Photos taken inside Serena Williams’ dilapidated childhood home can be revealed for the first time – as her father ‘King Richard’ insists he will not give up his legal battle to save her.
The US Sun revealed last week that a judge has dismissed his lawsuit against his estranged wife Lekesha Williams, who allegedly forged his signature on the deeds to his Florida home a few years ago.
Lakesha, 44, used the address to borrow $255,000 from “hardcore moneylender” David Simon, which he allegedly plowed into a failed trucking business along with “fast food and messes,” according to court documents.
Speaking EXCLUSIVELY to The US Sun, Richard and his son Chavoeta Lisan claimed he was already set to divorce Lekesha when it emerged that she had forged his signature.
She is now being sued by Simon, who wants to sell the house at auction to recoup his losses, which are now $623,000, including interest and attorneys’ fees.
Although the lawsuit was dismissed, Richard, 80, and his family are not giving up on getting the property back, and Chavoeta says they are now looking for new legal counsel.
Patient Richard, who has had multiple strokes and has some communication issues, said the house was “beautiful” when he lived there with Serena, Venus, and their mother Oracine, his second wife.
“The house is easily worth a million dollars,” he stressed, though this figure is in dispute due to its deteriorating condition.
“Ten acres of land is incredible,” said Richard, explaining that he would like to demolish the house and build a new property, adding: “I don’t need the past any more if I keep it.” [focusing] In the past, I wouldn’t do much.”
But he admitted, “I don’t know if I’m going to get it back or not. I don’t know if I can or not.”
He continued, “I don’t need a big house anymore. I’d like to destroy the house, but the history is incredible.”
“Somebody should come and look at me. But if I can pull it down, that would be great.”
He said he felt like Lakesha, whom he met at a tennis event in Miami, was “a good wife at one point,” but now he’s desperate to take legal action and finalize the divorce.
Richard insists he does not hold a grudge against his ex-wife, as he cares about her son most of the time and is in contact with her, but Chavoeta is left in a rage by her shocking behavior.
Pictures show the house in disrepair, with an old tennis racket lying on the court, and surrounded by overgrown bushes.
long legal battle
“I found out that the house was signed to Lakesha, and then as soon as I found that information, I went to my dad and said, Dad, the house isn’t in your name anymore,” Shavuweta said.
“He told me Lakeisha told him the house was in my name, not hers. So I went to court in Palm Beach and printed the documents.
“I said, ‘Dad, how can the house be in my name?’ He says it’s Lekesha Williams, right here. Then we just decided to start legal action from there.”
“It was kind of awkward filing for divorce between Lakesha and my dad. My dad filed for divorce and I want to say Lakesha filed for divorce at the same time.
“I myself haven’t had any conversation with Lakeisha, and I don’t feel like I need to have any conversation with Lakesha. But she yelled and sent a whole bunch of things my way.”
He said he is now focused on continuing the legal battle and seeking damages, describing the situation as “horrific” and admitting his father was “scared” of what was happening.
Chavoeta admitted that Serena and her sister are not very concerned about what happens to their old home, but they have made sure that he takes care of it amidst the toxic situation with his ex-wife.
It was believed that Richard and Lakesha reconciled momentarily when she put their divorce on hold and asked the courts to dismiss the case, but the family denied this.
Her lawyer stated that they “engaged in an active married life including having regular weekly sexual relations including but not limited to January 9, 2022”.
Although she and Richard are still on good terms for the sake of their 10-year-old son Dylan, the former tennis coach insists that he was desperate to divorce her years ago and that they weren’t romantic.
The house where Serena and Venus trained to be tennis greats, the grounds, and the main house are rotting, and cars appear to have been abandoned on the property.
New Florida home
According to court documents, there is also internal damage from a leaky roof, bathrooms left in a sloppy state, and collapsed AC units.
Rather than lose the house, Lakeisha wanted to pay off her debt in installments, starting at $8,293 for the first 15 months, $8,033 for the next 24 months, and $8,083 for the last 21 months.
But Simon claims Leksha’s monthly income is not enough to support the plan, and she has allegedly not made any payments yet against the house.
Richard, portrayed by Oscar-winning actor Will Smith in the Hollywood biopic, is likely to lose the estate he bought in 1995 for $355,000 with mother Serena and Venus before their 2002 divorce.
The US Sun previously revealed that Richard now lives in a new home in West Palm Beach, which is owned by Serena, who paid $815,000 for the bungalow property in June 2015.
The setting is perfect for Richard’s reported fragile condition—all on one floor, with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and over 4,160 square feet of room.