Dear Urban Legends:
Is it true that Jennifer Lopez insured her butt?
Thereby hangs a tale. Please bear with me.
With the possible exception of that perennial work in progress known as Michael Jackson's face, no celebrity body part has achieved greater prominence in recent memory than J. Lo's derriere. It's enthroned as an object of veneration on fan websites. It is said to have inspired a new trend in below-the-waist surgical implants. Gossip columnists have worn out thesauri looking for superlatives to describe it: "ample," "deluxe," "abundant," "big."
There's no getting around it, Jennifer Lopez's personal fame has very nearly been eclipsed by that of her own behind.
Nor is there any getting around rampant rumors of a comparably deluxe insurance policy. In 1999, tabloids on both sides of the Atlantic — The Sun in London and the New York Post — ran articles claiming that Jennifer Lopez had indemnified her body — her entire body, please note — to the tune of $1 billion. Even though pound-for-pound the singer's boobs fetched a more generous appraisal than her hiney in these stories ($100 million per breast vs. $300 million for legs and buttocks combined, according to the Post), word on the street soon had it that the "abundant butt" alone was valued at a cool billion.
Lopez denies the whole darned thing. I think.
"I don't know where they got it from," she said to reporters when questioned about the tabloid allegations in 1999. "When I heard the story I thought it was very funny."
Her agent's response was even more noncommittal: "At this time we cannot confirm or deny this information."
A droopier set of denials I have never read, yet they ran under no-nonsense headlines like "Lopez Denies Insurance for $1 Billion" and "Lopez: I'm No Billion Dollar Babe," so we're obliged to conclude — a posteriori, as it were — that someone at some point must have uttered the words "It's not true" in front of a journalist.
Either that, or in Lopez-speak "funny" is synonymous with "false."
The bottom line
The closest to a straightforward disavowal I've found in print appeared in an August 2000 interview with BeatBoxBetty.com in which Lopez was asked to name the "wildest rumors" she had heard about herself.
"The craziest," she said, "was the Billion Dollar Butt one. It was on the front page of the paper, here in New York. I happened to be in New York that week. It was funny."
"So you haven't insured your body?" pressed the interviewer.
"I think that's what I'm trying to say here," Lopez replied.
Draw your own conclusion.