Richard Williams, the father of South Florida tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams, has filed for divorce from his young wife in a West Palm Beach courthouse.
He is claiming a litany of alleged wrongs from the Miami-born woman he married in 2010, then had a son with two years later.
Among other things, the 75-year-old former tennis coach says Lakeisha Williams, 38, is stealing his Social Security check, drinking herself into oblivion and forging his signature on official papers.
He claims the registered nurse’s aide deeded one of his houses to herself by faking his handwriting on the paperwork and switched ownership of several cars. Richard also alleges she forged his signature on an application for a $152,000 mortgage she eventually obtained.
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Although he no longer trains Venus and Serena, who won a total 11 Miami Open finals, Richard is often credited with teaching the sport to his famous daughters and building the foundations that would eventually make them into superstars,
His lawyer didn’t return a call and email for comment, but Miami attorney Sandy Becher, who represents Lakeisha, called Richard’s petition “outrageous.”
“’We categorically deny each and all the allegations he has made in the petition,” Becher said. “When the issues come before the court, they’ll be proven to be patently false.”
The divorce petition filed last month also asserts that Lakeisha left the marital home about a year ago and left their 5-year-old son Dylan in the elderly man’s care.
When she does pick up the boy, the petition reads, it’s sometimes after his bedtime. Besides, Richard’s filing shows, Lakeisha allegedly has a “new person” in her life who is believed to have a criminal record, making it unsafe for the child.
Williams was married to Serena and Venus’ mother, Oracene Price, until 2002. That divorce brought out allegations of domestic violence.
Richard and Lakeisha have been permanent fixtures courtside at big tournaments, including the open in Key Biscayne