Three years after revelations that one of his ancestors was a slave-owning Georgia sheriff, Ben Affleck attempted to sell his sprawling Greek Revival “imitation” plantation — the site of his elaborate wedding to Jennifer Lopez on Saturday.
In 2015, the Hollywood actor attempted to keep information about Benjamin Cole, a relative on his mother’s side who owned several slaves in Chatham County, near his 87-acre Hampton Island estate, hidden. According to reports, Affleck purchased the property in 2003. Cole’s revelations were made during a segment of the Henry Louis Gates Jr.-hosted PBS program “Finding Your Roots.”
The opulent property, which Affleck listed for $8.9 million in 2018, features a deep water port and a 6,000-square-foot house known as “the Big House.” The following year, he reduced the price to $7.6 million before taking it off the market, according to public records.
The building, which was constructed in 2000, was created to resemble a southern plantation by Atlanta-based architect James Strickland. A 10,000-square-foot guest house and equestrian facilities are also included.
When Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds got married in a plantation-style home, they courted controversy. An authority on slavery expressed surprise that Affleck and Lopez chose to have such a grand wedding at a house designed after a plantation.
Leslie Harris, co-editor of “Slavery and Freedom in Savannah” and a history professor at Northwestern University, said, “When he discovered who his ancestors were, he tried to squelch it.” “It’s obvious that he didn’t learn his lesson.” We’ve returned to the same location as him. Plantation-style homes are still being built. It denotes wealth. It’s surprising that Affleck chose this location for his wedding when many (historic) plantations no longer host weddings.”