Janet Jones, 2009
|Born||Janet Marie Jones
January 10, 1961
Bridgeton, Missouri, USA
|Spouse(s)||Wayne Gretzky (1988–present)|
Jones performed in Annie (1982), Staying Alive (1983) and Snow White Live (1980), and had a bit part in The Beastmaster (1982). Her big break came in The Flamingo Kid (1984), which was followed by the film version of A Chorus Line (1985). Later in 1986, she appeared in American Anthem, co-starring gymnast Mitch Gaylord. In 1987, she appeared on the cover and in a semi-nude pictorial in the March issue of Playboy.
Playing on her surname, she appeared in a 1986 TV commercial endorsing Jones Sausage along with other people who shared her last name.
Jones met Gretzky when he was a judge on Merv Griffin's show Dance Fever in 1984. They met again at a Los Angeles Lakers game in 1987, and on July 16, 1988, they were married in a ceremony at St. Joseph's Basilica that was broadcast live across Canada. Less than a month after their wedding, Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings and one of the motivations was widely rumoured to be the furtherance of Jones' acting career in Hollywood. The couple have five children: Paulina (born 1988), Ty Robert (born 1990), Trevor Douglas (born 1992), Tristan Wayne (born 2000), and Emma Marie (born 2003).
Gambling ring controversy
On February 7, 2006, Jones and a half-dozen NHL players were among those implicated in a New Jersey-based sports gambling ring allegedly financed by Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet. Then-Coyotes' general manager and Gretzky's former agent, Michael Barnett, admitted to placing a bet on Super Bowl XL through Tocchet.
Gretzky told reporters that Jones "would sit down at some point and answer questions that everybody has for her and be her own person" while denying any involvement. Jones released a statement through the Coyotes: "At no time did I ever place a wager on my husband's behalf. Other than the occasional horse race, my husband does not bet on any sports."
The Newark Star-Ledger revealed that New Jersey State Police wiretaps have Gretzky speaking about the ring. Lawyers for the couple later announced that there was no evidence of any betting on their part, and neither would face criminal charges. "They were trying to paint something that just wasn't true," Jones later told Chatelaine Magazine. "It's unfair that Wayne and I have had a great marriage for 20 years and a nice family, and the people in the media could care less if they are trying to cause friction in your marriage, trouble in your family, and make your kids feel a certain way. That was a little hurtful because it was like, 'Why? What have we ever done to you?'" In 2007, she took part in a high-stakes golf tournament broadcast by ESPN. The NHL prohibits personnel from betting on its own games, but does not have a policy against other sports betting.
On March 15, 2006, the New Jersey Attorney General's Office announced it would subpoena Jones to testify about the alleged ring as soon as a grand jury convenes. On May 8, Tocchet and Jones filed notices in New Jersey that they intend to sue the state for defamation, claiming each lost business opportunities in the wake of the investigation.
- Jones, Terry (August 12, 1988). "Telling it like it is". Edmonton Sun.
- 'I didn't bet,' Gretzky repeats after allegations Associated Press via NBC Sports February 10, 2006. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
- Growing Up Gretzky Chatelaine Magazine May 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2008
- High Stakes Golf and Janet Jones-Gretzky PokerNews.com August 20, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2008
- Tocchet, Gretzky's wife start suits
- Janet Jones at the Internet Movie Database
- Gambling bust involves Tocchet, Gretzky's wife
- Chatelaine Magazine interview