Who Is Michael Jordan’s Ex-Wife Juanita Vanoy?

Juanita Vanoy was Michael Jordan’s first wife and the woman who stood by his side as he climbed up the ladder of success in his basketball career. The couple met each other in 1984 when Jordan had just started his career. He had only been a part of one season for the Chicago Bulls. The couple had their ups and downs and dated for a few years before tying the knot in September 1989. They had a good married life, but like all good things, this also came to an end. The couple parted ways forever in 2006. They have three kids together, and Juanita Vanoy played a crucial role in their upbringing. 

So, who is Juanita Vanoy, and what is she doing these days? Here are all the details!

Who is Juanita Vanoy?

Who is Juanita Vanoy?

While Juanita Vanoy has accomplished several things in life, she is best known as the first and ex-wife of NBA legend Michael Jordan. In fact, even when the couple met initially, she was living in Chicago and working as a loan officer for a bank. 

Today, she owns an online resale boutique, Juanita World, where you can find high-end clothes, shoes, accessories, and other items ready for their new owners. These timeless products give buyers access to Juanita’s luxurious wardrobe.

Previously, she also tried her hand at co-producing and became a part of the Broadway production, “Some Like It Hot” in 2022.

Juanita Vanoy Early Life

Juanita Vanoy Early Life

Born and raised in Chicago, Juanita Vanoy was part of a big family. She lived with her parents and five sisters. Her mom gave birth to her on June 13, 1959.

She was always into basketball, so when she attended Fenger Academy High School, she joined the school’s team, 

Juanita was a hard worker who juggled work and her studies. She studied at a community college to get her associate’s degree while working at the American Bar Association and also briefly joined Heitman Financial Services. 

Additionally, Michael Jordan’s ex-wife worked as a writer for a magazine’s feature column. She also tried her hand as a newspaper cultural columnist for some time. But that’s not it; she also attained a real estate license.

Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy Relationship Timeline

Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy Relationship

The basketball legend met his first wife, Vanoy, for the first time in March 1984 at a Bennigan’s restaurant in Chicago thanks to their mutual friends. Earlier that evening, Vanoy had watched Jordan play at a Bulls basketball game. Back then, she was completely unaware of how things would turn out and that he would eventually become her husband and the father of her three kids.

After dating for quite some time, Michael Jordan asked the big question in 1987 on a New Year’s Eve. Soon after, Vanoy became pregnant with the couple’s first child, and a rough patch between them began as talks of their marriage were halted. Problems between the two only increased, and Juanita Vanoy thought of filing for a paternity suit as she felt that the demands of her unborn baby and herself were not being fulfilled.

Juanita Vanoy kids

While their lawyers sorted things out, Vanoy had their son in November 1988. Fast forward to ten months later, the couple got married in a small ceremony at the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas at 3:30 am. Jordan mentioned that he was worried about his friends’ opinions and thought that they would be a hindrance, so they decided to keep the wedding private.

In 1993, Jordan admitted that he and Vanoy were far from two peas in a pod. The two had quite the opposite personalities, with the NBA player having a more Southern personality and Vanoy being a city girl through and through. In his interview with People, he explained that Vanoy enjoyed having nights out with him, but he was more into staying at home. And so, whenever they did go out, he had to force himself to get up and do so as he believed that his wife deserved this much.

Going into more detail, he said, “I’m more down-home Southern, Juanita’s more city-like. When my good friends come up from North Carolina, I don’t mind having them stay over and sleep on the floor — that’s a Southern attitude. But Juanita believes that these are grown men now. She’ll say, ‘Make sure they get a hotel.”

Juanita Vanoy and Michael Jordan’s Divorce


After 3 kids and 12 years of marriage, in January 2002, Vanoy officially filed for divorce. This was shortly after Jordan had decided to come out of retirement to join the NBA’s Washington Wizards. In the paperwork, Vanoy asked for permanent custody of their three children, ownership of their Chicago mansion, and a fair share of their marital assets. Simultaneously, Jordan stated that their attempts to salvage the marriage had failed, and trying again in the future was not in the picture as it “would be impractical and not in the best interests of the family.”

In the days after the news broke, the NBA star addressed the press during a basketball practice, saying, “When you have personal issues, sometimes work is a great avenue to deal with it and move on. Things will work out in the long run.”

The couple managed to save their marriage for the time being, as just after a month, Juanita Vanoy withdrew her request for the divorce.

However, the couple eventually divorced. They stayed strong for a few more years before deciding that separating their paths was the best decision for them. In 2006, the couple filed for divorce.

Jordan Divorce Settlement

Divorce Settlement

Jordan and Juanita Divorce Settlement

Post-split, Juanita received a whopping divorce settlement of $168 million. This was and is still one of the largest divorce settlements in the world of sports. However, Juanita did not receive ownership of the Chicago mansion in the divorce settlement.

Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy’s Children

Juanita Vanoy’s Children

Juanita Vanoy and Michael Jordan have three children together. They welcomed their firstborn, Jeffrey, in 1988 before they even got married. Then, in December 1990, their second son Marcus was born, and their daughter Jasmine followed in December 1992.

As their kids grew, the couple kept them away from the public eye and tried to provide them with a normal lifestyle. Reflecting on it now, Jasmine mentions in an interview with InStyle that it was mostly her mom’s choice.

Jordan and Juanita

“My dad always said, ‘You go out and do what you want, if you want to have that life I support you.’ My mom was more about, ‘I’m going to raise you how I think you should be, and once you become an adult, you decide what you want to do.’”

Jasmine further added that her mom always tried to keep them grounded and reminded them that life was never to be taken for granted. She spoke about how they were raised in Chicago and that their family would come over the weekend.

jeffrey jordan and michael jordan

Jeffrey grew up following in his father’s footsteps and entered the world of basketball. Although he is no longer playing the game professionally, he is still involved in the business world surrounding the sport.

Marcus, on the other hand, is often in the spotlight these days. He also played basketball for some time.

Jasmine has a degree in sports management and often works for the Jordan brand. She was also a part of Nike’s Jordan line.

Did Juanita Vanoy marry again?

Juanita Vanoy chose not to marry again. However, Michael Jordan married model Yvette Prieto in 2013, and the couple has twins. The couple tries their best to maintain a private personal life away from the spotlight.


Haram Aslam
Haram Aslam
Haram Aslam is a medical student with a passion for binge-watching TV shows. From Gilmore Girls to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she will watch anything and everything with a little bit of romance, comedy and drama. Her love and passion for entertainment keeps her motivated to share her knowledge with others. Apart from Netflix-ing and chilling, she loves reading books and shopping.

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