J-Lo on love, marriage and children - just don't mention the bump


Last updated at 18:07 26 October 2007

Jennifer Lopez has given her biggest hint yet that she's pregnant - as she goes shopping for baby clothes in Los Angeles.

The singer - who has refused to comment on reports she is expecting - spent several hours at a trendy childrens' store.

Staff at M Fredric Kids confirmed the chart star was at the shop with close pal Leah Remini this week.

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Jennifer Lopez

Sources said the women browsed for both boys and girls clothes on Thursday afternoon.

One store assistant said: "She looked several months' pregnant, and certainly looked longer gone than reports suggest - maybe even as much as seven months gone.

"She was wearing a loose Paisley print, maternity-esque dress with her hair pulled back.

"She was in a good mood and laughing with Leah."

A spokeswoman for the store also confirmed J-Lo's appearance, but wouldn't disclose what she bought.

She added: "The girls [the shop assistants] did say she looked very pregnant."

It comes as Lopez's ex-boyfriend Sean "Diddy" Combs said he planned to shower the chart star with

"expensive baby gifts".

Her former husband Cris Judd has also sent Lopez his best wishes and said she will be a great mother. Lopez has been pictured wearing loose fitting tops that cover her rumoured baby bump.

If Lopez is pregnant, it will be her first child with Anthony.

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Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony


For years she's been talking about having children. When she was dating Ben Affleck she told me how she would never bring her children up on a high-carb diet like the one she was raised on.

She said: "I've planned my children's diets. You start thinking about your own food longings and how it would be helpful for them to eat more vegetables."

And the last time we met she told me at some length about her wanting a baby, how "it's the biggest blessing you can have. If it happens, you rearrange your life from there".

Now she has rearranged her life to not work so obsessively and to take time off in the spring for that three-month break. This is unheard of for Lopez.

So is this an indication that she will put everything else on hold for the much longed-for baby?

"This will be my 30th child," she quips, referring to how many times before that newspapers have reported she's pregnant. She doesn't want to come out with it directly, but says quietly: "You know I have always wanted that."

I ask if she's had a hard time trying, having read the rumours about endless IVF. "Not necessarily, no," she says, and laughs.

Even now, she's not directly confirming or denying it. Maybe she's superstitious and doesn't want to tempt fate as it's still early days.

Maybe she's simply not pregnant and doesn't want to admit to that either. She's deliberately trying to be vague.

Today, her skin glows and she looks voluptuous. She is calmer and more contented. It seems perfect timing to start a family. Her relationship with her third husband, Puerto Rican singer, Marc Anthony, is solid.

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Jennifer Lopez

They are currently touring together and have just done a movie, El Cantante, about salsa sensation Hector Lavoe, in which she plays his wife.

Her new album, Brave, has just been released and all its lyrics are about making love work and sticking with it.

"There was so much drama in my life it was hard for me to adjust for a while to a personal life without drama. I love working with Marc.

"It's intimate and it's exciting."

When they married three years ago, it was a quiet affair in her garden.

They had dated years ago. She'd gone on to a romance with P Diddy and then she married her choreographer Cris Judd in 2001. That lasted hardly a year, as did her first marriage to waiter Ojani Noa, four years before.

Famously, she dated Ben Affleck. It was a hugely public, paparazzi romance. The couple earned themselves the moniker Bennifer. Their wedding was cancelled days before it was due to happen.

Lopez has always believed in love and always believed in The One, even though she has thrown herself into the moment as if every lover was The One. With Marc Anthony, however, things were different.

His marriage to former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres was over (he has two children by her), but it seemed unlikely that he would get back together with Jennifer - although friends of his claim that Lopez was always The One for him.

"What has been so important about our relationship is that Marc has known me for years," she says.

"We have always kept in touch. He has seen me in good times and bad times. He was always just there. He was my friend first and knew me as a friend. He knew my family.

"Ours was a relationship that developed slowly, but on a very solid foundation."

Lopez has made many mistakes with men - she seems to have had the same relationship over and over again with a succession of different ones. It was passionate, it was fast, and it fell apart.

With Anthony she finally got the pleasures, security and the sizzle of the slow burn.

