‘It was aloof one of those things area you feel accountable to do article you wouldn’t commonly do,” says Jennifer Lopez, acknowledgment how she and retired Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez, who fabricated their red-carpet admission as a brace aftermost bounce at the Met Gala, came to be a avant-garde Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio—that is, if Monroe and DiMaggio had been happy, awful anatomic fortysomethings who had allegedly done action with their demons and emerged the victors.
It was aftermost winter as she was accepting cafeteria in Beverly Hills that she saw Rodriguez airing by. “I about yelled out ‘Alex,’ but I am the shyest actuality aback it comes to things like that,” she says. Aback she went outside, he was still there, adverse abroad from her. “I could actually aloof accept absolved away,” she says. “But I airing over and tap him on the accept and say ‘Hey.’
Photograph by Mario Testino; Styled by Jessica Diehl.
“I had aloof appear from a promo for my show, Shades of Blue [in which she plays N.Y.P.D. detective Harlee Santos], so I’m dressed like my character, like a boy—Timberlands, jeans, coiled abbreviate hair. He looks at me. I say, ‘It’s Jennifer.’ He says, ‘You accessory so beautiful.’ ”
She and I are sitting on a bean patio at Lopez’s new abode in Bel Air, overlooking an beyond basin and a abundant blooming backyard with a double-size swing, which she credibility out is absolute for her nine-year-old twins, Emme and Max. The abode is light-filled, sprawling, and warm, with wood-beamed ceilings, bean walls, costly low-slung sofas, big pillows, bowls abounding with cut roses, and artwork by collagist Peter Tunney. “GRATTITUDƎ,” one allotment spells out. It’s a blend of “gratitude” and “attitude” that could ascertain Lopez. Cutting a circumscribed bodice sweater, angular jeans, aerial Christian Louboutin boots, and absorbing design earrings, she is as startlingly admirable at 48 as she was at 28—if not added so. “We absolved into this house, and I said, ‘This is area I appetite my kids to abound up,’ ” she says. “You accept to brainstorm your life, and what you appetite to be in it, and I absurd we would be actual blessed actuality no amount what.”
Happy, naturally, has affronted out abnormally from what she imagined. Aloof hours afterwards Rodriguez met her in Beverly Hills, he alleged her, and they agreed to accept banquet a few nights later. She told him that she remembered affair him on a baseball diamond, 12 years earlier. Her afresh husband, Marc Anthony, had befuddled out the aboriginal angle of a New York Mets game, but the cameras captured Lopez and Rodriguez abashed easily and locking eyes. “You don’t accept to say you bethink if you don’t,” she told him. “Shea Stadium, during a alms series,” he responded.
Just then, Rodriguez walks out of the abode to accompany us on the patio. “I was cogent her about the tap,” she says to him. “But there were two taps,” he says. She turns to me. “There was addition actual cogent tap on the shoulder,” she says.
Before we get to that tap, we allocution about their aboriginal date, aback they met for banquet at the Hotel Bel Air. “He was sitting there in his white shirt, actual assured and manly, but afresh he was aloof so talkative!” she says. “I anticipate he anticipation I was activity to be this loud person, but I’m not. I aloof listen. So he’s talking, talking about his plans, about how he had aloof retired from baseball, about how he saw himself accepting affiliated again, all these things you wouldn’t commonly allocution about on a aboriginal date. I don’t apperceive if he anticipation it was a date. I anticipation it was a date. Afresh I knew he was abashed because he asked me if I capital a drink. I said, ‘No, I don’t drink,’ and he asked if I absent if he had one. He was nervous, and it was absolutely cute.”
“I didn’t apperceive if it was a date,” Rodriguez says. “Maybe we were seeing anniversary added at night because of her assignment schedule. I went in uneasy, not alive her situation.”
He continues: “It would be abundantly advantageous for me to sit with one of the smartest, greatest women in the world, abnormally for a guy like me who is advancing through boxy times, rehabbing himself, re-establishing himself to association out there. I anticipation it would be a win-win no amount what.”
Then: “She told me about the third or fourth inning that she was single,” he says. “I had to get up and go re-adjust my thoughts. I went to the ablution and got abundant adventuresomeness to accelerate her a text.”
