, Judd remained silent in the media, turning down multiple interview requests. "Naturally, everyone wants to know the dirt about your marriage ... and what went wrong, and I never wanted to do that because that's no one's business," he said in 2013 on Oprah Winfrey's "Where Are They Now?" (via YouTube).

Judd's family blamed Ben Affleck for the breakup

Despite statements from Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd describing their divorce as amicable, things soon got messy. Their split coincided with the film "Gigli" starring Lopez and Ben Affleck. Rumors began swirling that the two hooked up during filming while Lopez was still married to Judd. The cheating allegations got worse when Judd's father made explosive accusations in an interview with New York Daily News. "She jumped in with the worst person she could possibly be with," Judd's father said. He claimed Lopez was infatuated with her "Gigli" co-star while filming and Affleck pursued her despite her marital status. "I thought Mr. Affleck would honor a married woman and not just go right into the trailer," he said. 

Despite Lopez denying any relationship with Affleck prior to her separation, Judd's father wasn't buying it. "She'd be happier if she'd just tell the truth," he said. Lopez continued to deny that there was any cheating involved while married. In an interview with Reader's Digest in 2003, she explained that despite issues in her marriage she remained faithful. "I'm a very faithful person. If somebody had told me, 'Ben's attracted to you', I would have said, 'No, I wasn't raised that way" (via Entertainment Weekly). Judd himself did not comment on his wife's alleged cheating. In fact, he was upset with his father's interview and didn't speak to him for a year.

She got engaged to Ben Affleck before their divorce was finalized

Jennifer Lopez knows how to sing, dance, and act. She also knows how to handle breakups with ease. Instead of wallowing in heartbreak, the "Jenny From the Block" singer always manages to find new love. Despite being in the middle of a divorce from Cris Judd and denying for months that she was dating Ben Affleck, Lopez announced she was engaged to him in November 2002. 

A coy Lopez confirmed their engagement to Diane Sawyer and showed off the massive rock on her finger (via YouTube). "It was very, very beautiful," she said of the proposal. The infamous engagement ring was a 6.1-carat Harry Winston pink diamond worth an estimated $1.2 million. The actress confirmed the two were in love and spoke highly about her new fiancé. "I'd probably say that he is brilliantly smart, loving, charming, affectionate," Lopez gushed. "And I just admire him in every way. I respect him. I feel like he teaches me things." 

She described herself as a hopeless romantic and acknowledged her past history with short-lived relationships. Lopez explained that she had high hopes for her engagement with Affleck and the two had plans for their future. The only problem was that during this announcement, her divorce from Judd wasn't finalized yet. In fact, it wasn't finalized until January 2003. It was estimated that Judd received a $12 million divorce payout in exchange for his silence.

Jennifer believes their marriage doesn't count

It's normal to look at past relationships and cringe a little. When reflecting on her past marriages, Jennifer Lopez has a similar perspective. In 2002, while discussing her surprise engagement to Ben Affleck, Lopez dismissed her past marriages to Ojani Noa and Cris Judd. "I've been married twice but I haven't had a marriage yet," she said in an interview with Diane Sawyer (via YouTube). At the time, Lopez believed that her future marriage to Affleck would be much different and even stronger than her past relationships."This is not to take anything away from Cris or Ojani, who are wonderful people and who I loved very much, but I think [the divorces] more had to do with me." In 2019, 16 years after their divorce, Lopez's stance on her marriage to Judd hadn't changed. 

While engaged to former Yankee Alex Rodriguez, the singer-actress reflected on her three previous marriages. "I've been married three times. And once was nine months, and once was 11 months. So I don't really count those," she said in a tour diary vlog (via YouTube). Pretty harsh, right? The marriage that she does count is her 10-year marriage to singer Marc Anthony. "I was very young the first two times I tried to get married. I would say try to get married," said Lopez. "It seems like in this life, you're always surrounded by people, you're never lonely, but it's very lonely. So you always want somebody with you."

Cris and Jennifer haven't spoken since their divorce

As they say, time heals all wounds. Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd's marriage may have ended with messy rumors and divorce, but there are no hard feelings between the two. Following their 2002 split, Lopez went on to soar as a singer, actress, and entrepreneur and Judd has continued as a successful choreographer. In 2009, he remarried and welcomed a daughter. After divorcing Judd, Lopez went on to marry Marc Anthony in 2004, and in 2022 she finally tied the knot with Ben Affleck. 

The two exes haven't spoken since their divorce but it's clear they still have respect for one another. During a 2014 appearance on "Watch What Happens Live," Lopez reflected on her past relationship with the backup dancer. "I've dated two dancers. One, I had a brief marriage with, Cris Judd, who is an amazing person and whom I love...," Lopez said (via Us Weekly). 

In 2016, the two had a run-in when Judd performed at the "American Idol" finale. Lopez was there with then-boyfriend Casper Smart. In 2019, Judd revealed that he isn't in contact with his famous ex-wife but still had kind things to say about her. "Man, I'm so far removed from her," Judd told TooFab. "I have, gosh, you know, I just wish her the best." He even wished her well with the film "Hustlers" which received Oscar buzz at the time. These two may not be friends, but they certainly aren't enemies either.