Venus and Serena Williams are household names known for their tennis prowess. Unknown to many, they are only half of the Williams family, and one of their half-sisters, Sabrina, has bashed their father for abandoning his other family.
Venus and Serena Williams are two of the most acknowledged tennis players, bagging numerous accolades for their prowess in the sport. Their titles have brought them worldwide recognition and have earned them big money.
Despite their success, they are not new to controversy. Just recently, their half-sister accused their father of abandoning his first family in favor of raising them.
Serena Williams (R) of the USA celebrates with her father Richard Williams and sister Venus Williams after her Ladies’ Singles final match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2012 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Sabrina, 57, opened up to The Sun, claiming that their father, Richard Williams, was married to her late mother, Betty Johnson. Together, they had five children, Reneeka, 49, Reluss, 54, Ronner, 55, Richard III, and herself.
Their family was doing alright until one day when Sabrina was eight, Williams walked out on the family and never returned. He reportedly said he was going to get Sabrina a bike.
Williams married Oracene, Venus and Serena's mother, and completely abandoned his first family. Sabrina claims that Williams worked hard to make his two daughters millionaires while he left his other family struggling in poverty.
Richard Williams, father of Venus Williams and Serena Williams, visits the SiriusXM Studios on May 6, 2014 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Hurt from the estrangement, Sabrina, who is soon to become a fully qualified chaplain, says since Williams walked out on them, she and her siblings have only seen him a few times.
But even with the bitterness in her voice, she says she wouldn't want to swap places with her tennis-playing sisters. She also admits that she has long buried her father in her head, and even if he happened to pass on today, she would not attend his funeral.
AN AILING FATHER AND A MESSY DIVORCE
She says she does not feel anger towards her father, only pity, especially now that Williams is dealing with a health decline after suffering a severe stroke in 2016. Williams also has a neurological disorder that affects his speech.
He has since been relying on his son, Chavoita LeSane, from an undisclosed relationship. LeSane is said to have quite a colorful criminal record dating back to 1998.
LeSane, who now fully cares for his incapacitated father, often posts photos of the two, which feature a sickly and frail Williams, a shadow of the man that once coached his daughters to stardom.
LeSane, who, unlike his other siblings, has contact with Venus and Serena, also holds the power of attorney while Williams goes through his messy divorce with his wife Lakeisha, who he married in 2010.
In a twist of fate, Williams found himself in the middle of a legal battle with Lakeisha, who he claims forged his signature, and transferred their West Palm Beach property to her name.
Williams risks losing the property he bought with his second wife, Oracene, in 1995. A foreclosure auction for the property is set for early next year.