Annette Cox Schnatter, who has been married to Papa John’s founder John Schnatter for more than 30 years, has filed for divorce.
The petition, which was filed in Kentucky, reportedly states that the couple has been separated since April of 2019. She wrote that the marriage was “irretrievably broken.” Under Kentucky law, married couples do not have to specify an exact reason for why they wish to divorce.
John Schnatter, who launched Papa John’s from his father’s bar in 1984, was forced to step down as the company chairman in July of 2018 after he was heard using the n-word during a conference call.
Here’s what you need to know about Annette Cox Schnatter.
1. Annette Cox Schnatter Owns a Papa John’s Franchise In Louisville, Kentucky
Annette Cox Schnatter has been actively involved in the pizza business alongside her estranged husband. According to records on the Kentucky Secretary of State website, she has been a Papa John’s franchise owner since at least 1989.
The business is registered under the name “Joe K Corporation” but also operates under the Papa John’s name. The annual report filed in June of 2019 shows that the location employs fewer than 50 people. The franchise reportedly generates close to $1 million in revenue per year.
2. John Schnatter Once Referred to His Wife as the ‘Finest Human Being’ He’d Ever Met
John Schnatter and Annette Cox tied the knot in 1987, about three years after he first began selling pizzas out of a converted broom closet at his father’s tavern in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Schnatter has had high praise for his wife. In a 2013 interview with the Courier-Journal, he referred to Annette as the “finest human being I’ve ever met.” He added that she was the “best franchise operator” in the Papa John’s system.
The couple has three adult children together: Kristine, Beau and Danielle. While six months pregnant with Danielle, Annette was in a car crash that forced premature birth. Danielle was born with cerebral palsy but her parents said that she was able to lead “close to a normal life” due to operations and therapy. Danielle got married in 2011 and is now a mother herself. You can read more about the Schnatter family here.
3. Annette & John Schnatter Will Divide Multiple Properties In the Divorce
The divorce between Annette and John Schnatter does not appear to be one that will be drawn out in the legal system. USA Today reports that according to the divorce petition, it appears that the couple may have already reached an agreement about how to split the multiple properties that they own.
John and Annette Schnatter own an 18,000-square-foot mansion on a 15-acre estate in the Louisville neighborhood of Anchorage. The property is reportedly worth about $11 million, making it among the most valuable homes in Louisville.
The family also owns a 6,000-square-foot condo in Naples, Florida. It was built in 1996 and the Schnatter’s purchased it for about $2.6 million. The property is now valued at more than $7 million, according to Zillow.
The Schnatters also own a condo in Deer Valley, Utah that has an estimated value of $23 million. The condo is located at a ski resort.
4. Annette Cox Schnatter Purchased a New Home In 2019
Annette Cox Schnatter’s decision to file for divorce does not appear to have come as a surprise. As referenced above, the couple has been separated since April.
It was also reported that she had purchased her own house in the city of Prospect earlier in 2019. Prospect is part of the greater Louisville metropolitan area. Cox Schnatter reportedly listed this address as her primary residence in the divorce petition.
5. The Schnatter Family’s Net Worth Has Decreased Substantially Amid John Schnatter’s Controversies
Annette Cox and John Schnatter will have a smaller fortune to divide in the divorce than they would have had two years ago. In 2017, Schnatter’s net worth had been estimated to be as high as $1 billion. But Papa John’s value decreased after he remarked that NFL protests were hurting pizza sales. Schnatter had said that NFL team owners needed to do more to prevent players from kneeling during the national anthem. Schnatter resigned as CEO following those comments.
As of December 2019, Schnatter’s net worth was estimated to be about $500 million. Papa John’s stock dropped substantially at the beginning of 2019, though it has seen an upward trajectory since at least August, according to NASDAQ. Schnatter currently owns about 19 percent of the company after selling some of his shares.