Basketball star Michael Jordan's wife files for divorce, cites 'irreconcilable differences'

Tuesday, January 8th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ Michael Jordan's wife has filed for divorce, citing ``irreconcilable differences'' with the basketball superstar after 12 years of marriage. They have three children.

Juanita Jordan is seeking permanent custody of the couple's three children, their 25,000-square-foot house in Highland Park, north of the city, and half the couple's property. Michael Jordan, who is playing this year for the Washington Wizards, was paid more than $30 million in his final season with the Bulls and is one of the world's richest athletes.

Juanita Jordan filed the petition Friday in suburban Waukegan, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

``It is our hope that the media and the public will understand and respect our family's desire and need for privacy during this difficult period in our lives,'' Michael and Juanita Jordan said in a statement.

The six-page petition said attempts at reconciliation ``would be impractical and not in the best interests of the family.''

The couple met at a Chicago restaurant during his second season with the Bulls, and they were married Sept. 2, 1989, in Las Vegas. Their children are Jeffrey, 13, Marcus, 11, and Jasmine, 9.

Michael Jordan cited a desire to spend more time with his family when he retired from the Bulls the first time in October 1994 and again in January 1999.

He maintained his home in the Chicago area when he returned to basketball as a front-office executive with the Wizards last season, but his decision to resume his playing career has kept him in Washington full-time.