Venus and Serena Williams' stepmom says their father starved her and son, she had to sell motorhome to survive
Lakeisha Williams, the stepmother of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, has accused their father Richard of starving her and their young son to the point she was forced to sell their motorhome to buy food.
The allegations came in the wake of an ongoing legal battle between the pair at the Palm Beach County Court in Florida, where Richard, 77, has filed a lawsuit against Lakeisha accusing her of forging his signature, according to the Daily Mail.
Richard has accused Lakeisha, close to four decades his junior at 41, of forging his signature so she could remortgage the family home for $300,000 to start a trucking business.
In her testimony to the court, Lakeisha admitted to forging the signature to sell his 1999 Bluebird Wanderlodge Motor Coach worth $45,000 but claimed she only did so because she and their seven-year-old son Dylan were starved by Richard and she needed the money to buy food.
She said the bus was sold "because the marital relationship had deteriorated to the point where Richard Williams was not even giving her any money for her and her baby to buy food, and she had to do so to survive."
"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 by Richard's legal team, who pointed out that Lakeisha had used her acquaintance, Brandy Clark, to sell the motorhome, and then again when she transferred the family home to her name.
To sell the coach, Lakeisha first forged Richard's signature to hand power of attorney over to Clark then traveled to another county 50 miles away to change the property to her name "because that is where she had accomplices who had worked with her in the past and could help her take the property without Mr. Williams' consent."
In response, Lakeisha said she had only traveled to a different county because Richard really enjoyed going on "long drives" to poor areas where black women lived.
"Mr. Williams loved — he loves poor neighborhoods. He did like to drive. He likes to take me like downtown Los Angeles," she said. "He always liked to take me to neighborhoods where, you know, there was black women, because he likes women."
Richard has asked the judge, who previously heard he was suffering from dementia and irreparable brain damage, for summary judgment on the case because of his failing health. The case has been going through the courts since April 2017 and will head to trial in the summer.