Paternity suit dropped against basketbal

March 21 [Thu], 2013, 7:27
By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - An Atlanta woman who says basketball legend Michael Jordan is the father of her 16-year-old son has dropped her paternity suit against him.

Pamela Smith, 48, filed a paternity suit against Jordan last month seeking child support. Jordan denies he is the father of the child and has also filed a counterclaim seeking sanctions against Smith for making false claims.

Smith acknowledged in a previous divorce proceeding that her now ex-husband is the father of the child, according to Jordan's lawyers.

The case has not been settled, Smith's attorney, Randy Kessler, told Reuters on Monday. His client has voluntarily dismissed the case "without prejudice" which means she can re-file it later if she chooses, Kessler added.

"She began this case without an attorney and did her best to file what she believed to be a legally appropriate case," Kessler said.

"She then hired our firm just before the first court appearance. Ms. Smith has relied on our advice and determined that dismissal at this time, without prejudice, is in her son's best interests," he said.

In a statement, Estee Portnoy, Michael Jordan's spokeswoman, confirmed that the suit has been dropped and said, "There has been no settlement or money paid to Ms. Smith."

Jordan, 50, is widely hailed as the best basketball player of all time and was a member of six NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls. He is majority owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats team.

John Mayoue, Jordan's attorney, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the case.

Last week, Smith asked a Georgia court to force Jordan to submit to a DNA test to prove or disprove whether he is the father.

"My son has the right to know who his father is," Smith told reporters after the hearing. "He has had an issue with it over the years."

(Editing by David Adams and Andrew Hay)



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