ATLANTA — Basketball hall of famer Michael Jordan, one of the world’s most recognizable figures, asked a Georgia court on Monday to dismiss a paternity suit against him, calling it a “shameless, bad faith attempt to abuse the legal system.”
Jordan’s lawyer John Mayoue said in a document filed in Fulton County Superior Court that the six-time NBA champion is not the father of Pamela Y. Smith’s 16-year-old son. The paternity of the teen was “conclusively established” in divorce filings between Smith and her ex-husband, Jordan’s attorney wrote.
Jordan, 50, is the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats. His spokeswoman Estee Portnoy released a statement to The Associated Press.
“Public records show that the paternity of the child was established in a prior case in this same court many years ago and that Michael Jordan is not the father. He also filed a counterclaim seeking sanctions for the false claims made against him. It is unfortunate that well-known figures are the target of these kind of claims. Michael Jordan will vigorously defend himself and his reputation.”
In response to Smith’s lawsuit, Jordan’s lawyer attached a 2003 divorce court filing between Smith and her then-husband Glenville G. Reynolds. The document said the marriage produced one child and listed the boy’s birth date and name. At the end of the document, there is a statement signed by Smith saying everything is “true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.”
The filing said Smith will have legal and physical custody of the child and Reynolds can have visitation. Reynolds was expected to pay child support for the child.
A telephone listed for Reynolds was disconnected. Smith’s publicist did not immediately have a comment on Jordan’s court filing.