If you thought that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck hanging out after their separation meant that the pair would get back together, prepare for your hopes to be dashed. E! News reported on July 7 that Ben Affleck is dating Lindsay Shookus. Don't know who Shookus is? Don't feel bad. While she's not a household name like Affleck or his ex, she has a pretty high-profile profession since Shookus is a producer for Saturday Night Live. So not only is she used to being around people in the limelight, but she's about to get her own fair share of attention now that she's allegedly dating the Hollywood star. Bustle reached out to a rep for Affleck for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication; reps for Shookus are not commenting.
Affleck may have spent the Fourth of July with Garner and their three kids — Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel — but that doesn't change the fact that the famous couple officially filed for divorce in April 2017. And that didn't stop the news from breaking that Affleck has reportedly moved on and is seeing Shookus. E! reported that a source said that they are in the "early stages" of their relationship. "It's more than a summer fling," the E! insider said. "They are having fun and care for each other. It's early and they are taking it slow."
While neither Affleck or Shookus has officially confirmed the relationship, they have been spotted together twice now. E! reported that last week, Shookus traveled to London (where Affleck was working) and the couple saw the Sam Mendes-directed play The Ferryman. And on July 6, Shookus and Affleck reportedly went to dinner in Los Angeles. "They are spending time together in L.A. Lindsay is staying at Ben's new house," a source claimed to People. "They had dinner at Giorgio Baldi last night. They arrived in a limo. They looked happy. They had a quick dinner and then returned to Ben's house."
Shookus does not appear to be active on social media, but thanks to her producing credits on Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, and the special Adele Live in New York City, her personal life is not completely cloaked in Batman-like mystery. Like Affleck, she was previously married and has a child. The New York Times reported that she married Kevin Miller in 2010 after they met while both working for Saturday Night Live. (Miller has since left and is now the supervising producer for Late Night with Seth Meyers.) E! noted that Shookus and Miller have one child, a daughter.
As for her professional life, in 2015, The Hollywood Reporter included Shookus in its annual Next Generation list that focuses on Hollywood's up-and-coming leaders who are 35 and under. In Shookus' profile — which was completed after Garner and Affleck split, but long before she started dating Affleck — there were some pretty serendipitous connections to Affleck. First off, Matt Damon, Affleck's longtime buddy, hosted during her very first week working for Saturday Night Live. And then she played a werewolf body double for Jennifer Lopez, Affleck's former fiancée, in a never-aired sketch. The interview had other revelations, like that Shookus brought Kristen Wiig in for an audition with Lorne Michaels and that she's also responsible for hiring Vanessa Bayer. So, The Hollywood Reporter profile may show some strange foreshadowing for her relationship with Affleck, but (more importantly), it highlights what a talented producer — and interesting person — Shookus is.
If that wasn't impressive enough, Shookus has also been nominated for five Emmys, was included in Billboard's annual Women in Music issue in 2015 for her Saturday Night Live bookings, and is featured in the book Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live because of her role in casting the show. So though she doesn't have the same name-brand recognition as Affleck, she's an important person in the entertainment industry.
As Vanity Fair speculated, there's a chance that her producer status on Saturday Night Live led to Shookus and Affleck meeting. As Affleck has hosted SNL five times, with his latest hosting gig being in 2013 when his then-wife Garner joined him onstage for his monologue, and Shookus has been with SNL since 2002, they've had ample opportunities to interact. But no matter how they met, or where their relationship goes, Shookus' life — although full of career successes so far — is inevitably about to get even more high-profile.