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Venus and Serena Williams’ ailing father lose $1.1million



Richard Williams personal life


SERENA Williams’ ailing father – being portrayed by Will Smith in the new movie King Richard – will lose his house next year after his estranged wife allegedly obtained a mortgage without his permission.



Richard Williams, 79, claims that estranged spouse Lakeisha, 42, forged his signature to transfer their West Palm Beach property into her name and borrow from “hard lender” David Simon, according to court documents seen by The Sun.



Richard Williams and Chavoita LeSane

Serena and Venus Williams’ father Richard is now living elsewhere

In June, Judge Donald Hafele ruled in Simon’s favor and the couple were held jointly liable. A foreclosure auction for the property has now been set for February 21 next year at 10am. It was Richard who brought the case to court four years ago against his estranged spouse and Simon, but The Sun can exclusively reveal he has now been forced to agree to the settlement.



It means losing the house, which he originally bought with tennis legends Serena and Venus’ mother Oracene for $355,000 in 1995. The four-bedroom, two and a half bathroom property – which has now fallen into disrepair and been abandoned by both Lakeisha and Richard – is now estimated to be worth around $1.1million, according to Zillow.



Richard n Serena Williams, Venus, and Step mother

During the proceedings, his health rapidly deteriorated and, in court docs, it was revealed that the former tennis coach had suffered two strokes and his doctor said he had dementia and irreparable brain damage. While Richard came to an agreement with Simon, Lakeisha tried to keep the property by filing a last-minute Chapter 13 bankruptcy on June 18, which put the sale on hold, claiming she owed a string of banks and the IRS upto $1million.



But Lakeisha voluntarily dismissed the case on September 13 after the bankruptcy courts backed Judge Hafele’s verdict. Richard claimed his younger spouse transferred the deed of their home without his permission and took out a $152K mortgage from ‘hard lender’ Simon in February 2017 after imitating his writing, which she later admitted.



She then borrowed a further $127K a couple of months later and only ever paid back approximately $25K. The case, which has been ongoing since April 2017, revealed jaw-dropping allegations about their tumultuous marriage. Court docs from Lakeisha’s deposition showed that she’d forged Richard’s signature once before, so that she could sell his 1999 Bluebird Wanderlodge Motor Coach, worth $45K, to buy food for herself and their son Dylan, now eight.

“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. She claimed to have no inkling that Richard wanted a divorce. According to her deposition, they were living together as a married couple until May 2017 when he suddenly served her ‘dissolution papers’.



She claims in documents that on the day he filed the divorce petition, he even gave her a kiss and prayed with her in the morning. She said: “He just came and gave me a kiss actually that morning, the morning of — and he will always, would share with me to pray, you know, to always pray for our family and then he left with Chavoita [his son].”




Meanwhile, Richard’s legal team have been keen to prove that he was “incapacitated” at the time of the mortgage being transferred and wasn’t capable of agreeing to it. His doctor, Monica Walker, wrote a letter explaining her assessment of his health and his son Chavoita LeSane was handed power of attorney.



Dr Walker stated: “As you are well aware, you suffered damage to your brain tissue during a stroke. The complications after the stroke included inability to remember things which happened recently and incidents that happened years ago. “You will remember, immediately after the stroke, your muscles weakened and slowly you were able to regain strength. You also have problems speaking and finding the right words to use.



Serena Williams, Venus with dad Richard Williams

“You have recovered from problems forming your words. However, you have not recovered from what is called dementia. “Your mental state since the first stroke includes loss of recent and remote memory and increased confusion during times of increased demands for concentration.”

The Sun understands Richard is now living elsewhere and is being looked after by son LeSane, 48, who has a criminal history having been involved in court proceedings 61 times in the last 23 years.


From Instagram, LeSane appears to have direct access to Serena and Venus, with his children posing with the girls and attending their tennis matches with his father. In the most recent post from October, he’s stood next to his dad as a camera crew is filming.

LeSane – according to his Facebook page – now lives in Atlanta, Georgia – and has a long rap sheet dating from 1998 up to the present day.


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