SERENA and Venus Williams’ 80-year-old father says he is desperate to finalize his divorce after more than six years and has vowed never to date again.
Richard Williams, who was portrayed by Will Smith in the Hollywood biopic King Richard, is still locked in a bitter court battle with his ex, Lakeisha Graham, that began in 2017.
The pair, who met at a tennis match in Miami, tied the knot in 2010, and share custody of their son, Dylan, 10, in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Richard and Lakeisha, 44, have been at war over their marital property in Palm Beach Gardens, which he says was passed over to Lakeisha for just ten bucks, as she allegedly faked his signature on the title deeds.
Lakeisha then approached “hard lender” David Simon, who loaned her $279,000, which she blew on a failed trucking business, according to court documents.
Richard is still battling to get the home back despite a lawsuit against Lakeisha being tossed out by a judge.
Lakeisha claimed, according to court documents, that the house was handed over as part of Richards child support obligations to their son.
Asked how he’s found the split, which has dragged out for years, he said: “I just want a divorce. It’s been six years, man. Just a bunch of junk, junk, junk. [I’m] so tired of that junk now.”
Speaking exclusively to The U.S. Sun, alongside his son Chavoita, 49, Richard, who is now frail after multiple strokes, admits he’s had enough of the drama.
“If I do get the house, it’ll be okay. If I don’t get the house, that’s quite okay, either way, up or down, we’ll be happy,” he chuckled, as he tried to see the positive side of the stressful situation.
When asked if he’d date again, he joked: “Dating? Too many women like me, but I don’t want to do it anymore.
“I don’t trust women anymore. I just want to keep to myself, I might live a quieter life.”
He said he felt Lakeisha was once a “good wife” but although they are trapped in a legal war, he refuses to bad mouth the mother of his child.
Richard says they are co-parenting well, and despite his health battles, he is able to care for Dylan, known as Junior, and drive him to and from school.
Richard is thought to be the father to at least nine biological children, and additional stepchildren.
He was first married to Betty Johnson from 1965 to 1973, whom he met after relocating from Louisiana to California.
Before their divorce in 1973, they had five children together: Sabrina, Richard III, Ronner, Reluss, and Reneeka.
He had Chavoita with a previous partner who has not been discussed.
In Richard’s second marriage to Oracene Price in 1980, the pair had Venus, 42, and Serena, 41.
After marrying, they moved to Compton, California.
However, they divorced in 2002 and he moved on to tie the knot with Lakeisha.
Richard admitted he was not always the best husband, but after turning to religion and becoming a Jehovah’s witness, he is now a changed man.
“Before following Jehovah, I had a lot of women, too many women …. from America, outside of America, and so on and on,” he laughed.
“Since becoming a Jehovah’s witness years ago, I’ve focused on just one woman, I had too much junk in my life.”
In 2012, Richard and Lakeisha welcomed their son, Dylan, but split five years after his birth.
Richard’s son Chavoita is upset over Lakeisha’s actions and feels she used his father and will be pleased when the divorce is eventually finalized.
“According to the attorney, we should be done this month. The house was the biggest issue,” he said.
“There was a lot to go through, all the court documentation. And then Lakeisha was constantly saying she doesn’t want to divorce anymore. It was just awkward.”
Lakeisha claimed in court documents that they’d been reunited and were enjoying a “sizzling sex life,” despite Richard suffering multiple strokes and the onset of dementia.
“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,” Lakeisha’s attorney wrote in papers.
But Richard and his son deny they ever reconciled or called off the divorce, with Chavoita claiming: “That was just to stall the process, basically. And then that Simon guy came in, so the whole thing became very sticky.
“I have no feelings about Keisha and her sizzling [sex life]. My conversation with my dad has never changed. My dad’s always told me he wants a divorce.”
Asked why he thinks his father is unlucky in love, Chavoita said: “I think my dad’s a romantic. He writes poems all the time. I think my dad loves being in love.
“He’s actually an awesome guy. He’s a great guy. I hope my dad does find love again.
“I hope he does find someone that he can just be happy with. I think that’s everybody’s goal at some point, absolutely.”