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Stepmother of Serena and Venus Williams Loses Bankruptcy Fight and Childhood Home of Tennis Stars to Settle $600K Debt

Lakeisha Williams, the stepmother of tennis icons Serena and Venus Williams, faced a legal setback in her attempts to evade bankruptcy and retain ownership of the sisters’ $1.4 million childhood home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. 

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: (L-R) Venus Williams and Serena Williams attend the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Despite her efforts, a Florida judge, Mindy Mora, ruled on April 22 to seize the property to settle a more than $600,000 debt.

According to The New York Post, Lakeisha’s financial troubles stemmed from mismanagement, including squandering funds on a failed trucking venture and personal indulgences rather than repaying debts.

Mora described Lakeisha’s spending as prioritizing on “fast food and frivolities.”

Judge Mora’s decision came after Lakeisha repeatedly failed to fulfill repayment obligations, despite filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy three times in 2022. 

The Stepmother and the House Drama

Her attempts to resolve the debt included allegedly forging Richard Williams’ signature on mortgage deeds to secure a $255,000 loan against the property.

On April 14, Lakeisha Williams’ lawyer, Elias Dsouza, was proposing a revised repayment plan aimed at addressing her outstanding debts, a new arrangement entails a five-year repayment period with staggered monthly payments.

During that time, she was already behind on her payments by $36,409, which would need to be addressed alongside her proposed monthly repayments, The Sun reported.

Lakeisha’s financial woes and spending habits have sparked criticism, particularly concerning her management of her marriage to Richard, with whom she has been embroiled in divorce proceedings for seven years.

The Palm Beach Gardens home was originally purchased by Richard and his former wife, Oracene Price, in 1995 for $335,000. Following their divorce, Richard retained ownership until his marriage to Lakeisha in 2009. 

After their separation in 2017, Lakeisha assumed control of the residence.

In 2017, Lakeisha obtained loans totaling $152,000 by allegedly forging Richard’s signature, using the funds to launch a trucking business that ultimately failed, leaving her unable to repay the borrowed amount.

With Richard’s health issues, including two strokes and dementia, Lakeisha was solely responsible for the repayment, as reported by The Sun. 

Legal action ensued when lender David Simon sued the couple, resulting in a court order by presiding Judge Donald Hafele in favor of Simonin 2021, requiring repayment of the loan, interest, and attorney fees amounting to $513,213.67.

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