Did Jennifer Lopez Insure Her Butt for a Billion Dollars?

From the Urban Legends Mailbag: J. Lo's Billion-Dollar Booty

2013 Billboard Music Awards - Arrivals
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Dear Urban Legends:

Is it true that Jennifer Lopez insured her butt?


Dear Reader:

Thereby hangs a tale. Please bear with me.

With the possible exception of that work in progress known as Michael Jackson's face, no celebrity body part in recent memory has achieved greater prominence than J. Lo's derriere. It's enthroned on fan websites as an object of veneration. It has 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.

Cheeky rumors

Nor is there any getting around 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. Although pound-for-pound in these reports the singer's boobs fetched a more generous appraisal than her hiney ($100 million per breast vs. $300 million for legs and buttocks combined, according to the Post), it wasn't long before word on the street had it that the "abundant butt" alone was valued at a cool billion.

Droopy denials

Lopez has denied the whole darned thing.

I think. I'm not sure.

"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."

Noncommittal as that was, it was nowhere near as flaccid as her agent's response: "At this time we cannot confirm or deny this information."

A droopier set of denials I have never read, yet they ran under unequivocal headlines such as "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 "very funny" is synonymous with "false."

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.

I give up. Draw your own conclusion.