Michael Jordan had an incredibly expensive but amicable divorce from Juanita

The superstar’s marriage to Juanita Jordan née Vanoy ends peacefully but leaves him poorer by a whopping $168 million and makes it to the list of the world’s most expensive divorce settlements! Jordan has long since moved on with Yvette Prieto, a Cuban-American model.

22 years with Juanita

A young Michael Jordan with Juanita and their children.

A young Michael Jordan with Juanita and their children.

Michael Jordan met ex-wife Juanita Vanoy on a blind date in 1984. They dated for five years with Michael first proposing to her around four years later. But Juanita, a little older and perhaps wiser, decided to wait and only revisited the topic a year later. The ended up getting married in a quick ceremony in Las Vegas. Not your dream wedding, but it seemed enough.

By that time their eldest son, Jeremy had already been borne. And because Michael was already headed for superstardom, the two signed a post-nuptial agreement a year and a half after their wedding. Interestingly, Juanita would receive half his fortune in case of a divorce.

For a long time that didn’t seem an issue. The two had two more children, another son and a daughter. They were considered a stable couple, even though they weren’t overly affectionate in public.

It came as a surprise when Juanita filed for divorce in 2002, citing irreconcilable differences. A month later she withdrew her petition, apparently wanting to give it another try.

That lasted four more years.

A most expensive divorce

In December 2006 the couple’s lawyer issued an official statement saying: “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.”

Michael Jordan with Juanita Jordan Especiales Revista Cosas

Michael Jordan with Juanita Jordan Especiales Revista Cosas

Friends and fans were shocked by the announcement. No outward trouble seemed to have been apparent, especially since the two had reportedly spent a lot of time prior to the divorce filing. Nobody really knew why the couple divorced after all. In all likelihood, they were no longer happy together and couldn’t make their marriage work any longer.

Despite the post-nuptial agreement did it take almost a year for the divorce to be finalized. Interestingly, Juanita is said to have received $168 million in the end, which was ‘only’ a third of Michael’s net-worth at the time. She also received their Chicago mansion and custody of their three children.

That makes their divorce one of the most expensive celebrity divorces of all time, though at least their divorce was reportedly very quiet and amicable. It probably took so long to get finalized because of the many assets that had to be considered.

Dream wedding with Yvette

Juanita and Michael both moved on. They managed to put their children first, remaining in contact to make a decision when it came to the kids. For a while, Juanita was rumoured to be dating a significantly younger banker, but we don’t know how much truth there is to that rumour. Juanita herself actually withdrew from public life to concentrate on helping her children grow up outside of their father’s shadow, which was not always easy.

Michael, on the other hand, expanded his business empire after eventually retiring from the NBA and began dating Cuban model and dancer Yvette Prieto in 2008.

Yvette is 15 years younger than Michael, but the two were clearly enamoured with each other. In 2013 the two married in a huge extravagant ceremony attended by 500 guests, among them many celebrities, and followed by a reception with another 1,500 guests.

After having had a small wedding the first time around, Michael went all out the second time. For Yvette, it was the first wedding, and it will hopefully be her last.

By the way, this time around he insisted on a prenup. Yvette and Michael agreed that she would receive $1 million for every year they were married in case of a divorce, though the amount would increase to $5 million per year if they made it past 10 years of marriage. They have been married for five years now and are still going strong.

Making it five

And let’s not forget that Yvette has given Michael twin daughters in 2014. That means he’s now a dad of five, though his older children are all grown up now.

But when children are added to the mix, most couples tend to put them first. It strengthens their family bond, but they also recognize that it’s no longer just about the two of them.

For now, Michael and Yvette seem to be very happy. Hopefully, they will make their marriage last.

Additional sources: people.com aceshowbiz.com
chicagobusiness.com pri.org/stories hellomagazine.com thesun.co.uk

Michael Jordan with present wife Yvette Prieto.

Michael Jordan with present wife Yvette Prieto.

Michael Jordan with then wife Juanita.

Michael Jordan with then wife Juanita.

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