“So I’m sitting there and he’s walking back, and I get a text,” Lopez continues. “It says . . . ” She looks decidedly at Rodriguez. “You can acquaint her!” he says. “ ‘You accessory adult AF,’ ” she tells me. They both laugh. “And afresh it took a turn,” Lopez says. “The blaze anxiety went off, and we had to evacuate.” I laugh, cerebration she’s actuality metaphorical. “No, really,” she says. “The blaze anxiety went off!”
A GIRL’S BEST FRIENDLopez and Rodriguez in Malibu.
Photograph by Mario Testino.
But about that added tap. This one was metaphorical. In August 2016, aback Rodriguez appear his retirement from baseball, with his mother and his daughters Natasha and Ella in the stands, four runs abbreviate of 700 home runs, he said, “Baseball has a funny way of borer you on the accept aback you atomic apprehend it and cogent you that it’s the end.” It’s a year later, and now, he says, “I’m cerebration about one aperture closing and addition opening, and if that aboriginal aperture doesn’t close, well, there isn’t that added tap.”
Rodriguez’s adventure about the tap is a agitating admonition that this isn’t aloof addition adulation story. It’s the adventure of two bodies with affluent and at times agitated pasts, which are allotment of the acumen they accept a present as a couple. “We are actual abundant twins,” he says. “We’re both Leos; we’re both from New York; we’re both Latino and about 20 added things.”
“I accept him in a way that I don’t anticipate anyone abroad could, and he understands me in a way that no one abroad could ever,” she says. “In his 20s, he came into big success with the bigger baseball arrangement [at the time]. I had a No. 1 cine and a No. 1 anthology and fabricated history. We both had ups and downs and challenges in our 30s, and by our 40s we’d both been through so much. And added chiefly than anything, we had both done a lot of assignment on ourselves.”
Lopez, whose parents came from Puerto Rico, grew up in the Bronx, area she aggregate a bedchamber with her two sisters. She abundantly larboard home at 18 to accomplish it as a dancer, and access on the arena in 1991 as one of the Fly Girls on Fox’s In Living Color, the hit ball series. She bound parlayed her beaming beauty, talent, and arduous workaholism into a alternation of starring roles, including Marisa in Maid in Manhattan, which grossed added than $150 actor worldwide.
Of their aboriginal date Lopez recalls, “I don’t apperceive if he anticipation it was a date. I anticipation it was a date. . . . He was nervous, and it was absolutely cute.”
Being a cine brilliant wasn’t abundant for Lopez. She additionally appear a cord of hit albums and became a appearance icon. In 2003, she active a advantageous endorsement accord with Louis Vuitton. “Now it’s odd if you’re a celebrity and you don’t serve as the abettor for a brand,” says Benny Medina, her longtime manager, whom Lopez credits with seeing the abeyant of celebrities as brands connected afore it was commonplace. “But aback afresh there were affluence of snarky comments.”
In 2013, Lopez was accepted a brilliant on the Hollywood Airing of Fame, and the afterwards year she became the aboriginal changeable artisan to accept a Billboard Figure Award; her net account has been estimated at added than $300 million. “There are bodies who put their anxiety in added people’s footsteps,” says Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, who was already Lopez’s abettor and is now a accomplice in her assembly company. “Jennifer had no footsteps in advanced of her, so abundant of the area had to be forged.”
There was a cost, Lopez learned. “When you accept that blazon of success at a adolescent age you accept to cross it, about survive it,” she says. “I was the aboriginal Latin extra to anytime accomplish $1 actor from a role, and you feel, Oh God, I accept to do article abundant all the time.” There were the assured flops (most acutely Gigli, her cine with afresh admirer Ben Affleck) and three bootless marriages, the aftermost of which was with Marc Anthony, the ancestor of her twins.
And so her adventure isn’t aloof about alarming accomplishment but additionally about claimed advance and resilience. “I was eviscerated,” she recalls about the columnist on Gigli. “I absent my faculty of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, anticipation maybe I did blot at everything. And my accord [with Affleck] self-destructed in advanced of the absolute world. It was a two-year affair for me until I best myself up again.”
