March 7th, 2013 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Now it’s Michael Jordan’s turn to be accused of fathering a child who’s never been a part of his life. Jordan denies being the boy’s father. Read about it here (ABC News, 3/4/13).
It seems that one Pamela Smith has a son who’s now 16. The boy’s name is Grant Pierce Jordan Reynolds, but he call himself Taj and fancies himself a hip-hop artist. Apparently his mother was married to a man named Glenville Reynolds, but the two divorced in 2003. Articles on the subject say nothing about Reynolds, whether he pays child support or what his relationship is with the boy he’s always been led to believe was his son.
Jordan, former mega-star for the Chicago Bulls and current majority owner of the woeful Charlotte Bobcats, denies being the boy’s father.
Basketball hall of famer Michael Jordan 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…
“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.
Notice that Jordan isn’t saying “I never had sex with Ms. Smith and therefore cannot be the boy’s father.” What he appears to be saying is that, in the divorce and custody case, Smith had the opportunity to come clean and admit she didn’t know the identity of Taj’s father, but failed to do so. As such, paternity of the boy is res judicata, i.e. a judicially decided thing that she cannot now ask a court to undecide. That looks to be Jordan’s defense. “I may be his biological father but I cannot be his legal father.”
Whether that argument will prevail in the Georgia court in which Smith’s petition was filed, I have no idea. In some states, a final decree of divorce and custody is considered res judicata of the paternity of any child of the marriage. At least that’s true for men who seek a court order disestablishing paternity after the divorce is over. Does the same hold true for mothers who decide they want a child to have different dad? We’ll see what the court decides.
I suppose I don’t need to mention that, according to Smith, her motive isn’t money. No indeed. I don’t know what Michael Jordan is worth, but with his basketball career and numerous endorsement contracts over the years, it’s well into the hundreds of millions. Sixteen years of child support based on his income would come to a sum that can safely be described as astronomical. So no serious person believes that Smith is unconcerned with the fact that nailing Michael Jordan would constitute a gold mine to her.
But she claims it’s all about the boy. Apparently she’s told him that Jordan’s his dad and guess what! Young Taj wants to make that happen. Why are we not surprised? What 16-year-old boy, when his mother tells him his father is one of the most prominent sports figures in history, wouldn’t jump at the chance?
So it looks to me like Smith is just using her son as a stalking horse to cash in. After all, if she’d really been so enthusiastic about his having a relationship with his biological dad (assuming Jordan is that person), why’d she wait until now? Indeed, why didn’t she make the claim when the boy was born? Or, if she wanted to preserve her then-husband’s feelings, why didn’t she cite Jordan in her divorce case? Surely, if she wanted what’s best for Taj, she’d have involved Jordan in his life at the earliest possible time. The money would still have been there.
And that of course raises the obvious issue that the mainstream press has missed utterly. If Smith is telling the truth about Jordan’s paternity, this is yet another case of paternity fraud. The news media that are so breathlessly reporting every last detail of the case have missed he real story – until now, Smith has lied to two men, one boy and a court of law about who Taj’s dad is. If Jordan is his dad, that means she had sex with him when the boy was conceived. She may also have had sex with Reynolds around the same time. She therefore couldn’t have been sure who the father was, but in her divorce case, she didn’t say “I can’t be sure,” she said Reynolds is the father “to the best of my knowledge.” But that wasn’t the best of her knowledge at all. It was a lie to the court.
And of course it was a lie to Reynolds, a lie to Jordan and a lie to Taj. Into the bargain, she happily took Reynolds’ money for the past 10 years under what she now claims to be false pretenses.
Astonishingly, the press babbles on, blissfully unaware of any of this. To those reporting on the case, it’s just another salacious story about the alleged sexual peccadilloes of a celebrity. And hey, who’d want to criticize a mother who’s just doing her best for her son?
Personally, I hope the judge in the case orders DNA testing. I want to know if Jordan’s the kid’s father or not, but more importantly, I want to know if the MSM ever notices the obvious – that Pamela Smith is a user of all things male. She used Reynolds, she used Jordan and she’s using her son. Again assuming that Jordan turns out to be the father, both he and Reynolds should be empowered by law to sue Smith for her intentional deprivation of their parental rights.