The Long Goodbye
01/29/2004 AT 11:05 AM EST
It was. Before the day was done, the caroming Bentley known as Bennifer – the passionate public embraces, the lavish spending sprees, the night he spent cavorting with strippers in Vancouver last summer and the stunning cancellation of the $2 million wedding last September that left her, according to a mutual friend, "hysterical and very deeply depressed" – had finally skidded to a halt. Two days later – and two years after they met on the set of their disastrous comedy Gigli – her rep announced that Lopez "has ended her engagement to Ben Affleck." And just like that, the couple-that-could faced the fact that they couldn't – and pretty much everyone close to them heaved a sigh of relief. "The relationship was a slow death," says a source close to them both. "It was a long goodbye."
So what finally took them from 6.1-karat Harry Winston engagement bling to bust? By all accounts, nothing as interesting as the rumor of a renewed romance with P. Diddy. "We're friends," says the rap mogul, 34, who has a son with his girlfriend, Kim Porter, 33. Adds a P. Diddy source: "There's nothing going on."
PEOPLE.com Photo Gallery: Bennifer: The Way They Were