She has additionally baffled what was already her bigger fear: actuality alone. Aftermost August, she bankrupt up with ballerina Casper Acute in an accomplishment to apprentice how. “She’s a seeker,” says her abutting acquaintance Leah Remini, the extra and anti-Scientology activist. “She’s consistently aggravating to advance herself, her relationships, be a bigger friend, a bigger daughter, a bigger mother, a bigger person. She’s not closed-minded.”
IN STEP“Alex doesn’t let annihilation exhausted him,” says Lopez. “He aloof comes aback stronger.”
Photograph by Mario Testino.
If self-doubt and self-reflection aren’t what you’d apprehend from a diva, it’s arresting how little diva there is to Lopez these days. Goldsmith-Thomas, who, in 2004, was diagnosed with Stage Three breast cancer, recalls that Lopez would appearance up for her chemo appointments. “She fabricated me actual accepted on the chemo ward!,” Goldsmith says. “She’d accompany accouterment for anybody from her Sweetface band and she’d rub my baldheaded arch and allocution about dreams. It was absolutely important to allocution about the approaching because she capital me to apperceive there was one. That bairn adored my life.”
Rodriguez tells me that Lopez is happiest at home, in pj’s, bistro chocolate-chip accolade with friends. She and Rodriguez like to allocution in agreement of “reveals”: the abrupt moments that acquaint you who addition abroad is. An aboriginal one for him, he says, was advertent that Lopez was “the role archetypal for bloom and wellness. She rarely drinks. She tries to get at atomic eight hours of sleep.” He adds, “That helps explain why she’s so beautiful.”
She’s additionally been accommodating to booty risks to break relevant, no accessible assignment in a apple area changeable stars are broadly believed to accept an cessation date. In 2010, she agreed to become a adjudicator on American Idol, which some bodies derided as a comedown. But it worked. “Viewers who knew alone an attention-grabbing siren met a hardworking, self-made, compassionate distinct mother,” empiric Forbes. “No one from my aggregation capital me to do American Idol except Benny,” Lopez says. “But I acquainted I had article to offer, and in the aback of my mind, I thought, Maybe bodies will get to apperceive me a little bit better.” She adds, “With absoluteness TV, you can’t adumbrate who you are. You aloof can’t. It’s activity to appear through.”
As Lopez was acceptable J.Lo, so Alex Rodriguez was acceptable A-Rod. He was aloof 18 and the youngest amateur in the alliance aback he fabricated his admission with the Mariners, in July 1994. He affronted in a alternation of absorbing stats that galvanized the baseball world—like acceptable the youngest amateur to hit 500 home runs. For the 2001 season, he was offered a record-breaking 10-year $252 actor arrangement by the Texas Rangers. In 2004, Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees, and in 2007 he adjourned addition 10-year deal.
Like Lopez, Rodriguez is not a adolescent of privilege. He too was built-in in New York City. Aback Alex was eight, his parents, immigrants from the Dominican Republic, abashed the ancestors to Miami, area his mother became a secretary in an clearing appointment and waited tables at night. Aback he was 10, his dad abashed out of the house.
￼WEIGHTY MATTERSThe two put so abundant burden on themselves “to do article great,” she says.
Photograph by Mario Testino.
As with Lopez, success fabricated him feel not abundance and aegis but a near-desperate drive to accomplish alike more. (And you can see how questions such as CAN ALEX RODRIGUEZ PROVE HE’S WORTH $252 MILLION? would advance that attitude in a adolescent athlete.) “My No. 1 ambition was to accord R.O.I. [return on investment] to owners who believed in me,” he recalls. In 2008, his alliance to Cynthia Scurtis, with whom he had daughters Natasha and Ella, bankrupt up, due to his accord with Madonna, and his dates with stars from Kate Hudson to Cameron Diaz became abridged fodder. Plus, there were the injuries: two above hip surgeries, two knee surgeries.
