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Juanita Vanoy, Michael Jordan first wife: Everything you need to know

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Juanita Vanoy is a businesswoman, former American model, and the first wife of legendary basketball player Michael Jordan. She is an American celebrity in her own right.

Before Vanoy married Jordan, she had made a name for herself in college and was considered one of the more hardworking students. After college, she worked as an executive secretary at the American Bar Association.

Vanoy and Jordan have three children together and were so well-loved as a couple that their divorce was one of the most talked-about events at the time. Let us see ten of the most intriguing facts about Vanoy.

Top 10 facts to know about Juanita Vanoy

  1. Juanita Vanoy was born on 13 June 1959, which makes her 62 years old in 2021.
  2. Although Juanita Vanoy has origins in Puerto Rico, she was born in Illinois and raised in Southside Chicago.
  3. She got into the spotlight when she started dating Michael Jordan, aged 25 years old.
  4. Juanita Vanoy is the fifth of six children, all girls, and grew up in a large, tight-bound family.
  5. She started her modelling career in her teenage years before meeting Michael Jordan.
  6. Today, Juanita Vanoy makes money working as a real estate mogul and leveraging her celebrity connections.
  7. Juanita Vanoy is also known as Juanita Jordan because of her marriage to Micheal Jordan in 1989.
  8. She does not have any active social media account.
  9. Vanoy is considered one of the richest celebrity ex-wives thanks to the large settlement that she received from her ex-husband.
  10. After her divorce from Michael Jordan, Vanoy has not gone public with any relationships, and she appears to be single.

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Early life

Not much is known about Juanita Vanoy’s early life as she loves to keep the details of her life private, not even deigning to share snippets on social media. Details only began to emerge when she was connected to Michael Jordan and their dramatic breakup. 

Juanita Vanoy was born on 13 June 1959 to John Vanoy, an American, and Dorothy Vanoy, a Cuban. She has five siblings, sisters, Gwendolyn Hicks, Jacqueline Rogers, Rhonda Armstrong, Brebetta B. Vanoy, and Margaret Vanoy.

Juanita Vanoy early life and sisters
Vanoy family

She started modelling when she was very young, during her teenage years and continued to stand out throughout until she reached college. In college, she quickly earned a reputation for being smart and hardworking, and quickly rose to become one of the top students.

Although she worked as a model after high school, taking part in photoshoots and several modelling projects, she actually made a living working as a loan officer at a bank. Later, she began to work at the American Bar Association as the executive secretary. It was during this time that she met Michael Jordan at a restaurant.

The couple met for the first time at a Chicago Bennigan’s restaurant, and a mutual friend introduced them to each other. Their second meeting happened at a friend’s party, and they started dating each other after this second meeting.

Once they started dating, Vanoy lost all her anonymity and was thrust into the spotlight.

Read also: Biography of Instagram model and Shagmag CEO, Julia Rose

Marriage to Michael Jordan

On 31 December 1987, a few years after Juanita Vanoy and Michael Jordan started dating in 1984, Jordan proposed to Vanoy at Nick’s Fish Market in Chicago. The couple’s engagement did not last long, however, and they soon broke up. A year later, however, the couple rekindled their relationship.

Juanita got pregnant, and this prompted the couple to start discussing marriage again. On 2 September 1989, Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy got married in Las Vegas. One of the guests was their son, Jeffrey Michael Jordan, who was already ten months old at the time.

Juanita Vanoy, Michael Jordan wife, children, net worth, house

A scandal rocked their marriage in the beginning because of the early birth of their first child. Before they were married, there were rumours that Jordan did not believe that he was Jeffery’s father.

At the time, Vanoy’s lawyer Michael Minton said in an interview, “she told me she was pregnant, unwed, and that the father of the child was Michael Jordan. She felt she could not get Michael’s attention or co-operation or response without the retention of a legal representative.”

All ended well, however, when Jordan admitted paternity of the child (after Juanita served him with a legal paternity claim), and he marched down the wedding aisle with Vanoy, the mother of his child.

A year after the two tied the knot, they welcomed their second child, Marcus Jordan, on 24 December 1990. Likewise, two years after Marcus’s birth, on 7 December 1992, Jasmine Jordan emerged into the world.

During Michael and Juanita’s marriage, the couple put up a united front, and Juanita was always there for Michael’s games.

They were so devoted to each other that the members of the public fell in love with them and admired their relationship.

Their marriage faced an unprecedented problem in 2002, however, when Vanoy filed for a divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. She withdrew her petition within a few days as the couple tried to work on their relationship.

Their efforts failed, however, and their marriage was dissolved officially on 29 December 2006.

After their divorce, Junaita kept custody of their children and received 168 million dollars ($168 million) as part of her divorce settlement. This payment was considered one of the biggest celebrity divorce settlements at the time. She also received the family’s seven-acre Chicago home.

