With The Last Dance, a documentary on the Chicago Bulls' glory days (from 1997 to 1998,) premiering on ESPN, basketball fans are reminded of some of basketball's most iconic stars. This includes the legendary Michael Jordan, who won six championships with the Chicago Bulls.
MJ's face was everywhere in the '90s, including ad campaigns like "Got Milk," and commercials for Gatorade and Nike. The now 57-year-old MJ even starred in Space Jam in 1996, which cemented his status as legend and '90s icon.
Although MJ was pretty quiet about his private life, rumors of several affairs that were causing rifts in his first marriage with Juanita Vanoy surfaced. What was fairly known about the basketball player, was that he had a pretty major gambling addiction, which affected his personal relationships.
In 2005, MJ told 60 Minutes, "Yeah, I've gotten myself into situations where I would not walk away and I've pushed the envelope. Is that compulsive? Yeah, it depends on how you look at it. If you're willing to jeopardize your livelihood and your family, then yeah."
Michael Jordan's current wife is Yvette Prieto.
MJ and his current wife Yvette Prieto have been married since 2013. The now 41-year-old former model grew up in Miami, and used to work with big-name brands like Alexander Wang. The couple welcomed identical twin daughters (named Ysabel and Victoria,) their first children together, in 2014. MJ has three children (Jasmine, Jeffrey, and Marcus) from his first marriage with Juanita Vanoy.
How did MJ and Yvette meet?
Yvette and MJ met at a Miami nightclub in 2008. Before Yvette started dating MJ, she was in a relationship with Julio Iglesias Jr. He asked Yvette if she would marry him in 2011, and in 2013 the two got hitched in Palm Beach, Florida. The wedding reportedly cost $10 million and over 300 people attended.
Describing the wedding, one source said, "The attention to detail was magnificent. The tent even smelled beautiful. It looked like the most luscious garden you could imagine. You walked into the dining room and it looked like heaven. The room was filled with thousands of candles. Thousands. It was heavenly."
All about Juanita Vanoy, MJ's first wife.
Introduced by a friend in 1985, Michael and Juanita got married in 1989. Juanita, who had modeled in the past, worked as the executive secretary for the American Bar Association and led the Michael and Juanita Jordan Endowment Fund while they were together. Juanita, who is now 60 years old, eventually pivoted her career and became involved in real estate.
In 2002, after almost 13 years of marriage, they filed for divorce for the first time due to "irreconcilable differences." They got back together and stayed husband and wife until 2006 when they split up for good. Juanita received a $168 million settlement plus a considerable payment for their Chicago home. Juanita currently lives in Chicago.
While Juanita and Michael share three children together, MJ initially denied paternity with their first child, Jeffrey, who was born in 1988. Juanita had to hire a lawyer to get MJ to take responsibility for his kid. Michael Minton, her attorney at the time, told The Washington Post, "She told me she was pregnant, unwed, and 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."
Michael gave in when he realized he'd be facing a huge paternity suit. This all happened before they were married. MJ and Juanita did their best to raise their kids in the most normal environment possible. Juanita told Crain's Chicago Business in 2013, "Living in suburbs was a life that they got to enjoy because of their wealth, however, it was important to me that they also experienced how I grew up." Juanita was raised in Chicago's South Side and "never forgot where she came from," per the Post.
Did Michael Jordan have a secret son?
In 2013, a woman named Pamela Smith filed a paternity suit against the former basketball star, claiming she and MJ had a secret "love child" when she got pregnant in 1995. She alleged that she had an affair with MJ during his marriage with Juanita. A year before, her son Taj, uploaded a video to YouTube claiming that MJ was his biological father. "The reason I am making this video, I have some exclusive, exclusive information I feel everybody should know. If you've been hearing any rumors on Twitter, Instagram, MediaTakeout, any of that ... it's true," Taj said.
It's unclear what became of the paternity suit because Pamela ended up getting fined for allegedly lying about the whole thing. The judge fined Pamela $9,704 and noted that most likely this was all a publicity stunt since she had hired a publicist before she hired a lawyer. According to the Daily Mail, even though Pamela withdrew the suit, she still stands by her claims.
While MJ's three children he shares with Juanita (Jasmine, Jeffrey, and Marcus) are more involved in the Nike Jordan Brand, twins Ysabel and Victoria have mostly stayed out of the spotlight. Michael and current wife Yvette are pretty private and have a low profile. Learn more about Michael's life in the documentary The Last Dance. New episodes drop every Sunday on ESPN.