Romantic relationships are one of the trickiest things in a person’s life. A lot of seemingly happy relationships have not been able to stand the test of time. One such relationship was shared between NBA legend Michael Jordan and his ex-wife Juanita Vanoy. The two had a wonderful bond for 17 years before both of them decided to separate from each other. Let us find out more about Juanita and what she is up to nowadays.
Early life and Education
Juanita Vanoy was born on June 13, 1959, in Illinois, Chicago, USA. She was raised on the south side of Chicago by her parents. Unfortunately, there is very limited information regarding her parents or her early life in Chicago. She is of American nationality and belongs to the Hispanic ethnicity.
Considering her impressive career approaches, it is no surprise that she had exceptional educational opportunities. There were also some sources that claimed that she was one of the top students in her college days.
Juanita Vanoy spent a lot of her early days in front of the camera. During her teenage years, she started to work as a model accepting many photoshoots and modeling projects. At first, the modeling prospect for her was very appealing but she later started branching out to work as an executive secretary for the American Bar Association. She also worked as a loan officer in a bank before meeting her future husband Michael Jordan.
When she was in a relationship with Michael, the couple co-founded a non-profit company called Michael and Juanita Jordan Endowment Fund where she acted as the chairman. Later on, she started venturing out to the real estate business too.
Her Relationship with Michael Jordan
While Juanita Vanoy was slowly progressing in terms of her career, she is one of those spouses who clearly peaked after starting a relationship with her other half. Juanita first met her future husband Michael Jordan at a restaurant in Chicago Bennigan in 1984. They met yet again through a mutual friend party. After getting acquainted for a while, both of them started their courtship.
In 1987, news came out that longtime girlfriend of NBA star Michael Jordan was pregnant. At first, Michael denied that he might be the father of the child that Juanita was carrying but later on started to doubt whether he was right about the situation or not. Because of this, Michael Jordan proposed to Juanita on December 31, 1987, at Nick’s Fish Market in Chicago.
Their first child Jeffery was born on November 11, 1988. Even though during her initial pregnancy stage, Michael clearly believed that he was not the father, after accepting the fact, he truly became very invested in nurturing his relationship with both Juanita and the child. The couple officially tied the knot on September 2, 1989, in Los Vegas with their 10-month-old son being the first guest to attend the ceremony.
The couple was then blessed with another child. Their second son, Marcus was born on December 24, 1990. Their family continued to grow when Juanita became pregnant with their third child. On December 7, 1992, they welcomed a beautiful baby girl and named her Jasmine.
While the start of their relationship might not have been sweet but their married life definitely was one. Juanita was very supportive of her husband and often accompanied him in different events and ceremonies. She was also one of her biggest fans and always cheered him on from the sidelines during his games. Apart from these, the couple was also involved with different non-profit organizations. They co-founded Michael and Juanita Endowment Fund that supported the education system and the community through charity programs. They also founded Michael and Juanita Jordan United Negro College Fund Scholarship Program which would go on to support many Chicago students that enrolled in the institution by providing them scholarships.
Her divorce with Michael Jordan
What looked like a happy family life of the Jordan family was actually started to be plagued by the growing fame of Michael Jordan. Fame often brings downfall to anyone who is not careful enough. For Juanita and Michael, it cost their relationship. On January 4, 2002, Juanita Vanoy filed for divorce from her husband citing irreconcilable differences. Since, the couple shared 3 children, both of them wanted to give their relationship another chance. They decided to stay together for almost 4 years before finally separating on December 29, 2006. Many believed that one of the reasons for the couple’s divorce was Michael’s infidelity. There were rumors regarding Michael cheating on his wife Juanita with Karia Knafel whom he had paid $250,000 to keep the secret to herself. Michael, on the other hand, had strongly denied any involvement with her.
While the decision to separate was mutual, Juanita Vanoy and Michael Jordan had one of the most expensive divorces of all time. As part of the divorce settlements, Juanita received 168 million US dollars. She also got the family’s seven-acre Chicago Mansion. Juanita also won custody of all three of her children.
Life after Divorce
After separating from Michael Jordan, Juanita has mostly remained single her entire life. She also slowly started drifting away from the media limelight that she was familiar with when she was still married to Michael. She mostly prioritized raising her children away from the noise of media and giving them a chance to grow up in a normal and simple environment.
At present, Juanita Vanoy takes her time out to learn Bikram Yoga, collecting modern African American arts and travels. She also expressed her desire to start her own business and got involved on the board of Reel Beauty inc. This Chicago based non-profit organization mentors teen girls. In association with it, she started her foundation to fund programs that benefit both the arts and the children.
While Juanita has not married after her divorce, her ex-husband Michael, on the other hand, got involved with a Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto in 2007. He married Prieto on April 27, 2013, in front of a star-studded guest. The couple had twins after a year of their wedding.
Juanita and Michael Jordan had 3 children during their 17-year long relationship. Since Michael was very protective of his children, the media would hardly get any information regarding their day to day activities. After their divorce, Juanita too emphasized living a much simpler life away from the limelight. The relationship between the father and children never restrained even though the parents had their own issues.
Their first child Jeffery formerly tried to follow his father’s footsteps and played basketball for a while for the University of Central Florida Knights. He also ventured out to play another different sport as a UFC fighter. But he could not get any success in that particular field. He got engaged to his longtime girlfriend Radina Aneva and married her on May 25, 2019, in the Bahamas.
Their second son, Marcus, also did not follow his father’s footsteps to play professional basketball. Rather, he is much more business-oriented like his mother. He has opened a shoe store called Trophy Room on May 23, 2016, at Disney World, Orlando, Florida. It was revealed that the opening date of the store was an homage to his father who used to don the ‘23’ lettered Jersey whenever he played.
The youngest of the bunch, Jasmine also lives a relatively quieter life. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in sports management. She was known to be working as a field representative for the Nike Jordan brand. As for her personal life, she is happily engaged to her long time boyfriend Rakeem Christmas. She shared the news with everyone through an Instagram post. The couple also had a son.
Juanita’s Net Worth
She had an impressive list of achievements in terms of her career from working as a model to working for charities and now as a businesswoman. Her net worth is estimated to be somewhere around 170 million US dollars. Her massive divorce settlement amount is somewhat liable to her huge net worth. As she is continuously working towards improving her work, her net worth will only increase from here on.
Is Juanita going to appear in the Upcoming Michael Jordan documentary?
When the trailer for the upcoming Michael Jordan Documentary ‘The Last Dance’ dropped, a lot of fans was quick to notice the notable absence of his ex-wife Juanita Vanoy in it. Since the documentary is supposed to be focusing on Jordan’s peak years in his career, her absence in the movie would be very surprising. Let’s hope she is featured in the documentary which is supposed to be released in June 2020.