The wife of disgraced Papa John's founder John Schnatter has filed for divorce

The wife of disgraced Papa John's founder John Schnatter has filed for divorce

john schnatter

  • The Louisville Courier Journal reports that M. Annette Cox filed for divorce from her husband John Schnatter on Thursday, after 32 years of marriage.
  • It was the latest blow for Schnatter, who was forced to resign as CEO and then chairman of Papa John's after making controversial remarks.
  • Last week, he gave a awkward interview in which he claimed that Papa John's quality has gone down without him at the helm, claiming he had eaten "over 40 pizzas in the last 30 days."
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It's been a bad three years for Papa John's founder John Schnatter. First he was forced out of his own company. Then he became the butt of jokes in a car-crash interview. And now, his wife is divorcing him.

The Louisville Courier Journal reported that Schnatter's wife of 32 years, identified as M. Annette Cox in court papers, filed for divorce on Thursday, saying their union was "irretrievably broken." The couple have two adult children.


In a 2013 interview, Schnatter called his wife "the finest human being I've ever met" - as well as the best Papa John's franchise operator.

According to the Courier Journal, Cox said they separated on April 1, and had already come to a settlement as to how they want to separate their assets, which include Louisville's most expensive home (an $11 million, 18,000-square-foot mansion with 15 acres), a $6 million condo in Naples, Florida, and a $23 million condo in Deer Valley, Utah.

Papa John's ex CEO Schnatter


Despite his loss of leadership at Papa John's, Schnatter is still quite wealthy, with an estimated net worth of $500 million. He still owns 19% of the pizza chain, according to the Courier Journal.

Schnatter resigned as the company's CEO in 2017, after he was caught making controversial remarks about the NFL kneeling protests. Papa John's is a sponsor of the league and an advertiser, and Schnatter complained that NFL leadership's handling of the protests had hurt business. He said that the protests "should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago."

A few months later, Forbes revealed that Schnatter had used the N-word on a phone call with a marketing agency, while trying to repair the brand. Schnatter then resigned as chairman of the company's board.


Schnatter's latest gaffe happened last week, when he agreed to an interview with Louisville local news station WDRB, in which he complained that the quality of the pizza has gone down since he was forced out of the company.

"I've had over 40 pizzas in the last 30 days," Schnatter said in the November 26 interview. "And it's not the same pizza. It's not the same product. It just doesn't taste as good."

His remarks quickly went viral.


Read the full divorce story at the Louisville Courier Journal »