Michael Jordan and wife attempting a reconciliation

Tuesday, February 5th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ Michael and Juanita Jordan are giving their marriage another try.

The Jordans, who announced last month they were divorcing after 12 years of marriage, said Monday they are attempting a reconciliation. Juanita Jordan also withdrew the divorce petition she filed Jan. 4 in Lake County Circuit Court.

``We have decided to attempt a reconciliation and our efforts to do so will be greatly enhanced if the privacy of our personal lives is respected,'' the couple said in a statement issued by Juanita Jordan's attorneys.

Attorneys for both sides said there would be no further comment.

``Juanita's and Michael's joint statement says everything they have to say,'' said Frederick Sperling, an attorney for Michael Jordan.

In her original divorce petition, Juanita Jordan said past attempts at reconciliation had failed and future ones ``would be impractical and not in the best interests of the family.''

But when Michael Jordan was asked about the pending divorce last month, he expressed some hope of a reconciliation.

``That's something probably we'll work on,'' he said then. ``We have kids, obviously, and we want to make sure that's the focus. Outside of that, when the time comes, you guys will hear about it.''

When Juanita Jordan filed for divorce, her petition sought custody of their three children, ages 13, 11 and 9; possession of their 25,000-square-foot house in suburban Highland Park; an ``equitable'' share of their marital property; and a ``fair and reasonable sum'' for temporary and permanent maintenance.

Last September, Fortune Magazine estimated Jordan's wealth at $398 million. In his final two seasons with the Chicago Bulls in 1997 and 1998, his salary topped $60 million.

When Jordan retired for the second time, he cited a desire to spend more time with his family, even joking that he would help with car pools. He maintained his home in the Chicago area even when he returned to basketball as a front-office executive with the Wizards last season.

But his decision to make another comeback as a player at age 38 has kept him in Washington most of the time and on the road, away from Chicago.

Michael and Juanita Jordan were married Sept. 2, 1989, in Las Vegas.