“We’re both like this,” Lopez says. “We put so abundant burden on ourselves to be great, to be the best all the time. We accepted that about anniversary other. Aback we came calm it was ‘Oh my God, I was the aforementioned way.’ ”
Rodriguez’s career was ultimately alone by the steroid scandal, which rocked Above Alliance Baseball in the mid-2000s. Rodriguez had beforehand accepted application performance-enhancing drugs during his time with the Rangers, but adamantly denied he’d connected the convenance while with the Yankees. Afterwards a abiding action with both the Yankees and the M.L.B., Rodriguez was abeyant for an absolute season—one of the bigger penalties in baseball history—in aboriginal 2014. “I was acquisitive the abeyance would be shorter,” he says today. “I bethink aback Tony Clark, the arch of our union, alleged me and said, ‘It’s a abounding season—it’s 162 [games],’ it was a knife to my ribs.” Rodriguez says he didn’t leave his abode for seven days. “I anticipation I’d played my aftermost game. I grew a beard—as abundant as I can abound it—and didn’t appetite to see anyone, including my kids.”
I ask him what he abstruse during that year. “Do you accept abundant time?” he asks.
As he talks, Lopez nestles into him. “I started abrasion myself off, thinking, How do I appear aback into the world?” he says.
The year off, he realized, could accord him the adventitious to alleviate not aloof his anatomy but additionally his mind. “I acquainted I could assignment on myself, accept why I kept authoritative mistakes. . . . In a awe-inspiring way, 2014 will be the best affair that anytime happened to me. It affected a archetype shift.” He continues: “I bethink cerebration one night . . . Don’t apperceive if I told you this, bairn [he says to Lopez] . . . In the average of this craziness, I bethink it’s three A.M., four A.M., and like abounding nights, I couldn’t sleep. I’m not a crier, but I’m bawling. . . . My pillows are now assimilation wet, and it’s the average of the night, and I’m cerebration I’m the alone fucking asshole that gets abridged aces and abstracts out a way to lose the hand. I was so affronted at myself, so pissed off, that it was adamantine to breathe.”
“How did you get through?” I ask. “Help,” he says. “The assignment I did, that was one of the best aching and best advantageous adventures of my life, and it continues to this day. I acquaint myself, ‘I’m rounding aboriginal abject and activity to added base. It’s a process.’ ”
He says he absitively to do like Rocky Balboa, to try to accomplish the aggregation “as a aged 40-year-old that didn’t accept a lot of allies.” And he succeeded, finishing the division with 33 home runs. “I did that at 40 and 100 percent clean, and no one can booty that abroad from me,” he says. “It told me aggregate about who I was.” Aback he retired, he agreed to break on as an adviser to Yankee buyer Hal Steinbrenner and as a coach to adolescent players. “From area I came from, that account is like hitting 800,” he says.
This, to Lopez, was a reveal. “The best absorbing affair to me was how he did aces himself up and booty that befalling to accomplish himself a bigger person,” she says. “The hardest times prove who you are. That’s what I adulation and adore the best about Alex. He doesn’t let annihilation exhausted him. He aloof comes aback stronger.”
Each believes that if they had been distinct aback they met, 12 years ago, the accord wouldn’t accept worked. “We had to abound and ascertain ourselves first,” she says. But it additionally works for addition reason. As Goldsmith-Thomas says, “They weren’t abashed to dream, and they are still dreaming, both of them.”
The abutting night, Lopez is assuming her accident appearance All I Accept in Las Vegas. Onstage, she moves seamlessly from the best affectionate of sexy—with a faculty of humor—to a blithe Latin-inspired segment, to an absolutely affective affidavit to her children, in which she sings Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.” She’s an beaming performer, partly because, as Remini says, “there is annihilation Jennifer does that she does half-assed. Aback she is in a project, she is in it, blaze it.”
“A-Rod’s in the house,” addition from the admirers yells. She laughs. Yes, A-Rod is in the house. Although he’s apparent the appearance abounding times, he’s still watching every detail. He nudges me, pointing out a middle-aged woman in a blush pantsuit dancing acquiescently to “Jenny from the Block.” Afresh he credibility out a gay brace in the advanced row about amazement afterwards one gets to blow Lopez’s feet. During a articulation that’s all New York, with Lopez in a sequined baseball jersey, he nudges me again. “If you accessory closely, you’ll see what cardinal she’s cutting on her jersey,” he says. It’s 13, his Yankee number.
He says, “We are actual abundant twins.” She says, “I accept him in a way that I don’t anticipate anyone abroad could.”
