| Ben Affleck in a scene from Pearl Harbor. (Reuters)
Los Angeles, Nov. 21 (Reuters): Hollywood actor Ben Affleck was named yesterday as People magazine’s “sexiest man alive” of 2002 — but girlfriend Jennifer Lopez says she didn’t need an outsider to tell her just that.
Affleck, the 30-year-old star of Good Will Hunting and Pearl Harbor, has been hitting headlines this summer because of his whirlwind romance with Lopez — the twice-divorced actress-singer who is herself considered one of the sexiest women in showbusiness.
The pair announced their engagement earlier this month. According to one report, Affleck took Lopez out for a birthday lunch in Manhattan and presented her with a diamond bracelet.
“I didn’t need People magazine to tell me he’s the sexiest man alive,” Lopez was quoted as telling the magazine, which hits newsstands tomorrow.
“The difference between me and People magazine is that he’ll still be the sexiest man alive in my eyes when he’s 100 years old,” she added.
California-born Affleck took Hollywood by storm in 1997 by co-starring in and co-writing the screenplay for Good Will Hunting with his boyhood friend Matt Damon.
Both men won best screenplay Oscars for their efforts.
Affleck, whose past romances include Gwyneth Paltrow and Dutch model Famke Janssen, checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation center in July last year before meeting Lopez on the set of the mob comedy Gigli.
Affleck’s parents told People they were delighted with their son's engagement to Lopez, and were hoping for grandchildren.
“She’s just a lovely person... she’s very warm. She’s like the ideal daughter-in-law,” his mother Chris told the magazine.
“Recently he has matured a lot. It’s no longer ‘I’m in love, but I’m young’ it’s ‘I want to make a life now. I’m ready for this’. I’ve been urging him for the longest time,” she added.
“I want grandchildren.”
Affleck followed in the footsteps of James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, who was named People’s sexiest man last year.
Past winners have included George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
People Magazine named 23 other sexy men for 2002, including Clooney (sexiest director), British actor Hugh Grant (sexiest import), Enrique Iglesias (sexiest pop star), and US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld (sexiest Cabinet minister).
Jennifer Lopez filed for divorce from her dancer husband Cris Judd in July after less than a year of marriage.
Lopez had turned to Judd after splitting with her long-time boyfriend, rap impresario Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, during his much publicised trial in New York on weapons and bribery charges.