Joe Namath has two daughters, Jessica, and Olivia, from his marriage to Deborah “Tatiana” Mays that lasted between 1984 and 2002. Jessica, who is the eldest, followed in her father’s footsteps at the University of Alabama, where she pledged in a sorority. The family has attracted its fair share of controversy, in 2010, Olivia Namath was arrested on drug charges, three years earlier she had given birth to her first child at the age of 16.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported at the time of their parents’ divorce in 1999 that their mother had left her daughters to be raised with Namath as she married Beverley Hills plastic surgeon, Brian Novack.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Olivia Described His Daughter’s Pregnancy at 16 as ‘Wonderful’
In August 2007, Olivia Namath gave birth to a girl, Natalia, in West Palm Beach, when she was 16 years old. People Magazine reported at the time that Natalia was living with Mays in California for an unspecified reason. At the time, Olivia was still attending high school in Florida. Namath told the Palm Beach Post at the time of the child’s birth, “There are some things that are wonderful, and this is one of them. I’m just happy that everyone’s healthy.”
Olivia later married her baby’s father, Edwin Baker III. The couple was wed in June 2014. The New York Daily News reported at the time of the child’s birth that Edwin Baker III had been arrested three times in the year before his daughter’s birth. The charges included meth possession, burglary and grand theft auto. A year earlier, Baker was arrested and accused of robbing a McDonald’s restaurant. In January 2017, Namath was pictured at one of Baker’s art shows.
2. Olivia Was Arrested in 2010 When Cops Found Half a Pound of Weed in Her Car
In 2010, Olivia was arrested in West Palm Beach after she was pulled over for speeding and an officer discovered an open bottle of rum and marijuana in her car. Olivia, who was 19 at the time, was speeding in a silver Mercedes when she was pulled over, reported the Palm Beach Post at the time. After searching the car, an arresting officer found half a pound of weed, the Post report said. Olivia “denied any knowledge” of the drugs.
3. The Family’s Dog Was Missing for 5 Years Until Jessica Namath Found it
In December 2013, it was widely reported that Jessica had found her family’s beloved Shih Tzu, five years after he had vanished. Tula had wandered away from the family’s home in 2006. The dog was found by Michael Cecere in St. Petersburg, Florida, some 200 miles from Jupiter.
It emerged that Tula had been found by a family in Jupiter but the family moved to Tampa, taking the dog with them. They never took the dog to the vet, hence why the dog’s chip was never discovered. Cecere had found the dog in the street and taken it to a nearby veterinary hospital, where a vet located the chip. Cecere reached out to Jessica Namath via Facebook, making her the hero of the story.
4. Namath Described His Daughters as ‘Not Being Rational’ in Their Teenage Years
Namath said in a 2005 interview with the New York Times that raising his daughters was the toughest when they were between the ages of 12 and 17. Namath said, “Twelve to 17, oh man, those are tough years. Somewhere in there, it just becomes almost like they’re not realistic, rational. That’s O.K. The main thing is learning to be patient, continuing to listen and not just hear. And understanding that reasonable doesn’t matter during those years.”
5. Their Mother Got Their Father Sober in 1987
A 2015 ESPN feature on Namath namechecked his wife Tatiana Mays as having a key role in helping him get sober in 1987. Namath said Mays gave him an ultimatum saying, “My wife told me if I didn’t stop drinking, it would break up my family. So I quit.” Although Namath would suffer relapses around the time of his divorce in 2003 and infamously in 2003 during Monday Night Football.