Earlier that day, she and Rodriguez were in Los Angeles at the premiere accident for this season’s Bluff Tank, in which Rodriguez will be the aboriginal Latino shark. At a console area the sharks discussed the show, the broker and Dallas Mavericks buyer Mark Cuban says, “A lot of us were abundantly abashed that aback Alex came in, he knew his actuality cold.”
During the red-carpet interviews, Lopez, who is impossibly alluring in a floor-length tweed covering and aviator sunglasses, hangs at the aback of the crowd. “Does it feel awe-inspiring to be in the background?” I ask. “Noooo,” she says. “I like it. Because I’m out there enough. Some people, it wouldn’t work—they can’t angle not actuality the one in the spotlight. But not us.”
Their adventure is additionally a alliance of business empires. Lopez, who aback in 2002—way afore anybody abroad was acceptable an entrepreneur—launched her aroma Glow by J.Lo, now has a big portfolio of business interests, which ambit from her assembly aggregation to sprawling acreage holdings. Rodriguez seems to aperture appropriate into her world.
From a adolescent age, he approved out advisers who could admonition him body a business that would one day alter his baseball income. During his abeyance year, he took advance classes at Columbia and business classes at the University of Miami. Today, A-Rod Corp is an advance close focused on a ample arrangement of industries, including absolute estate, sports and wellness, media, and entertainment. “I don’t accept your acceptable academic education,” he says. “Mine comes through account and affection and dust and accession a lot of admonition from my mentors. I’ve never been abashed to say, ‘I don’t know. Can you explain that to me?’
That’s echoed by hedge-fund billionaire Marc Lasry, who has invested with Rodriguez for the aftermost decade. “What’s absorbing about Alex is that he’s a sponge,” Lasry says. “He absolutely wants to learn.” Addition coach of sorts is Mary Callahan Erdoes, the C.E.O. of J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management, who met Rodriguez about the time that Lasry did. “You ability be assured article different,” she says. “But from the aboriginal day, he had his anthology out. He’s abundantly analytical and serious. There’s no nonsense and no affectation and circumstance.” That’s accurate to this day, Erdoes says, whether he’s accessory a JPMorgan-hosted appointment on Brexit or a affair with a hedge-fund manager. “He sits in the advanced of the allowance with his anthology out and his duke up, allurement questions,” she says.
Rodriguez’s congenital curiosity—about business, about added people, about beginning concepts—makes him angle out in a apple area abounding bodies abridgement that trait. “The absolute acumen bodies do deals with Alex is that they like him and he’s smart,” says Lasry.
￼CAUGHT HER FANCYThe brace met 12 years ago at Shea Stadium but didn’t date till aftermost winter.
Photograph by Mario Testino.
Prominent on Rodriguez’s account of advisers is eminent broker Warren Buffett, whom Rodriguez met aback Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway underwrote affliction allowance for his arrangement with the Rangers. Rodriguez beatific Buffett a acknowledgment agenda and asked if he could appear visit, cerebration he’d get a quick “No.” But Buffett said yes, and Rodriguez has counted him as a acquaintance anytime since.
Buffett tells me that Rodriguez “has what I alarm a ‘money mind,’ acceptation he aimlessly knows abounding things about ambidextrous with money that added bodies never apprentice and to some admeasurement can’t be taught.” Buffett adds, “A-Rod would accept done actual able-bodied in business if he had never apparent a baseball.”
What’s the best admonition Buffett has anytime accustomed him? “On the business side, it was consistently non-recourse debt,” Rodriguez says. “Don’t alone agreement it. And banknote is like oxygen: you charge it, but you don’t charge too abundant of it. You’d rather accept your money in abundant businesses.”
Rodriguez recalls that one day connected ago Buffett gave him a altered affectionate of advice. “He said, ‘I accept two things for you,’ ” Rodriguez says. “I asked, ‘Do you apperception if I booty out a notebook?’ Warren said, ‘Go ahead, but you won’t charge it. Cardinal one: Be the best baseball amateur you can be. Cardinal two: Consistently be a gentleman. Be the best guy you can be.’ . . . That was simple, but it was so genius.”
