Who Is Karen Demel? About Laker’s Owner Jerry Buss’ Ex-Girlfriend

By Aarone Hernandez | Published on: February 11, 2024 | Updated on: February 11, 2024
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Karen Demel is the ex-girlfriend of the late American businessman, investor, and chemist Jerry Buss (aka Gerald Hatten Buss). Her ex-lover was best known as the owner of the professional basketball teams, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Sparks.

Talking about their relationship, Karen and her late ex-boyfriend dated each other around the 1980s. Not only the two were romantic partners but they were the parents of their two beautiful sons as well. So, in that case, who are their children? What do they do? Besides, where is Karen today?

Get to know everything about Jerry’s former lover Karen in the below piece of writing.


As of 2024, Karen is 69 years of age. She was born to her parents on October 1954, in the United States of America.

Growing up, she had a decent childhood and spent most of her early days with her parents. Now, talking about her nationality, she is an American citizen and probably belongs to a white ethnic background.

Though she had a very ordinary life as a child, she gained enough fame following her association with Jerry Buss.

Career: What Does Do?

Karen worked in the health, wellness, and fitness industry. However, as of now, she has retired from her professional career.

On the other hand, her late ex-partner Jerry was a businessman and investor as said earlier. He started his career as a chemist for the Bureau of Mines, and he then worked in the aerospace industry. After that, Buss gradually went on to invest in the real estate business and formed the real estate investment company Mariani-Buss Associates in partnership.

In addition, Demel’s ex-boyfriend was also an owner of the nightclub Playboy Club, the professional basketball teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Sparks. Not only this but he was also a poker player who grabbed second position in the 2003 World Poker Tour Freeroll Invitational. He was also a philanthropist.

Relationship With Jerry Buss; Were They Married?

Karen and her boyfriend Jerry were never married to each other. They dated for quite a while and from their relationship, they also welcomed two children together.

Karen Damel's former partner Jerry Buss enjoying his team's success
Karen Damel’s Former Partner Jerry Buss Enjoying His Team’s Success

While the detail of how the couple met is yet a mystery, they reportedly started dating each other in the early 1980s. In the meantime, Jerry was already married once with his wife JoAnn Mueller with whom he separated in 1972.

Some years later, when Karen and Jerry started seeing each other, they moved in together and settled down in Los Angeles. After being in a relationship for around half a decade, the two decided to separate.

Did Karen Marry After Her Break-Up With Jerry?

Though Karen had a short-lived relationship with Jerry, as of today, she identifies herself as “Karen D Buss”. On one hand, her preference to use her ex-lover’s surname behind her name, and on the other hand, the lack of evidence of Karen’s marriage in the media signifies that she never got married or had an affair after her split from Jerry.

Like Demel, her famous former boyfriend Buss seems to have dated Puppi Buss after they separated but he never married again. His relationship with Puppi ended on a sour note as they went through some legal procedures as well.

Her Ex-Partner, Jerry Buss Died At The Age Of 80; What Was The Cause?

Born on January 27, 1933, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Karen’s ex-partner accomplished a lot in his lifetime. With a great name and fame, he bid goodbye to the world on February 18, 2013, at the age of 80.

Buss died of kidney failure but along with kidney disease, he was a cancer patient as well. Since 2012, he has been battling cancer but it was revealed to the public just four days before his death. His body was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills on February 22.

Is A Mother; Who Are Her Children?

Together with Jerry, Karen has two sons named Joey Buss and Jesse Buss.

Her elder son Joey was born in the year 1985 which makes him 39 years of age as of 2024. He has been happily married to his wife Nicole Goff since 2008. For his career, he is involved with the Lakers organization as he reportedly owns 66% ownership of it.

Karen's Ex-Partner With Their Son Jesse
Karen’s Ex-Partner With Their Son Jesse

Likewise, Karen’s younger son Jesse came into this world in 1988. As per his Instagram intro, he is the co-owner and Assistant GM of the Los Angeles Lakers. Personally, he is engaged to his fiancee Sarah and together they are parents of two children Jaden & Ashton.

In addition to Joey and Jesse, Karen’s ex-lover fathered five more children with his former wife Mueller. His children are Lee Buss, Johnny Buss, Jeanie Buss, Jim Buss, and Janie Buss.

Where Is Now?

Since her breakup with the Lakers owner and innovator Buss, she completely went on to live a private life. So, the latest updates about her life are a bit difficult to trace.

However, as per the records we found, she currently resides in Los Angeles, California. We believe that in her 60s, she is having a great time with her family including her children and grandchildren.

Karen’s Net Worth; Did She Inherit Wealth From Her Former Partner?

With the fact that Karen was never married to Jerry, inheriting his wealth isn’t her legal right. However, she is estimated to have a few million in net worth at present. On the other hand, her ex-partner Jerry Buss owned a net amount of $600 million at the time of his death in 2013.