Michael Jordan files to dismiss paternity lawsuit
By KATE BRUMBACK and STEVE REED The Associated Press March 4, 2013 10:00AM
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. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)
ATLANTA — Michael Jordan has asked a Georgia court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against him by a woman who says the NBA hall of famer is the father of her 16-year-old son.
Jordan’s lawyer John Mayoue said in the document filed Monday in Fulton County Superior Court that the six-time NBA champion is not the father of Pamela Y. Smith’s son. Jordan accused her of making false claims against him.
The NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats owner said the paternity of the teen has already been “conclusively established” in divorce filings between Smith and her ex-husband.
Jordan, 50, released a statement to The Associated Press on Monday through his publicist Estee Portnoy saying, “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.”
Jordan’s response to Smith’s Feb. 6 lawsuit said her suit is a “shameless, bad faith attempt to abuse the legal system.”
Smith’s lawsuit requests Jordan take a paternity test and pay child support. She also requested the boy’s last name be changed to Jordan, and for a judge to order the Georgia Department of Vital Records to issue him a new birth certificate.
The lawsuit requests that any hearing or trial be conducted in closed court to protect the teen’s privacy.
However, Smith’s publicist acknowledged that the teen posted a video to YouTube on Dec. 25, saying Jordan is his father and that he wants him to play a larger role in his life.
“Pamela had no choice but to support her son and his desire to forge a relationship with his father,” Smith’s publicist, April Love, said in a statement Friday. “That’s why she is now speaking out and prompting Michael to do the right thing.”
Love said Smith, 48, and Jordan met in Chicago in the late 1980s.
According to court documents, Smith does not have an attorney. A court date is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12.
Jordan remains one of the most recognized sports figures in the world nearly 10 years after his retirement from the NBA. He was a 14-time NBA all-star and won six championships with the Chicago Bulls and was named the finals MVP six times.
On March 17, 2010, the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved Jordan’s purchase of the Bobcats, making him the first former NBA player ever to become the majority owner of a league franchise.
AP Sports Writer Steve Reed contributed to this report from Charlotte, N.C.