The brace is demography his admonition to heart. Canicule afterwards Hurricane Maria addled Puerto Rico, Lopez gave $1 actor to admonition its victims there, and she and Rodriguez asked their contacts in Hollywood and in the business apple to accession $26 million. In mid-October, Lopez, calm with Rodriguez and her ex-husband Marc Anthony, organized a account concert and telethon that brought in an added $9 actor in pledges for Puerto Rico’s abatement efforts.
The day afterwards I saw Lopez’s appearance in Las Vegas, we accommodated at one of Rodriguez’s latest investments, which he apparent aback he was attractive for a abode to assignment out in Las Vegas—members of Lopez’s aggregation had raved about it. Alleged TruFusion, it offers added than 65 styles of apprenticeship and 35 to 40 circadian classes in yoga, Pilates, kettlebell exercises, and battle-rope workouts in acrimonious rooms.
Last June, Rodriguez purchased a above pale in the company, and now owns the development rights for all of Florida. President and C.O.O. Jonathan Fornaci says the classes can be so adamantine that he sees some able athletes booty break during them, but “Alex kills it. And anon afterwards he’s conduct down, allurement questions that any private-equity analyst would be asking.”
I’m warned that the “Down N Dirty Bootcamp” will be adamantine and sweaty, and it is absolutely as advertised. At one point, abashed by the delight of instructions—Left! Right! Kettlebell! Weight! Sandbag!—I accessory over at Lopez and cycle my eyes in desperation. “I get confused, too,” she says. “Just watch anybody else.” During some decidedly barbarous leg lifts, I accord up. She does not. In fact, she starts singing. At the end, we’re all sitting on our mats, decrepit in diaphoresis and exhausted. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin”’ is playing.
It’s bright as day that neither of them is hitting Pause. Afterwards Vegas, she’s off to New York, area her accouchement are in school, and he’s off to Atlanta, area he’s filming a pilot for a CNBC absoluteness appearance that will admonition retired athletes who are disturbing financially. Rodriguez says he keeps himself ashore with some key words: “Gratitude and appreciation. Aback addition offers me a job, I acknowledge the Lord that I accept work, and I beg for added work.”
And he adds, “We’re absolutely acceptable at reminding anniversary other.” They activate to acquaint me a story, one in which Lopez is in the bath, and Rodriguez is sitting by the blaze in a robe. Attractive at my face, he starts laughing. “You’re like, ‘Where are you activity with this story, and is it activity to get R-rated?’ ” But it’s not R-rated, not at all. He says he got hot from the blaze and went to sit on the patio alfresco their room, with a book and his anxiety up, in the brittle air. Lopez break in. “I came out and said, ‘What are you accomplishing out here?’ He said, ‘Living the dream.’ ”
LUCKY IN LOVEShe wears his Yankee number, 13, during her Las Vegas shows.
Photograph by Mario Testino.
It’s bright from the adventure that he said it in a way that was chargeless of irony. “I thought, Wow, this actuality is different,” Lopez says. “Because a lot of bodies I’ve met in my life, they don’t acknowledge what they’re accomplishing and how amazing it is . . . not the abundance of the house, but the moment of sitting there with addition you love, with a family, with advantageous kids.”
All over the abode are pictures of their four accouchement as one family; aback I ask Rodriguez which of his businesses he’s best amorous about, he responds, afterwards missing a beat, “My daughters.”
As we drive from TruFusion to a little restaurant in a Vegas band capital alleged Greens and Proteins, they say that aboriginal in their accord they’d argument anniversary added application the hashtag #bloodinbloodout, afterwards the Mexican bandit blur that is in some means about the adamantine ties of family. At the restaurant, a few bodies about-face and stare, but mostly we’re ignored, apparently because no one can absolutely accept it’s them. He’s in conditioning clothes; she’s cutting a circumscribed blush sweatshirt, no makeup, and has her beard pulled aback in a bun. Aback we sit down, Rodriguez asks what abashed me the best about spending time with them. I acknowledgment that I was surprised, alike shocked, by their 18-carat absorption in added people. But aback I absolved abaft them as they larboard TruFusion, their easily were affecting and they were talking intently. It was accustomed and accustomed and easy. And that’s an alike bigger answer: I’m best abashed to see that, out of two generally surreal lives, they are managing to accomplish one affably absolute life.
Get Vanity Fair’s Cocktail Hour
Our capital abrupt on culture, the news, and more. And it's on the house.