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

acollman@businessinsider.com (Ashley Collman)
john schnatter

Timothy D. Easley/AP

  • The Louisville Courier Journal reported on Thursday that M. Annette Cox filed for divorce from John Schnatter 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 an awkward interview in which he said that Papa John's quality had declined without him at the helm and that he had eaten "over 40 pizzas in the last 30 days."
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It's been a bad three years for John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John's. First he was forced out of his own company. Then, last week, he became the butt of jokes after a car-crash interview. And now his wife is divorcing him.

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

In a 2013 interview, Schnatter called his wife "the finest human being I've ever met" and the best Papa John's franchise operator, according to the newspaper.

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

Papa John's ex CEO Schnatter

WDRB News

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

Schnatter resigned as the company's CEO in late 2017 after he said that NFL leaders' handling of the national-anthem protests had hurt business for Papa John's, a sponsor of the league and an advertiser, and that the protests "should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago."

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

Schnatter's latest gaffe happened last week, when in an interview with a local Louisville news station, WDRB, he complained that the quality of the pizza had declined since he was forced out of the company.

"I've had over 40 pizzas in the last 30 days," Schnatter said. "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 story at the Louisville Courier Journal »

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