Papa John’s Founder John Schnatter’s Wife Files For Divorce, Says Marriage Is ‘Broken’

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The wife of Papa John’s founder and ousted CEO John Schnatter has filed for divorce, CNBC News reports, claiming their marriage is “irreparably broken.” The divorce filing comes in the same week that Schnatter filed a lawsuit of his own against an advertising agency that played a role in his ouster from his company.

Schnatter’s wife, filing her legal paperwork under her maiden name, M. Annette Cox, claimed in court filings this week that her 32-year-marriage to the Kentucky businessman was beyond repair. Specifically, according to The Louisville Courier-Journal, Ms. Cox claimed that the couple had already divided up their marital assets on their own and asked the judge to simply put the agreement the two already signed into the official divorce decree.

The Louisville newspaper notes that, though the divorce filing made no mention of abuse or infidelity, Schnatter has been accused, multiple times by multiple women, of various sexual improprieties.

Cox had moved out of the couple’s mansion and into a place of her own several months ago, local media reported.

The couple have two children who are both adults.

It remains unclear, as of this writing, whether Schnatter intends to contest Cox’s claim in the divorce filing, which lists Schnatter’s employment status as “not employed.”

MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: In this photo illustration, a Papa John's pizza box is seen on July 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. The founder of Papa John's pizza, John Schnatter, apologized Wednesday for using the N-word on a conference call in May. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Featured image credit: Joe RaedleGetty Images

Things have been going poorly for Schnatter professionally for a couple of years now. In November 2017, Schnatter made comments critical of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for not responding to the national anthem protests the way Schnatter had hoped. For that, he was forced out as CEO but remained on the company’s board.

The company hired an advertising agency, Laundry Service. During a conference call, Schnatter reportedly used multiple racial slurs, for which the agency terminated its relationship with the pizza chain the same day. He was then forced out of his seat on the company’s board.

Schnatter claims in his lawsuit that Laundry Service recorded the conference call without his knowledge, in order to gin up negative press coverage. He further alleges that Laundry Service leaked the conference call to Forbes, in the process violating a nondisclosure agreement.

“The facts will show that my words were taken out of context and used to manufacture a scandal against me based on a completely false narrative,” Schnatter said in a statement.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. Schnatter says that he plans to give any award for damages to charity.

Last week, as reported at the time by The Inquisitr, Schnatter said that he had eaten 40 Papa John’s pizzas in 30 days and that they didn’t taste as good. Papa John’s current CEO, Rob Lynch, said this week that the recipe for the pizza has not been changed.