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Report: Judge Dismisses Richard Williams’ Divorce Petition, Leaving Venus and Serena’s 81-Year-old Dad Still Married to Ex-Stripper Lakeisha

A Florida judge reportedly has dismissed the divorce case of Serena and Venus Williams’ father, Richard Williams, and his third wife, Lakeisha Graham Williams.

Although his prior health complications had hindered his participation in hearings and depositions, the court now considers him capable of engaging in such proceedings, the U.S. Sun reported this week. Now one family member is saying when the tennis legend known as “King Richard” failed to make a recent court appearance Judge James Martz dismissed his case.

Serena and Venus Williams dad, Richard Williams, remains married to third wife, Lakeisha, after judge dismisses the case.
Serena and Venus Williams’ dad, Richard Williams, remains married to his third wife, Lakeisha, after judge dismisses divorce case. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

The 81-year-old’s son Chavoita LeSane told the Sun his father was too afraid to come before the judge and became distrustful of the lengthy process to end the marriage.

“With the strokes and stuff, he’s just terrified of the court procedures,” the brother of two of the greatest tennis players in history said to the Sun. “He was supposed to show up in court but he did not make it. I’m not sure of the exact date but we had to get it dismissed.”

“It wasn’t just court,” added LeSane, “He was supposed to show up for his deposition. I had to talk to the attorney and say, ‘He’s not gonna make it.’ It was terrible.”

“He didn’t realize he had to go to court. He was like, ‘Just give me a week to get myself ready for it.’ But the lawyer couldn’t get a week. And he hates being pressured. The last attorney had it set where he was unfit to stand trial, and that was seven years ago,” LeSane explained.

Lakeisha Williams’ attorney had a different explanation for the dismissal telling the same outlet:

“On April 30, 2024, attorney for Richard Williams prepared an Agreed Motion and Order for Dismissal of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. 

“All parties — Richard Williams and Lakeshia Williams — as well as their respective attorneys executed the Agreed Motion for Dismissal and the judge entered and executed the Agreed Order dismissing the Dissolution of Marriage action pending in Palm Beach County.”

In 2010, Williams married the now-45-year-old Lakeisha Graham, who owned a grocery store. He was 69 at the time. Seven years later he filed for divorce in May 2017. Since then their separation became very public and messy, rocked by accusations such as Lakeisha forging Williams’ signature on a deed and transferring their shared Palm Beach home solely into her name.

She was also accused of stealing his Social Security checks and told a judge that Williams’ daughter Serena allegedly had lawyers sent her a letter, threatening “to change the locks” if she did not evacuate from the estate.

Lakeisha reportedly admitted in court docs in 2020, to forging her ex-husband’s signature and selling his 1999 Bluebird Wanderlodge Motor Coach valued at $45,000. She also claimed she did so because he had abandoned her and their son, Dylan, stating “Williams was not even giving her any money for her and that her baby to buy food, and she had to do so to survive.”

She later asserted that she and Williams reconciled three years after their separation and resumed a sexual relationship in the midst of him filing a one million dollar suit against his now ex-wife.

The ex-stripper said in court documents, according to Daily Mail, “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.”

However, Williams and his legal team disputed Lakeisha’s claims, stating that she fabricated stories about their romantic involvement and that her son was not eating.

Bills were not getting paid and in 2022, their $1.45 million-valued home, which Williams purchased in 1995 for $355,000 after moving his family from Compton, was slated for auction. Yet Lakeisha held up the sale by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy three different times.

The bankruptcy case was dismissed on July 5 and Florida mortgage lender David Simon told the courts that while she didn’t have money to pay her mortgage, she had money for other things.

“She cannot afford to make an $11,000/month payment,” said Simon in court documents, adding Lakeisha “spends all her income on fast food and frivolities.” 

She eventually filed to reinstate it. Lakeisha told the courts that she secured funds for her to support in a repayment plan— even though she has struggled with that also.

Williams, though he struggled with neuralgia and at one point thought to have dementia, desperately wanted to end his marriage. He has also developed speech problems, which concerned his son.

“He’s been wanting me to coach him because when he says ‘yes’ sometimes he means ‘no,’ and when he says ‘no’ he means ‘yes.’ He would never want his words to be misconstrued. That’s what the issue was,” said LeSane.

Richard was previously married to his first wife from 1965 to 1973. He was married to Serena and Venus’ mom, Oracene, from 1980 to 2002.

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