Lopez and Affleck Hit the Newsstands

Has Jennifer Lopez found a new prince charming in Ben Affleck?

This week’s issues of People magazine and Us Weekly feature competing cover stories on Lopez and Affleck that hint at a blossoming romance between the two stars.

Lopez, 32, and Affleck, 29, met last winter on the set of their romantic comedy Gigli, which is scheduled for release in May 2003.

Shortly after shooting on Gigli wrapped in March, Affleck took out ads in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter praising the actress/singer. “You have shown kindness, dedication, diligence, humility, graciousness of spirit, beauty in courage, great empathy, astonishing talent, real poise and true grace,” read the ad. “It has been nothing but an honor and a pleasure to work with you. I only wish I were lucky enough to be in all your movies.”

The chivalrous gesture wasn’t lost on Lopez, who confessed to TV Guide Online in May that she was touched by the ad. “It was nice. It was refreshing, and it was lovely of him to do. He did it from the heart.”

Affleck‘s wish to be in all of Lopez‘s movies may have come true–at least for now. The two are scheduled to start shooting the comedy Jersey Girl sometime this month.

And it gets better. Quoting anonymous “pals” and “close sources,” the Aug. 12 issue of People claims that Lopez began introducing Affleck to friends as her boyfriend three days before she filed for divorce from Judd on July 25–a day after her 32nd birthday–citing irreconcilable differences.

Us Weekly‘s Aug. 12 issue claims to have exclusive pictures and quotes from friends who say the lovebirds aren’t hiding their relationship.

Lopez‘s publicist, Alan Nierob, declined to comment to The Associated Press about the articles on Thursday.

Lopez and Judd, whom she met on the shoot of her video for “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” wed last year in a very hush-hush ceremony in Calabasas, Calif., on Sept. 29. Lopez began dating Judd shortly after ending her tumultuous relationship with rapper Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.

Her marriage to Judd was Lopez ‘s second. In 1997, she married waiter/aspiring model Ojani Noa and divorced him the following year.