On April 8, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck took the internet by storm, announcing their engagement after a hot-and-heavy rewind romance that had us feeling like we were living in 2002 all over again. For many, Ben and Jen getting back together was a bit of a shocker, but for Southern Charm fans… not so much.
Southern Charm fans know that it’s possible that the catalyst for Jennifer Lopez’s 2021 breakup with ex-fiancé Alex Rodriguez leads back to Charleston, South Carolina. And — in an indirect way — that the person responsible for Lopez running back into her ex’s arms may just be Southern Charm’s Craig Conover.
Allow us to explain. Before we get to Conover, let’s start by looking back at some of the early signs of a connection between Rodriguez and Southern Charm.
Fans notice incriminating ‘liked’ photos
Southern Charm fans flagged that Alex Rodriguez had liked a few of Madison LeCroy’s Instagram photos, including snaps from July 2020 taken while Southern Charm season 7 was filming. Why was a sports superstar in a high profile relationship liking photos of the reality TV star? One can only wonder.
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Lopez and Rodriguez’s relationship had already begun to show cracks in the foundation
Back in 2020, photographers snapped photos of Lopez and Rodriguez having an emotional conversation in a parked car. Lopez was visibly teary-eyed and distraught while Rodriguez looked defensive, even showing her something on his phone at one point. This may or may not have been connected to LeCroy, but it was a sign that their relationship wasn’t as happy as it seemed.
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Craig Conover exposes Madison LeCroy in Southern Charm’s season 7 reunion
The Southern Charm season 7 reunion was explosive to say the least. In an effort to stick up for his buddy Austen Kroll, Conover went on a tirade accusing Kroll’s ex Madison LeCroy of sleeping with an unnamed ex-MLB player. “She’s trash and I hate being on the same stage as her,” Conover spewed. “She flew to Miami to f–k an ex-MLB player.” Even though the name was bleeped out at the reunion, LeCroy later confirmed that Conover was referring to Alex Rodriguez.
At the time, Rodriguez was in a relationship with Jennifer Lopez, but LeCroy denied having physical relations with Lopez’s now ex. “He contacted me. And yes, we DM’ed,” she said on the reunion. “But other than that, there was nothing. I’ve never physically seen him, touched him… I am not a f—king liar and I will stand up for that.” The situation was clearly being kept hush hush among the cast, but Conover had put LeCroy on blast, with the rumours being picked up by tabloids shortly after.
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Shep Rose reveals that LeCroy signed a non-disclosure agreement
In March 2021, Southern Charm’s Shep Rose quietly recalled hearing that LeCroy was having questionable conversations with A-Rod. In an interview on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live, Rose went into detail about LeCroy’s dealings with the former athlete. He recalled filming on a trip to Capers Island when LeCroy started spilling about Rodriguez. “There’s cameras buzzing around, we’re on a boat — and she’s like, ‘Well, I’m [DM’ing] with A-Rod, but we can’t talk about that. Or, they can’t air this, because I signed an NDA.’” Clearly, the NDA didn’t serve it’s purpose, but the situation further suggests that something went down in the DMs between A-Rod and LeCroy.
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Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez call it quits
Two months after Conover confronted LeCroy on TV, rumours began that Rodriguez and Lopez were parting ways. The couple confirmed it in April 2021. “We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so,” they told the Today show in a joint statement. While the rumours can’t be confirmed to be the reason for the split, but the timing seems to line up.
See also: All the celebs who called it quits in 2022.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are reunited
Just 15 days after the breakup, Affleck was spotted going back and forth from Lopez’s Los Angeles mansion. Sure, he could have been giving her a shoulder to cry on, but this was certainly the start of a reigniting romance. Fast forward from there to the couple being spotted out and about kissing and canoodling until they became Instagram official in July 2021. The couple were engaged for the second time in April 2022.
Will Craig Conover ever get credit for reuniting our favourite early 2000s couple? Probably not. But knowing his role in pop culture history gives us a bit of satisfaction.