Ben Affleck is back in the dating game. The movie star, whose divorce from Jennifer Garner was filed in April 2017, is now reportedly seeing television producer Lindsay Shookus. The new couple made their unofficial debut in July 2017 when they were photographed together in various cities, including London and Los Angeles.
The relationship marks Affleck’s first public romance since his high-profile separation from Garner in 2015. So who exactly is Shookus? Here’s what we know about Affleck’s new girlfriend:
1. She’s a crucial member of the Saturday Night Live team
Saturday Night Live stage | Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
After graduating from college in 2002, Shookus was hired as a producer’s assistant on Saturday Night Live. She has continued to move up since then, working as an associate producer and co-producer before being credited as a regular producer in 2012.
She is also the head of show’s talent department, booking hosts and musical guests and scouting for new potential cast members. In fact, she’s credited with discovering Kristen Wiig.
Next: This is one of many things she has in common with Affleck.
2. She was previously married
Her ex-husband now works for this SNL alum. | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Shookus was previously married to television producer Kevin Miller. The two met while working together on SNL in 2002. They tied the knot in 2010 and split only four years later, although they remain amicable.
While Shookus continues to work for SNL, Miller now works as a supervising producer on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Next: She still has this connection to her ex.
3. She has a child
Left: Lindsay Shookus | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images, Right: Ben Affleck | Alain Jockard/Getty Images
Like Affleck, Shookus is familiar with the ins and outs of parenthood. She and Miller have a daughter, who was born in 2013. According to US Weekly, the former spouses even live in the same building in order to make co-parenting easier.
Next: She has one award that Affleck does not.
4. She’s an Emmy winner
Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special | NBC
Shookus took home an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special in 2015 for producing the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special. She was also previously nominated for two Emmys in 2016: one for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series for her work on SNL and another for Outstanding Variety Special for producing Adele Live in New York City.
Next: She has been recognized for her work in other ways.
5. She was named one of Billboard’s most powerful music executives
Billboard logo | Prometheus Global Media
Shookus has been recognized multiple times in various publications for her work. In 2015, she landed a spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s list of Hollywood’s up-and-coming execs 35 and under. She was also named one of Billboard‘s most powerful music executives in both 2015 and 2016.
Next: There are many rumors about her past relationships.
6. She has a long list of celebrity exes
Jon Hamm | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images
Affleck may not be the first famous name Shookus has dated. Page Six reports that the producer has been linked to several of Hollywood’s leading men, including Jon Hamm (although his rep denied the rumor) and Sex and the City’s Chris Noth, whom she says she has never even met.
Next: There is controversy surrounding this specific question.
7. There are questions as to when she and Affleck started their relationship
Lindsay Shookus and Ben Affleck | PopCulture via Instagram
As far as the public knows, Affleck and Shookus have only been dating since 2017, although they were presumably together for a while before hitting the town as a couple. But the two are now facing rumors that their relationship has been going on for much longer than we all thought — and potentially even while they were still married to other people.
People magazine broke down the conflicting reports, stating that “multiple sources” believe that Affleck and Shookus had an affair in 2013 while Affleck was still married to Garner and Shookus was still married to Miller. But the publication also states that other sources maintain that the two didn’t begin dating until well after they were separated from their spouses.
Neither party has commented on the rumors so far. Whatever the case, it’s clear the two are enjoying their time together now.
Next: This is what he likes about her.
8. Affleck likes that she’s a ‘regular girl’
Ben Affleck | Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images
According to Page Six, part of what Affleck finds appealing about Shookus is that she’s not a high-profile celebrity, like Garner or many of his past girlfriends. But she’s not completely out of the Hollywood loop, as she works in the industry.
“He’s never really dated a regular girl before. He’s always gone for high-profile women,” a source told New York Post. “He wants to date people that know and understand his life. When you’re a TV producer, you understand that [Hollywood] life.”
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