It’s a subplot almost worthy of Hollywood treatment – adding to the drama of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock for insulting his wife and then moments later winning the Oscar for his portrayal of the father of Serena and Venus Williams.
Now the tennis superstars’ stepmother is trying to stop her divorce from their dad, 80-year-old Richard Williams.
And Lakeisha Williams, 43, even insists she and father-of-nine Richard – who has suffered several strokes over the past six years – are enjoying a sizzling sex life.
‘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 Sara Lawrence wrote in court papers.
Lakeisha has asked a judge in Palm Beach, Florida, to halt the divorce, saying she does not believe her marriage is irretrievably broken.
Lakeisha Williams, 43, has asked a judge in Palm Beach, Florida, to halt the divorce from Venus and Serena’s father Richard Williams, 80. Pictured together at the US Open in 2010
Lakeisha – who is just one year older than Venus – now wants the divorce to be scrapped so she can continue her amorous nights with the ailing octogenarian. Richard is pictured with his daughter’s Venus and Serena in 2012
‘King Richard’ married his 37-years-younger third wife in 2009, seven years after he divorced Venus and Serena’s mother, Oracene Price. They had a son, Dylan, now nine and split in 2017.
But Lakeisha – who is just one year older than Venus – now wants the divorce to be scrapped so she can continue her amorous nights with the ailing octogenarian.
Money is also an issue, the former grocery store owner admits in her filing.
‘The husband is the father of Venus and Serena Williams and the financial condition of the parties’ finances are quite complicated regarding income earned and/or receipt/payment of regular support income from Serena and/or Venus Williams for their father,’ attorney Lawrence wrote.
‘In December 2021 a movie was released titled King Richard which is the biographical rendition of…Richard Williams’s efforts to encourage and have his daughters become professional tennis superstars.
‘No financial information has been forthcoming.’
Lakeisha says the couple have been back together since August 2019 and since then there has been ‘no discovery, no mediation and no real activity’ in the divorce proceedings.
She also added they are raising their son together.
‘The case is not ready for final hearing and during the period of dormancy, the parties have been raising their son now age 9 years old and whose needs have changed drastically since the filing of this matter in 2017 when the child was 5 years old. ‘
The divorce was due to be finalized on January 12, but Judge James Martz agreed it is not ready and has now set a decision date in June.
‘The parties have not complied with any of the requirements, including but not limited to not attending pretrial mediation or any mediation of any kind,’ he wrote.
‘The parties failed to comply with time requirements for designation of witnesses or exhibits.’
Lakeisha claims in a court filing obtained by DailyMail.com that she does not believe their marriage is irretrievably broken. Lakeisha even insists she and father-of-nine Richard – who has suffered several strokes over the past six years – are enjoying a sizzling sex life
Richard Williams is generally considered the prime mover in the early days of his tennis prodigy daughters.
Will Smith won his Oscar Sunday for portraying Richard in the biodrama, King Richard, which was also nominated in five other categories. He was presented with the award shortly after slapping comic Chris Rock across the face after Rock had made a comment about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaven head.
The movie followed Richard’s determination to have his daughters – who between them have won 33 Grand Slam titles – succeed in the predominantly white world of top flight tennis
His vision included buying a $355,000 10-acre property in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in 1995 to use as a tennis training camp for his one-man mission.
Lakeisha moved in there with him after they married. Williams’s name came off the property records in 2017, when he accused his wife of forging his signature. It has now fallen into foreclosure with the owners owing $544,000 on the property.
The property is now said to be worth around $1.2 million, but the Miami Herald reported last month the façade has fallen off and the paint on the four white columns has faded, and tall grass surrounds the tennis courts that Richard built there.
‘In other words, despite Lakeisha gaining Homestead exemption, the house appears to be abandoned,’ the Herald said.
Despite Lakeisha’s call to stop the divorce, she is fighting for Williams to cover her legal costs because of his superstar daughters.
She has requested he fork over for the fees of her attorney, who wrote: ‘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.’
Lakeisha’s shock move and revelations come after bitter exchanges between the couple up to 2019.
This is the Palm Beach Gardens property where Venus and Serena grew up and that was at the center of the court battle between Richard and Lakeisha Williams
‘King Richard’ married his 37-years-younger third wife in 2009. They split in 2017 and have a nine-year-old son, Dylan. Pictured in 2014
Lakeisha says the couple have been back together since August 2019 and since then there has been ‘no discovery, no mediation and no real activity’ in the divorce proceedings
She admitted imitating Williams’ writing when accused of forging his signature to transfer the Colonial-style Palm Beach Gardens property into her sole name.
But she said in the earlier court documents that Williams had asked her to do everything for him due to his declining health, which now includes at least two strokes as well as dementia that makes speech difficult.
She also admitting forging Williams’s signature so she could sell his 1999 Bluebird Wanderlodge Motor Coach worth $45,000 claiming it was to buy food for herself and their son.
‘Mainly, I was broke by my husband (who) did not help me. It was my son and I not getting any money, so I had to sell it so I can eat and my son can eat… we didn’t have anything,’ she said.
The statement was ridiculed at the time by Richard Williams’s legal team.
Lakeisha also hit back in earlier court filings with a claim that Williams used to drive through poor neighborhoods with her so he could enjoy looking at women.
Richard Williams is generally considered the prime mover in the early days of his tennis prodigy daughters. Pictured with his daughters in 2001
The biopic King Richard followed Richard’s determination to have his daughters – who between them have won 33 Grand Slam titles – succeed in the efficiently white world of top flight tennis
Will Smith won his Oscar Sunday for portraying Richard in the biodrama, King Richard, which was also nominated in five other categories. He was presented with the award shortly after slapping comic Chris Rock across the face after Rock had made a comment about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaven head
She said: ‘Mr. Williams loved – he loves poor neighborhoods. He did like to drive. He likes to take me downtown Los Angeles.
‘He always like to take me to neighborhoods, where, you know, there was black women, because he likes women.’
Williams has been staying with his son, music producer Chavoita LeSane, 49. LeSane told NBC News on Monday that Williams condemned Smith for slapping Rock.
‘We don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defense,’ said LeSane, who described himself as his father’s spokesman.
LeSane posted Instagram photos of himself with Williams back in November last year, but nothing since. According to one report, his father had returned to ‘live with family’ in a gated community in West Palm Beach.