Julie Simon – Meet Former Running Back Tony Dorsett’s First Wife

By AbigailPublished on: March 3, 2024 Updated on: March 3, 2024
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Many football fans might know Julie Simon as the ex-wife of renowned running back Tony Dorsett. The two ended up separating years back in the ’80s after a brief marriage. Dorsett married his second wife Janet Harmonn in 2000.

Dorsett retired from professional football in 1988; however, the mark he left during his NFL career, he will always be a football legend. However, he was not able to replicate this kind of success in his first marriage.

While Dorsett’s journey is well-documented, not much is known about Julie. In this article, we shall focus more on the lady and her life. Keep reading for more details.

Julie Simon Worked as a Lab Technician in California

Simon was born Julie Ann Simon in 1982 and she was raised in Oxnard, California. She is 62 years old as of 2024. After completing her education, she worked as a lab technician in a company near the Dallas Cowboys‘ Thousand Oaks summer training camp.

How Did Julie Simon and Tony Dorsett First Come To Know Each Other?

The former couple’s love story started when the two crossed paths in the training camp for athletes where Julie was employed in 1978. The former athlete said that he didn’t think he would settle with Julie when he began dating her. “I thought maybe this was something to help carry me through, ease my mind,” Dorsett said. He added,

I was pretty hot-tempered. She’d just say, ‘Look at yourself. Why are you doing this?’ And I’d realize I’d go off the handle for something really trite and meaningless. She helped me cool out to a degree.

However, the duo soon established a strong bond as Julie helped him think more clearly about his games and career. After about three years of knowing each other, the lovebirds officially tied the knot.

Tony Dorsett and his wife Julie Simon in a magazine
Julie is a native of California.

Before Julie and Dorsett started going out, the former NFL star went through two tragic episodes. First, he lost his fiancée Gigi Clayton to a nerve disorder Landry-Guillian-Barre Syndrome in June 1979. Just around a year after the incident, the ex-running back lost his then-girlfriend, Princess Collins, a Dallas fashion model to a seizure.

The Lovebirds Tied The Knot In The ’80s

Julie and Tony slowly fell for each other and after some time of courtship, they decided to get married. They exchanged vows on April 11, 1981, in Kauai, Hawaii. Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Tony Compton were also present at the former couple’s wedding.

Julie Simon and her ex-husband Tony Dorsett at their wedding
Julie Simmons and Tony Dorsett got married in 1981 in Kauai, Hawaii

Some news outlets have mentioned their wedding to be on September 1, 1980, while IMDb has written their marriage date to be April 7, 1981. However, Sports Illustrated has mentioned that they tied the knot on April 11th indeed.

After their romantic wedding, Dorsett gave up his apartment in the town and the newlyweds moved to a house 21 miles northeast of Dallas. Later, the couple and Julie’s then-five-year-old daughter, Shukura, moved to Frisco, Texas.

Dorsett Changed For The Better After Their Marriage

Dorsett was pretty well known for his short-temper nature during the initial days of his career. However, he became cool and more responsible after he started dating Julie. What’s more, Dorsett who was a frequent bar visitor, stopped doing it upon their wedding.

Moreover, Dorsett also consistently worked out and showed up to the football camps in perfect shape. That year, he was also named the team captain. Julie’s influence helped him become more single-minded.

former NFL star, Tony Dorsett's photo from his playing days
Former NFL star, Tony Dorsett’s photo from his playing days

Nonetheless, the man seemed happy enough, and there was something about the then-27-year-old’s determination, his measured speech, and his avoidance of controversy.

Julie Simon’s Marriage with the NFL star ended in divorce

After four years of marriage, Julie and Tony’s married life came to an end. The former officially filed a divorce citing ‘discord or conflict of personalities.’

Moreover, their representatives in the court mentioned that the couple had been separated since June 21, 1984. The court settled the divorce in 1985 and Dorsett paid a sum of $250,000 in settlement along with a 1981 Mercedes.

After her separation from her ex-husband, Simon has been very private about her affairs. Their divorce did not create much controversy or issue either.