In 1991, Michael Jordan was informed that he had fathered a child with Karla Knafel. Knafel claims that Jordan then agreed to pay his lover $5 million to keep silent, an assertion that Jordan denies.
Many years later Knafel sued on the alleged $5 million promise. Jordan then countersued for extortion. Paternity tests proved that Jordan was not the father of Knafel's child.
In the latest round of the case, Knafel's suit was dismissed. The judge reasoned either that the agreement was tainted by fraud OR that the agreement was unenforceable because of mutiual mnistake.
Here is Forbes on the MJ case:
Judge Stuart E. Palmer ruled in Cook County Circuit Court that any alleged agreement between Jordan and Karla Knafel would be invalid, pointing to definitive tests that showed Jordan is not the child's father.
Palmer writes that "as a result of Knafel's fraudulent misrepresentation to Jordan that he was the child's father or, alternatively, as a result of a mutual mistake of fact, the alleged settlement contract is voidable and ... unenforceable."
Jordan has denied ever agreeing to pay Knafel $5 million.
Jordan's attorney said he considers Friday's ruling a complete victory in the four-year legal fight for the former Chicago Bulls All-Star.
"This is a claim that never should have been made and we are pleased that the court has granted summary judgment in Michael Jordan's favor," Frederick Sperling said.
Jordan sued Knafel in 2002, alleging attempted extortion. In court documents, he contended that Knafel threatened to publicize their affair and had agreed to a $250,000 payment after paternity tests showed the child was not his.
Knafel argued in a counterclaim that she became pregnant in 1991 and thought the baby was Jordan's. When she told him, the lawsuit contended, Jordan agreed to pay her $5 million to keep quiet about the affair.