Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, has been in the headlines over the past few months following the release of the film King Richard. The movie portrays how Richard Williams coached Venus and Serena Williams into two of the greatest tennis players of all time.
“It was his idea. He knew how to do it. What tells this African American man to put us in a sport where there’s not many African American players? There was no other way to tell that story” – Serena Williams on why #KingRichard is told from her dad’s POV pic.twitter.com/qd4I2K16py
— Dionne Grant (@DionneGrant) November 21, 2021
Will Smith portrayed Richard in the film and won the Academy Award for Best Actor. The movie was nominated for five further Oscars, including Best Picture but did not win another Oscar
Where is Richard Williams now?
Williams currently resides in Atlanta, and has been in poor health for the past few years. The 80-year-old suffered two strokes in 2016 and is under his son Chavoita LeSane’s care. Williams has also been involved in a prolonged legal battle with his third wife Lakeisha Williams since 2017 when the two filed for divorce. Lakeisha filed for bankruptcy in hopes of saving the Williams family home in Palm Beach, Florida.
GSN- The move by Lakeisha Williams, 43, is another twist in the often bitter saga of her marriage to the 80-year-old former coach – including new divorce court papers revealed by https://t.co/xW2xu8jp2v in which she claims they have reunited and enjoy regular steamy sex. pic.twitter.com/23d3zXAsIh
— HJ (Hank) Ellison (@hjtherealj) April 3, 2022
The divorce between Richard and Lakeisha Williams is yet to be finalized and the latter recently filed a motion to prevent it from going through. Her attorney Sara Lawrence wrote in court documents that the two have reconciled and there hasn’t been much development in the divorce proceedings since August 2019.
“The wife believes that the parties have reconciled and have engaged in an active marital life including having regular weekly sexual relations including but not limited to on January 9, 2022 the night before filing this motion,” Lawrence was quoted as writing by Daily Mail.
Lawrence also wrote that Lakeisha needs Richard Williams to pay her legal fees due to his superior financial condition. The Sun reported on the elder Williams’ inability to talk or care for himself, with the 80-year-old now in the care of his son.
“The wife has a need for the husband to pay these fees as he has a superior ability to pay from the regular and steady reimbursement of his expenses by his famous and very rich daughters Serena and Venus Williams,” she wrote
Not long back, Richard Williams’ son and spokesperson LeSane spoke about the family’s opposition to Will Smith slapping host Chris Rock during the Academy Awards ceremony.
“We don’t know all the details of what happened, but we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone unless it’s in self-defense.”
Richard Williams’ role in coaching Venus and Serena Williams into the champions that they have become today, and the depiction of it in King Richard has elevated the respect many have had for him.