Richard Williams: Venus & Serena Williams’ Half-Sister Slams Father’s Depiction In ‘King Richard’ Biopic + Says He Left Older Children In Financial Distress While Focusing On Daughters’ Tennis Careers
Does King Richard paint a sugar-coated view of Richard Williams?
Earlier this month, a biopic on Venus and Serena Williams‘ father was unveiled. The film, titled King Richard, centers on how Richard Williams helped catapult his famous daughters to success and raise them to be the tennis stars they are today.
While the biopic–which stars Will Smith–largely paints an endearing picture of Richard Williams, one of his other children is challenging this positive depiction! Sabrina Williams—Venus and Serena‘s older half-sister–recently spoke out against King Richard and her father. Regarding the film, she initially stated:
“It’s a comedy, no? How can you make a movie by telling half the story? It suddenly starts with dad and his new wife Oracene and their children. It’s like nothing happened before.”
For context, Richard Williams was married with five children before he left his family and eventually married Oracene, Venus and Serena Williams‘ mother. Regarding Richard‘s departure, Sabrina Williams stated:
“My sister Reneeka was a baby eight weeks old when my dad left. How do you leave a baby? I was eight years old, and he left under the pretense ‘I’m gonna get you a bike?’ I can laugh about it now. I don’t think it should have taken up the whole movie, but–to give the movie some more credibility–at least reference it, as he left us when he was a grown man.”
“Truth be told, those girls rose to the top while his other children had to suffer because of the choices my dad made, we were raised in poverty after he left… If it wasn’t for the churches that we belonged to, I don’t think my mom would have made it.”
Sabrina Williams continued bashing Richard:
“I think the title is completely over the top. He thinks he’s the king of the world, but no one that’s ever been around him thinks he’s King Richard… He’s not the king of the world. If you look at him psychologically, it’s something he’s never achieved apart from in his head. He’s lived only through two of his daughters, forsaking all his other children. I just need to see it now because I didn’t realize how hysterically funny it would be. One of the things I’m gonna have to do is not laugh out loud in the auditorium as I know the full story.”
She then took aim at Will Smith for portraying her father in the film:
“They say Will Smith is probably getting an Academy Award for this, I held him in a deep regard, but, as a Black American, he should have wanted to tell the full story. Will Smith is not dumb. They got to grow up better, and didn’t have to harvest for food, or worry about their next meal. It would have been nice to have a backstory. [He should be] ashamed of himself.”
Later, Sabrina proceeded to say she feels pity for her father and accused him of living vicariously through Venus and Serena:
“You can have an outside persona, we all have something that we project, but my dad has been projecting one all his life, living through the girls. I think it’s just sad, because there’s no way that my dad doesn’t think about me, or my other brothers and sisters. There’s just no way in your life that you can put that to the side and not think about it.”
She then disclosed:
“I don’t think I’ll see him alive. I’ve even buried my dad in my head because I know I won’t be able to attend his funeral… I can chase my dad around for the rest of my life in my head, or I can come to terms that I believe my dad loves me in his own way. That’s all I can do.”
Segueing to her sisters, Sabrina Williams revealed she has only met them once due to a chance encounter at an amusement park. She went on to say:
“I wouldn’t swap places with Venus or Serena. I was just driving now, listening to music and thinking, would I change anything about my life? No, I wouldn’t, I’d go through all the struggles I went through again.”
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