Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Wannabe divas listen up, here's J-Lo's comeback plan

That come-to-bed gaze and those luscious curves, the decadent lifestyle, a taste for dangerous boyfriends and even more dangerously-low-cut dresses - there's a decent case to be made for the theory that Jennifer Lopez is picking up where the late Liz Taylor left off.

Until this summer, J-Lo had been written off as one half of yet another cosy-but-dull Hollywood happy ending - and there are more of them than you think - with her seven-year marriage to singer Marc Anthony, their baby twins and a career that, if it wasn't exactly on fire, still had her valued at an estimated $250m.

After a string of dramatic divorces and romances, America's most celebrated Latin woman - and the possessor of pop's most celebrated posterior - had finally settled down. No longer.

Maybe Jennifer felt she was slipping off the map. This is a singer and actress who self-dramatised every twist and turn of her private life; a hard-working entertainer who's never off duty.

She had married and dated the men who danced with her onstage (husband of nine months Cris Judd) and who mentored her music (Diddy; that didn't end well, either).

Her partners often appeared in her pop videos - remember the height of Bennifer in 2002, when she and then-fiance Ben Affleck cavorted on a yacht?

Then she fell for singer Marc Anthony, explaining: "He's Puerto Rican, I'm Puerto Rican."

Whether he really was a controlling man who resented her career, as she has implied, or whether she simply got bored of the grind of marriage, by June this year Lopez was attending red-carpet events with her mother, but without a wedding ring. On July 15, the couple announced they'd reached the 'amicable conclusion' to divorce.

In non-celebrity real life, that might have been that; each party could get on with stewing in guilt and anger and lonely nights stalking each other on Facebook.

But in the world of Jennifer Lopez, what followed since has been a masterclass in managing a public break-up.

Draw closer, wannabe divas:

1. Cut a deal. Shortly before the split, she and Marc Anthony signed a colossal 21-year deal with American department store Kohl's for branded 'lifestyle' goods, ie towels and bedsheets.

The arrangement, which will still go ahead, could make her a reported $10m a year. She's also about to sign up for a lucrative second series as judge on American Idol.

2. Give a killer interview. J-Lo's appearance on this month's cover of Vanity Fair is a masterstroke.

Given before the divorce announcement, it is a heart-to-heart that hints at private unhappiness, while striking a pose for Mario Testino in various glamorous, but symbolically innocent, snowy-white outfits.

3. Show off your body. Husband off the scene, Jennifer is now free to reveal her greatest achievement: her perma-abs. It might not sound like much, except for the fact she's 42 and the mother of twins.

4. Reinvigorate your career. One dodgy chick-flick is already under way (What to Expect When You're Expecting) and she's also starring in Taylor Hackford's thriller Parker opposite Jason Statham. After a six-year break from music, she's scored a number one single and a greatest hits album is due.

5. Make another bad romantic decision (and then put him in a pop video). Jennifer's already back in touch with Diddy.

After that fizzles out, she'll cast the next Mr Lo, have another preposterous wedding - and repeat from No 1 (above).

Like the lady said, she's an eternal optimist.

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