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Did Deborah Mays Marry Again? Inside The Life Of Joe Namath’s Ex-Wife

Deborah Mays is the ex-wife of Joe Namath, a former New York Jets quarterback. Deborah, who is also known as Tatiana or Debbie was married to Namath for almost 15 years. During the marriage, the two also became parents to two daughters.

There’s a lot more to say about Deborah Mays from her early life, her marital span with Namath to her life after divorcing the retired NFL player. Scroll through them all in the headings ahead.

Deborah Mays Was Born In Pennsylvania; Her Family Was Rich

Joe Namath’s ex-wife, Deborah was born as Deborah Lynne Mays on March 1st, 1962, in Pennsylvania. Debbie is the middle child of her parents, Bud Mays, and her mother, Shirley Mays.

Joe Namath and his ex wife Deborah Tatiana Mays in April 1985
Deborah Tatiana Mays with her ex-husband Joe Namath at the White House in April 1985. Getty

Multiple sources have reported her date of birth as September 1st, 1964. However, Joe Namath’s biography reveals that at the time of his marriage to Debbie in 1984, she was 22, making her birth year 1962.

Debbie belonged to the affluent Mays family. She grew up in a prosperous household in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, where her father was a partner in a plant manufacturing local toner for copy machines.

Deborah Mays Brother Died In A Fishing Accident

Mays had a brother named Jeffrey Mays who unfortunately passed away in 1980. Debbie lost her brother during a fishing mishap.

Her brother had gone in the water with one of his friends on a boat. Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated and their vessel crashed. The authorities never found the bodies of Jeffrey and his friends even after several days of searching.

Deborah Mays Was A Bright Student

Deborah apparently was an A student since childhood.

Joe and Debbie Tatiana Mays in Oct 1985
Debbie with her ex-husband Joe Namath in Oct 1985. Getty

She exhibited intelligence during her school years, developing an early interest in becoming an equestrian.

In the middle school, Mays got to spend her time in a stable in a nearby estate.

Then in 1977, her family moved to North Carolina after her father sold his stakes in the manufacturing plant. There, she attended Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City and earned the nickname ‘Debbie.’

A prodigy with advanced skills, Debbie completed high school quickly. Afterward, she briefly attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia but the footballer’s ex-wife dropped out to pursue her dream of becoming an actress in Los Angeles.

Mays Also Acted

Before gaining fame as Joe Namath’s wife, Deborah had a brief acting career, appearing in the movie “The Greatest American Hero” in 1981. In the meantime, she also worked in a few plays.

Deborah Mays Relationship With Namath; How They Met?

Debbie and Joe met at a voice class.

While on the pathway to becoming an actress, Deborah was taking voice lessons from renowned vocal teacher Arthur Joseph in the early 1980s. Mays had told Joseph that she had a desire to marry a footballer.

Coincidentally, Joe Namath had also joined the same institute for classes. This eventually led to their introduction and subsequent dating. Joe at the time was already in his 40s while Debbie was just 21.

Ex New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath and his former wife Deborah Mays
Tatiana with her ex-husband Joe in the 80s. Getty

The former New York Jets quarterback Joe and Deborah tied the knot on November 7th, 1984. It was a ceremony planned by Deborah in a friend’s backyard at Coral Ridge Country Club, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

During their marriage, Debbie and Joe became parents to two daughters, Jessica Grace Namath in 1985 and Olivia Rose Namath in 1990.

Tatiana and Namath’s eldest daughter is a mother to a boy. She had him with her ex-husband Brian Kennedy. Deborah’s second daughter, Olivia is also a mother to a girl. She is married to Edwin Baker III.

Mays And Joe Namath Separated In The Late 90s

Joe and Debbie’s marriage ended in 1999. The official reasons for the separation never came out. Some, however, suggest it had something to do with the family’s trip to New York in the late 90s. The four had visited the Big Apple but after their stay, Tatiana refused to leave the state.

Debbie apparently also wanted to relocate to California at the time. Some say that Debbie met another man (more down below) and didn’t want to be in a relationship with Namath. Later, speaking to the National Enquirer, Mays said that her marriage to Namath was getting boring and that she had fallen in love with (her new man). Debbie also wanted to become a playwright.

Joe filed for divorce in March 1999. During the custody, the ex-NFL player asked for his daughters’ custody and Tatiana didn’t fight. The couple’s divorce was official in May 1999.

After The Divorce, Mays Changed Her Name

In 1993, Deborah legally changed her name to Tatiana to gain a new identity beyond being Joe Namath’s wife. Debbie apparently didn’t like being just a footballer’s ex-wife. After marrying Namath, she changed her name to May Namath but after the divorce, Debbie changed it to May Tatiana Namath.

People magazine in 1999, however, reported that Deborah changed her name to Tatiana not because of Joe but because her namesake cousin had died. Then again, Namath’s biography states the ex-wife of the retired footballer did so to get rid of Joe’s fame.

Deborah Helped Joe During His Alcoholism

Deborah played a crucial role in helping her ex-husband Joe Namath overcome alcoholism. The couple was still husband and wife when the latter warned him in 1987 that his drinking could ruin their family.

Debbie's ex husband and her daughters in July 2010
Deborah Mays ex-husband and her daughters, Jessica and Olivia at Nokia Theater in July 2010. Getty

This ultimately prompted the former quarterback to quit. Despite facing relapses during their divorce and again in 2003, Tatiana remained a supportive figure in Joe’s life.

After Joe, Deborah Mays Married A Surgeon

After the end of her marriage with Joe, Tatiana moved to Los Angeles and met plastic surgeon Brian Howard Novack.

Tatiana's second husband Brian Howard Novack
After Joe, Deborah married a plastic surgeon Brian Novack.

As mentioned above, Debbie reportedly met Novack amidst the end of her marriage with Joe Namath. Debbie would marry Novack but this union too ended in a divorce.

Where Is Deborah Now?

Debbie has been keeping a low profile since her separation from Joe. She certainly has said goodbye to the red carpet days. The ex-NFL wag also appears less on social media. Some public records nonetheless suggest Debbie residing in Los Angeles California. She apparently also identifies as Tatiana M Namath. It however is unclear what she mostly does in the present.

Deborah Mays Is Rich

Many have benefited from being a footballer’s wife or ex-wife. The same is also true in the case of Tatiana. While the settlement she received from Namath is unclear, sources claim that it was in the vicinage of millions.

What’s more, Debbie also got a lot from her divorce from Novack.

She once listed her Pacific Palisades residence in Los Angeles for $6,900,000, received as part of the settlement from her second husband.