Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's unsuccessful film 'Gigli' was only made ''into a big f***ing deal'' because they were dating at the time.

The 44-year-old actor is convinced the 2003 romantic comedy - which starred him as Larry Gigli and the actress as Ricki - would have slipped under the radar following its dramatic flop at cinemas if he hadn't been dating the brunette beauty at the time.

Speaking at a TimesTalks discussion in New York City on Wednesday (14.12.16), he said: ''It could have been a bad movie no one cared about. Angelina Jolie had a bad movie ('Beyond Borders') that year and no one cared. But it was because I was dating Jennifer Lopez that made it a big f***ing deal. So not only was it just a bad movie but 'they dated each other. There was a reporter doing stand-up in front of the theatre that Friday morning, [saying] 'Here I am outside of 'Gigli', and as you can see, no one is here in line. I was like, 'What is this, hurricane coverage?' ''

Ben and Jennifer started dating in 2002 after they met on the set of the film, which is based on a criminal lesbian, a hitman with a heart of gold, and a mentally challenged man who become best friends through a hostage, the same year

However, despite getting engaged, their highly-publicised relationship - which was dubbed 'Bennifer' - didn't last long as they called time on their romance in 2004.

Ben went on to date Jennifer Garner later that year and married her in June 2005 in a private ceremony in Turks and Caicos ceremony.

They have three children Violet, 11, Sera, seven, and Samuel, four, together but announced their decision to divorce last year following a decade of marriage.

Despite their separation, the estranged couple continue to live together and are often seen together out and about in Los Angeles with their children.

Jennifer, on the other hand, hasn't much luck in the love department either as she started dating her longtime friend Marc Anthony shortly after her split with Ben.

The now-former couple got married five months later and have six-year-old twins Max and Emme together but split in July 2011 and were divorce in June 2014.

She's now in an on/off relationship with her backing dancer Casper Smart.