Serena Williams’ father must undergo a mental evaluation after he failed to give “coherent answers” during his divorce proceedings.
Richard Williams made a deposition on June 8, but court documents obtained by the Daily Mail said he had “great difficulty making himself understood” and “appeared to misinterpret many of the questions posed to him.”
The 76-year-old former tennis coach, who helped elevate Williams and her older sister Venus Williams to tennis superstardom, filed to divorce his 38-year-old wife Lakeisha in June 2017.
He sued her for allegedly stealing his social security checks and falsifying his signature to transfer some property into his name, documents filed in Florida’s Palm Beach County reveal. He also alleged Lakeisha transferred the deed to one of his homes in Palm Beach to herself without his approval, before forging his signature and taking out a $152,000-mortgage from an associate, David Simon.
However, Lakeisha and Simon deny the claim and the associate is trying to get the issue thrown out.
Simon tried to take Williams’ deposition last month but his attorney Cary A. Lubetsky said “[p]ending a determination of Mr. Williams’ competency, [he] cannot complete his discovery of Mr. Williams,” adding, “Until such time as Mr. Williams can…provide coherent answers to the questions posed to him, the matter should not proceed to trial.”
The deposition has been postponed until Wiliam’s doctor, Monica Walker, can perform an evaluation and prove he is fit enough to “provide competent testimony.”
“As of the filing of this Motion, the undersigned has prepared for service a subpoena for deposition duces tecum to Mr. Williams’ physician, D.r Monica Walker, M.D. The undersigned intends to question Dr. Walker about Mr. Williams’ competency to understand and respond to questions,” documents state.
Among other accusations in the divorce filing, Williams claims his estranged wife has been endangering their 6-year-old son, Dylan, ever since she began dating a man with “serious criminal and felony charges pending.” He claims Dylan has been under his sole care since Lakeisha left their home in 2016. She responded claiming she had to move an “arsenal of firearms including an AK-47” from the home out of fear for her and her son’s safety. She claimed her estranged husband, who claimed she stole the guns, has been acting “erratic and hostile” for some time.
Williams’ daughter Serena might be called as a witness in the case if her father asks.