Michael Jordan was married to his first wife, Juanita Vanoy, during the Bulls’ 1997-98 season highlighted in The Last Dance documentary. The former couple got married at the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas during the early years of Jordan’s career back in 1989, per Chicago Tribune.
Jordan and Vanoy met at a Chicago Bennigans restaurant after a Bulls game. The Chicago Tribune reported that Vanoy was a loan officer looking to earn an associate’s degree when they initially met. After they got married, Jordan noted that their relationship had helped him mature.
“I’m happy. It was a big move getting married,” Jordan told the Chicago Tribune. “It helped me mature.”
The couple divorced in 2006, years after his NBA career had ended. Jordan remarried years later and still remains with current wife Yvette Prieto.
Learn more about Jordan’s former wife.
1. The Former Couple Had 3 Kids Together: Jeff, Marcus & Jasmine
Vanoy and Jordan are the proud parents of three children: Jeff, Marcus and Jasmine. All three are out on their own now with successful careers. After working for the Hornets, Jasmine Jordan is an executive at Jordan Brand, while Marcus Jordan started a high-end sneaker and apparel company called Trophy Room. Both of Jordan’s sons played college basketball, but Vanoy had one request for them.
“When they were growing up, most coaches wanted them to wear No. 23,” Vanoy explained to Crain’s Chicago Business. “I insisted that they not do that. It was important to me. I wanted to make sure that their skills were going to be what they made them and that it was based on how hard they worked.”
Through his current marriage to Prieto, Jordan is the father to twin daughters, Victoria and Ysabel. Vanoy and Jordan are also grandparents, as their daughter recently had a baby boy.
2. Jordan & Vanoy Divorced in 2006
People reported Vanoy initially filed divorce paperwork in 2002, but the couple attempted to reconcile. Jordan and Vanoy announced their divorce in 2006 in a joint statement.
“Michael and Juanita Jordan mutually and amicably decided to end their 17-year marriage,” the couple’s lawyers said in a statement, according to People. “A judgment for dissolution of their marriage was entered today. There will be no further statements.”
3. Vanoy Received a $168 Million Divorce Settlement
According to Chicago Business, Vanoy received one of the largest divorce settlements on record, at $168 million. As of a 2013 interview, Vanoy had an active real estate license and was looking to start a business.
“I thought I’d open my own business,” Vanoy explained to Chicago Business in her first public interview after the divorce. “But it was important for me to remain in my kids’ lives as much as possible, even through college. And that required a lot of time.”
As for life after Jordan, Vanoy emphasized that she was looking to simplify life.
“I’m in a good place,” Vanoy noted to Chicago Business. “… I wanted to simplify my life. I got off boards, I downsized the way I lived. I had to because I wasn’t going to be in a huge house. I really looked forward to the basic things: my children and my good friends.”
According to the Daily Mail, Jordan requested Prieto sign a prenuptial agreement before their marriage to protect his remaining assets.
4. Jordan’s Current Wife Is Yvette Prieto
Jordan got married to his current wife on April 27, 2013. The couple celebrated with a $10 million wedding with a number of notable attendees, including Scottie Pippen, Tiger Woods and Spike Lee, Parade reported. While Vanoy indicated she is on good terms with Jordan, she admitted that they did not discuss his new marriage.
“Mostly our conversations are about the children. I don’t remember him saying, ‘By the way, I’m getting married,’” Vanoy joked to Chicago Business. “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.”
5. Vanoy & Prieto Are Not Expected to Be Featured in The Last Dance Documentary
Neither Prieto nor Vanoy is expected to appear in The Last Dance. Director Jason Hehir explained the decision not to have Jordan’s spouse in the documentary, noting he preferred to mostly limit interviews to former NBA players, executives and coaches.
“I wasn’t interested in the opinion of any wife or kids in this,” Hehir explained to The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch. “We had the storytellers we wanted and I felt like we had the story covered from every angle.”