Family and friends were shocked by the couple’s split. One of their close friends, Les Coney, had this to say about the split, “I am shocked and disappointed that their marriage didn’t work. The Jordans were never prone to public displays of affection. But, they clearly communicate. When Juanita couldn’t get the stereo to work, he’s the first person she called. And Michael was right there.”

During their marriage, it was alleged that Michael was cheating with singer Karla Knafel. At the time, it was rumoured that this was the reason for their split. Meanwhile, the basketball legend emphatically denied that his relationship with Knafel brought an end to his marriage.

To date, neither Vanoy nor Jordan has revealed the real reason for the breakdown of their marriage.

See more: Facts about Jamie Foxx daughter Annalise Bishop

Juanita Vanoy and Michael Jordan children

Juanita Vanoy and Michael Jordan have three children together: 33-year-old Jeffrey Jordan, 31-year-old Marcus Jordan, and 29-year-old Jasmine Jordan.

Juanita Vanoy, Michael Jordan wife, children, net worth, house
(from left to right) Jasmine Jordan, Juanita Jordan, Marcus Jordan, Jeffrey Jordan

All three pursued careers related to basketball, but none actually played professional football like their father.

Jefferey played basketball in college at the University of Illinois and then at the University of Central Florida. He is currently the head of digital innovation for the Jordan Brand, which is part of the Nike Group. He is also the co-founder of the Jordan Akavian Group. Jefferey married Bulgarian financial analyst Radina Aneva in 2019.

Like his older brother, Marcus also played basketball at the college level, playing at the University of Central Florida. He caused a scandal while he was there by wearing Jordans for a game instead of Adidas sneakers, at a time when Adidas sponsored the school team.

Although he said that he received permission to wear the Jordans, Adidas withdrew their $3 million sponsorship. After this, Nike stepped in as the sponsor. He is now the owner of the clothing and sneaker store Trophy Room, named after his father’s trophy room in their family home.

Jasmine, the third child of Juanita Vanoy and Michael Jordan, studied Sports Management at Syracuse University. She is putting the degree to good use as the basketball operations coordinator for the Charlotte Hornets, the basketball team that her father owns. Jasmine is engaged to pro-footballer Rakeem Christmas, and they have a two-year-old son together.

Net worth

The bulk of Juanita Vanoy’s wealth is from the $168 million divorce settlement she received after she split from Michael Jordan.

The former couple also established a non-profit organisation, called the Michael and Juanita Endowment Fund, which provides support to education and community causes. She served as the chairperson of the organisation.

Apart from this, Juanita Vanoy has also worked in the real estate industry, amassing a healthy income from there as well. Thanks to all of this, Juanita Vanoy is worth 200 million dollars.

Vanoy in Michael Jordan’s ‘The Last Dance

Many of the couple’s longtime fans noticed that Juanita Vanoy was absent from the basketball player’s documentary “The Last Dance”, even though she was in his life for almost 20 years.

She was in his life through his major career highs and was famously by his side when he announced his second NBA retirement in 1998.

So, why was she not in the documentary? The couple’s daughter, Jasmine, answered this question during an interview with Essence, saying:

“I think at the end of the day, you ask my mom… she lived it. There’s no need to go down memory lane and bring up everything that has already happened when the proof is in the pudding. She was at the championship, she was at the retirement ceremony, we saw her in her glory in her best way.”

Where is Juanita Vanoy now?

After her divorce from Michael Jordan, Juanita Vanoy returned to her lowkey life and paid more attention to her family, friends, and children.

She pulled back from the public eye and instead paid attention to healthily co-parenting with Michael Jordan. She revealed their co-parenting habit during an interview with Chicago Business, saying:

“Mostly our conversations are about the children. I don’t remember him saying, ‘By the way, I’m getting married. Divorce was certainly new to me. I had to learn that you have to communicate. That it’s not about you or your ex-partner. It’s about making sure the children are all right.”

She also doesn’t have any social media accounts, preferring to live without public attention. It is believed that Vanoy has been single since her divorce. She lives in the Kingsbury Estates and, now that all her children are adults with partners and children of their own, she now spends majority of her time doing yoga, collecting art, and travelling.

Conclusion

Juanita Vanoy got a taste of the spotlight through her relationship with the superstar former basketball player Michael Jordan. Although their romance seemed sweet, attracting many fans, it ultimately came to an end.

After her marriage ended, Vanoy retreated to the relative safety of her private life, and has lived like that since, happily surrounded by friends and family. You may also like our latest article, Facts about Mackenzie Davis: Grace in Terminator Dark Fate and other movies.

2 Comments
  1. Ty says

    Ohhhhh

  2. Jack says

    Hmmn sad end to a glorified love story.

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