Jordan’s Divorce Settlement Makes History

The highest amount paid by a celebrity in a divorce settlement until that year - $168 million. However, Jordan learned his lesson.


Michael Jordan is certainly the most famous player in the history of basketball and probably – few will doubt that – the best to date as well. But what not everyone knows is that Jordan could well be famous for another reason: the amount he had to shell out in his divorce from his ex-wife Juanita Vanoy in 2006 – $168 million. The highest amount paid by a celebrity in a divorce settlement until that year.

According to the Us Inflation Calculator website, bringing it to current values, $168,000.00 equals $276,677.98 today. Fortunately for him, at the time of his divorce, Jordan was one of the wealthiest athletes in the world. Even today, Jordan’s net worth is estimated to be $2.2 billion.

That is, a slight setback in financial terms considering all his wealth, however, the agreement ended the 17-year relationship that gave him three children, two sons named Jeffrey and Marcus, and a daughter named Jasmine. After the divorce, their children stayed with Juanita.

How the story began

Vanoy started her modeling career as a teenager. She then moved on to work at the American Bar Association as an executive secretary and a model. She was born on 13 June 1959 and grew up in Chicago, Illinois.

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So how did Michael Jordan meet his first wife? The two met for the first time during Mike’s rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 1985. Jordan and Vanoy reportedly met at a Chicago Bennigan’s restaurant in 1984. Both of them met at parties a couple of times before they began dating. The pair were apparently introduced by a common friend. Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy exchanged vows on September 2, 1989.

Chicago Bulls basketball star Michael Jordan posing with his wife Juanita Vanoy at a bar at the opening of his restaurant:

The divorce

Juanita Vanoy initially registered divorce paperwork in 2002, mentioning irreconcilable differences. The couple tried to settle, and she withdrew her appeal for a divorce a month later. The couple stayed together for a few more years until she filed for divorce again and was officially divorced in 2006.

The couple’s lawyers said in a statement: “Michael and Juanita Jordan mutually and amicably decided to end their 17-year marriage. A judgment for dissolution of their marriage was entered today. There will be no further statements.” To this day, neither of them has talked about what went wrong for them.

In addition to the 168 million received by Vanoy in the divorce settlement, Michael Jordan also reportedly paid $2.1 million in legal fees. In addition, Juanita also got the family’s seven-acre Chicago mansion.

After the divorce

Michael Jordan today

Jordan was a retired basketball player at the time of the divorce, but he had multiple business ventures. He became part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) and a billionaire a few years after their divorce.
After the divorce, Michael Jordan married his longtime girlfriend, Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto on April 27, 2013. Then Prieto gave birth to identical twin daughters named Victoria and Ysabel on February 11, 2014. The couple is together to this day.

And we can say that Jordan learned his lesson. He demanded a prenup to protect ahead of his second marriage with Yvette Prieto. The following were its conditions: “Under the terms, it is claimed the model will receive $1 million for each year married if they divorce, but the amount will increase to $5 million a year after a decade of marriage.”

Lesson learned.

Juanita Vanoy today

Unlike her ex-husband, Juanita did not re-marry. She lives a low-profile life and has been involved in charity work. She is reportedly a collector of art from various African-American artists. Her net worth in 2022 is estimated at $200 million.

In 2013, she gave an interview stating that she and Jordan are on good terms and often only talk about their children. In this photo below we see Juanita with her daughter, Jasmine.

Divorces that surpassed Jordan’s in terms of money involved

To be fair to the basketball star, 3 other subsequent divorces involving celebrities have surpassed Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy’s divorce value. These three below:

1st place: Jeff Bezos and former wife Mackenzie Scott – Settlement: $38 billion.

2nd place: Rupert Murdoch and Anna Mann – Settlement: $1.7 billion.

3rd place: Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore – Settlement: $425 million.

Jordan’s divorce ranks fourth and is followed by Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey’s divorce in fifth place among the most expensive – in this case, the amount paid was $150 million.

About the author  /  Marcelo Lopes


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