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Michael Jordan paternity case a mystery even to insiders

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Updated: April 5, 2013 6:04AM



It’s too early to know where — if anywhere — the recent paternity suit filed against Michael Jordan will end up. While the NBA legend and his team have declined to comment on Pamela Y. Smith’s lawsuit — claiming Jordan fathered her 16-year-old son, Grant Pierce Jay Jordan Reynolds — a source inside MJ’s camp told this column Sunday that it is unclear whether or not the boy is Jordan’s biological son.

That said, the source added that the former Bulls superstar has a top-flight team of experts who will handle this for Jordan. Similar claims reportedly have been made against Jordan in the past, but the source stressed they never went anywhere.

If Smith’s claims can be proven, the child would have been conceived while MJ was married to

Juanita Jordan. The couple, themselves the parents of three children, divorced in 2007 after 17 years of marriage. At the time, Mrs. Jordan reportedly received a settlement package that was estimated at more than $150 million.In her lawsuit, filed in Atlanta Feb. 6, Smith claims she became pregnant after having sex with Jordan in 1995. Her son, nicknamed

Taj, was born in June 1996. She is requesting a paternity test to prove Jordan is the father. She wants to continue full custody of her son and is demanding child support and the payment of medical expenses, along with making Jordan the boy’s legal last name.

The case is slated to go to trial March 12.

PARTY GONE BAD: Justin Bieber just can’t seem to do anything lately that doesn’t involve unflattering headlines — even over something relatively minor. The pop superstar tweeted “Worst birthday [ever]” after security officials forced him and his entourage to exit a London nightclub Friday night as Bieber was celebrating turning 19.

It was due to the fact that Bieber’s friend Jaden Smith — the 14-year-old son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith — was with the group and underage.

“There was never any mention of Jaden being there, so when he showed up, it caused problems. They could have stayed if Jaden left, but Justin wanted to be loyal to his good friend,’’ a club source told Us magazine.

No word if the Cirque du Soir nightclub repaid any part of the reported $17,000 Bieber paid to create a circus-themed birthday party.

A SPECIAL MAN: Hundreds of Our Town’s business, civic and social leaders made a beeline for the huge kickoff event for the James Tyree Foundation last week — a special tribute for the late Mesirow Financial CEO and former owner of the Sun-Times Media Group. The outpouring of support and continuing affection for Tyree was a thrill for his widow, Eve Tyree, and his many Mesirow colleagues and friends like current CEO Richard Price.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was but one of many high-profile Chicagoans who attended the reception. On a lighter note, when asked why he was not in Rome for the historic changing of the guard at the Papacy, Msgr. Ken Velo quipped, “Oh, I’ve already been there and back.” With a big wink, the ineligible non-cardinal added, “I voted in absentia.”

SEEING GREEN: A reminder that St. Patrick’s Day is not far away: Jim Thompson, the general manager of O’Brien’s Restaurant & Bar on Wells Street, has announced the eatery will again host the St. Patrick’s Day Queen’s luncheon at noon March 14 — toasting this year’s parade queen, Bridget McMahon Fitzgerald, and her court in advance of the downtown St. Paddy’s Day parade, being held on March 16 this year.

† Highlights of this year’s Chicago Irish Film Festival — running through Wednesday at the AMC River East 21 multiplex — include Monday night’s screening of Ross Whitaker’s “When Ali Came to Ireland” film about “The Greatest,” with Muhammad Ali’s daughter Jamillah planning to attend. … Mary Frances Bragiel of WLS-AM (890) will join festival founder Jude Blackburn to host the festival awards ceremony Wednesday night.

STAR POWER: Even though author Stephenie Meyer will be at the Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville at 2 p.m. March 11 to boost her book “The Host” and the upcoming film based on it, you can be sure a ton of her “Twilight” fans will flock to see her. Joining Meyer for the event will be Max Irons and Jake Abel, who star in “The Host” movie.

SAD NEWS: Catherine Ladany’s legion of friends and admirers are mourning the passing of that truly lovely, elegant woman, who died early Saturday in her Streeterville home. Many of us were lucky to toast Catherine on her big 90th last year. The widow of longtime Vienna Sausage CEO William Ladany, Catherine herself carved out a distinguished career as a Chicago-based couture designer back in the 1960s and ’70s — dressing many of Our Town’s fashionistas. Her gentle smile and kind soul will be missed by many. Deep condolences to her beloved daughter and son, Cathy Rutherford and Scott Ladany, and their families.

SEEN ON SCENE: Joakim Noah celebrated his 28th birthday Thursday at Board Room — the same night as his third career triple-double — joined by pals like Common and Bulls teammates including Carlos Boozer. … As first lady Michelle Obama winged her way back to D.C. from her Chicago visit, she did allow herself a little “cheat treat” — ordering a Gino’s East deep-dish pizza delivered to her plane. … Fans of Jim Belushi were happy to spot him dining at Megan and Keene Addington’s new, clubby dining hotspot, Tortoise Club on North State.



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