"I was on a tumultuous ride for so many years, personally, not so much professionally, and I thought: 'Here I am. I have to take responsibility.'

"This album, Brave, is brave because it's about not being afraid of love and knowing that it's sometimes hard, that you have to work at love."

Things started steaming up with Marc when, as the film's producer, she gave him the script for El Cantante and he wanted to star in it. At this point, they were not dating.

"But we actually loved being together. Because we were working, things seemed to develop in a more organic way, it was a natural thing," she says conceding there was something unnatural about the fast pace and rollercoaster rides of her past.

"I wanted peace and balance in my life. I knew I couldn't continue at the pace I was going or I would end up crazy. I wanted to take stock and I wanted my marriage to work.

"I have made all those relationship mistakes. I have been burned, I have been bashed. And - what's worse - I made all my mistakes in public."

There was something larger-than-life about J-Lo the double diva. She wore fur and diamonds, she travelled in a Bentley convertible through the pages of the glossies and tabloids.

"I didn't know there was another way to do it, to deal with fame. Marc helped me very much with that. He'd been in the business many years, yet he had credibility as an artist.

"Everything he did was not scrutinised and uncomfortable. He said: 'You don't have to live this way.'

"It's a hard thing to deal with. I see people struggling, struggling when they're in a certain type of magazine. They don't know how not to be in it."

Perhaps she's able to have long discussions about how to deal with fame with her new friend Victoria Beckham. "They're nice, interesting people and she's very funny. She doesn't let many people in and I understand that, because neither do I.

"Marc and David are really good friends. They text each other and they speak on the phone a lot. Marc loves football. I think that's what they talk about. Victoria has been over a few times and we've been to their house."

Like Victoria Beckham, Lopez is a queen of multi-tasking. As well as her album, in the summer of 2008 there will be a new movie, Love And Other Impossible Pursuits.

She no longer needs to define herself by the Hollywood blockbuster, preferring to do smaller budget movies that mean something more to her.

Her album is personal and usually navigates around a love theme. "When you've been through a lot, it would be easy to stop thinking about love and I never have.

"It's why we sing, it's why we dress up, it's everything.

"But you could go two ways and be this person who never lets love in because you've been through a couple of things. It's easier to be bitter.

"Things happen and you feel changed. But you don't have to be changed into a bitter person, a jaded woman."

Certainly, she was deeply in love with these people. She once told me she loved to find a man who was both stubborn and soft. She liked hot and cold, closeness and distance.

Maybe that used to be the addiction for her until she bottomed out.

She wanted to be in love with a man who would enjoy staying in and being cooked for, a man who could know her and understand her.

In a way, she was always misunderstood. People thought she was a high-maintenance diva who demanded that private planes were reupholstered and all rooms filled with Jo Malone candles and sheets of a certain thread count. "They are obviously outrageous lies," she says.

"Some of them are funny but, if people believe them, it's kind of annoying. I don't know anyone who works for me or who has been around me that thinks I behave like that.

"Almost a hundred per cent of this diva stuff was false. When these stories appeared, it was irritating, but I didn't know how to stop them."

The days of being J-Lo The Diva are finished. "I don't really have a problem with J-Lo. I like it. It's part of who I am. But it's very much in the past.

"What have I learnt? I don't think you can give too much love, but I've learnt that I need something in return.

"I've learnt that you have to work at love. I feel more happy, more alive. You appreciate things differently after you've had a few knocks.

"I feel that everything that happened was meant to, so that I could be where I am at this moment."

Where she is, is very happy. And also very homey. It feels right to her that her husband comes from the same Puerto Rican heritage. She's bringing out a new perfume called Dizeo, a "Spanish-sounding name". Her previous fragrance, Glow, has been Coty's top seller for the past five years.

"It's one of the most creative things that I do in my life besides music. I hope that I can continue for ever. It means a lot to me. Growing up we had these lilac bushes in my back yard in the Bronx, which were huge.

"The combination of the grass and the sun and the lilac means, to me, summer time. It's fresh and subtle and there's a note of it in all my fragrances because it takes me back there."

There's no doubt that Marc Anthony also takes her back there, and it's a place she wants to stay.

• BRAVE, by Jennifer Lopez, is out now on the Epic/SonyBMG label

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