Who Is Michael Jordan's Ex-Wife? Everything To Know About Juanita Vanoy — Who's Missing From ESPN's 'The Last Dance'

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Who Is Michael Jordan's Ex-Wife? Everything To Know About Juanita Vanoy Who's Missing From ESPN's 'The Last Dance' Trailer

Fans of Michael Jordan were given the best experience of getting to know the basketball player through Netflix and ESPN Film's docuseries called "The Last Dance," which premiered in April 2020.

The series took a deep dive into the Chicago Bulls' 1997-1998 championship season, and included an in-depth look at NBA legend Michael Jordan and his personal life. However, his ex-wife, Juanita Vanoy, was visibly absent from the docuseries.

Who is Michael Jordan's ex-wife, Juanita Vanoy?

Here's everything you need to know about the ex-wife of Michael Jordan, including their marriage, divorce, children, and why she wasn't featured in "The Last Dance."

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How did Jordan and Vanoy meet?

The exes were introduced by a mutual friend who thought they would be a perfect match for each other in 1985. They met at Bennigans restaurant in Chicago after a Bulls game. At the time, Vanoy was a loan officer employed at bank.

They dated for two years before Jordan proposed by getting down on one knee during New Year's Eve in 1987 at a fancy downtown Chicago restaurant.

Jordan and Vanoy were married from 1989-2006. 

Jordan and Vanoy's married life together started out with a bang when they tied the knot in Las Vegas in 1989, less than a year after welcoming their first child into the world. They said their vows at A Little White Wedding Chapel just after 2 AM on a Saturday morning — definitely an interesting choice!

Ultimately, they had three children together, including a daughter named Jasmine, and two sons named Marcus and Jeffrey, both of whom are basketball players.

Jordan initially denied the paternity of his first son.

Although Jordan isn't always seen with his children, he has been said to be a caring parent. However, this didn't come without a nudge.

Reportedly, when Jordan first found out about his son Jeffrey Jordan who was born in November 1988, he wasn't exactly eager to accept his position as a parent. Vanoy actually had to get lawyers involved before the star would acknowledge his responsibilities.

She hired Michael Minton, who revealed years later what their first meeting was like: "She told me she was pregnant, unwed, and that the father of the child was Michael Jordan. She felt she could not get Michael's attention or cooperation or response without the retention of a legal representative."

The Jordans announced their separation in 2002, but then reconciled.

More than 10 years later, it first became obvious that there was trouble in paradise.

In 2002, Jordan and Vanoy announced they were separating when Vanoy filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. In the legal documents, Vanoy said that trying to make things work with Jordan would be "impractical and not in the best interests of the family," and asked to have privacy while they dealt with the end of their marriage.

Despite Vanoy's claims that she and Jordan couldn't work things out, they did try to. But four years later, it became clear that it just wasn't happening.

They went their separate ways for good in 2006. 

In December 2006, Jordan and Vanoy announced they were divorcing — for real this time.

“Michael and Juanita Jordan mutually and amicably decided to end their 17-year marriage,” said a statement from their lawyers at the time. “A judgment for dissolution of their marriage was entered today. There will be no further statements.”

Vanoy received $168 million in the divorce settlement, one of the largest in sports history. Jordan also reportedly paid $2.1 million in legal fees.

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Where is Juanita Vanoy today? She keeps a pretty low-profile.

Although she did spend many years of her life married to one of the most well-known athletes — if not the most well-known athlete — in history, in the years since her divorce, Vanoy has led a pretty private life.

What happened to Michael Jordan's first wife? She doesn't appear to be on social media and isn't pubicly sharing what her life is like today. However, in a 2013 interview, Vanoy said that she enjoys traveling, collecting art, and doing yoga, as well as working with non-profits around Chicago.

Did Jordan's ex-wife remarry after their divorce? Unfortunately, we may never know, as said in that interview, "I wanted to simplify my life. I got off boards, I downsized the way I lived."

So, she seems to be keeping to her simple, private life.

Vanoy and Jordan still talk about their children. 

In the same interview, Vanoy made it sound like she and Jordan were on friendly terms, and that they still communicated for the sake of their kids. They share three children together: daughter Jasmine Jordan, son Marcus Jordan, and Jeffrey Michael Jordan.

"Mostly our conversations are about the children. I don't remember him saying, 'By the way, I'm getting married,'" Vanoy said. "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."

Today, Jordan is married to Yvette Prieto. 

In 2013, Jordan married model Yvette Prieto, and they've been together ever since. They started dating in 2008, just two years after his divorce from Vanoy.

They have twin daughters together, Victoria and Ysabel, and their family is currently based out of North Carolina. Prieto will be turning 42 on March 26, 2021, meaning her and Jordan have a 14-year age gap.

Why was Jordan's ex-wife not in 'The Last Dance'?

Though Jordan is now married to Yvette Prieto, when the series was filmed he was still with Vanoy. But she was visibly absent from the series, making fans wonder why. 

Director Jason Hehir explained, "I wasn't interested in the opinion of any wife or kids in this. We had the storytellers we wanted, and I felt like we had the story covered from every angle."

So, there it is — it wasn't about any drama, it just wasn't the angle the series was planned to take.

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.