FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2012 file photo, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan looks on after practice at NBA basketball training camp in Asheville, N.C. An Atlanta woman has filed a lawsuit saying basketball Hall of Famer and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is the father of her teenage son. The lawsuit was filed Feb. 6 by Pamela Smith in Fulton County Superior Court.
A metro Atlanta woman claiming that NBA great Michael Jordan is the father of her 16-year-old son spoke out Tuesday after a court hearing.
“My son has the right to know who his father is,” Pamela Y. Smith told News Talk AM 750 WSB Radio and now 95.5 FM, responding to the question of why she waited until now to file a paternity claim. “My son wants to know.”
Jordan was not in the Fulton County Courthouse on Tuesday, and his attorney John Mayoue was there to file a countersuit to Smith’s claim.
The two sides met privately for a status hearing, and no formal decisions were made. Afterward, Mayoue refused to talk to reporters.
Jordan’s spokeswoman Estee Portnoy released a statement Monday 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.”
Smith said her son posted a video on YouTube in December that prompted her to pursue the paternity claim.
“After he posted it, I had to support my son,” she said. “He has had an issue with this over years because he doesn’t have a relationship with the person that he thought was his father.”
Mayoue submitted with Jordan’s counterclaim a 2003 divorce court filing in which Smith acknowledged that her son, whose name and birth date were listed, was the result of her marriage to then-husband Glennville G. Reynolds.
“This happens very commonly that people go through divorce and the issue is not raised in the divorce,” Smith’s attorney Randy Kessler said. “Then years later, somebody decides, we’ve got to set the record straight. Ms. Smith is deciding she’s going to set the record straight.”
The two sides will return to court on a date to be determined.
“We’ll talk behind the scenes, and if we can get some resolution, wonderful,” Kessler said. “If not, the court’s going to make a decision about if the case proceeds, and if so, in what fashion.”