Childhood Home of Tennis Legends Serena and Venus Williams Possibly Lost in Foreclosure–Thanks to Stepmom’s Mismanagement and Alleged Misdeeds

The childhood home of tennis giants Serena and Venus Williams is facing foreclosure due to financial mismanagement and legal troubles involving their stepmother, Lakeisha Graham-Williams.

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)

The property, a four-bedroom mansion on a 10-acre lot in Palm Beach, Florida, has been splashed over headlines for years after Graham-Williams allegedly forged her husband Richard Williams’ signature to transfer the deed into her name. Now, it is back in the news because the 45-year-old might actually lose it.

Foreclosure Looms

At the core of the foreclosure is a loan that Graham-Williams subsequently took out a $279,000 from a “hard lender” named David Simon.

The borrowed funds were intended to start a trucking business, which ultimately failed. This business failure, combined with legal fees and accruing interest, resulted in the debt ballooning to $620,000. Despite making some repayments, the debt remains close to or about half a million dollars, according to The Sun.

In efforts to save the property, Graham-Williams filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection three times.

However, the outlet is reporting all those attempts were unsuccessful, with the latest dismissal occurring due to her inability to keep up with a $10,000 monthly repayment plan. Following these failed attempts, Simon reportedly sent a notice to the judge overseeing his lawsuit, indicating that the majority of the proceeds from the sale of the mansion would go towards repaying him, with the remaining funds to be distributed among more than 20 other creditors. The Sun did not report the date of this notice.

Judge Mindy Mora ruled on April 22 to seize the property to settle the outstanding debt of over $600,000. Graham-Williams’ financial woes are attributed to poor financial management, with the plaintiffs noting her expenditure on “fast food and frivolities” instead of debt repayment.

Simon testified that Graham-Williams initially approached him for a loan after showing interest in his $79,000 Volvo semi-truck tractor. He agreed to the sale only if property was provided as collateral. To facilitate this, Graham-Williams allegedly forged Richard Williams’ signature on the deeds. Following this, she borrowed additional amounts but defaulted on the loan, resulting in the truck’s repossession after it was damaged in Long Island City, causing $30,000 in damages.

Furthermore, Graham-Williams admitted to forging her husband’s signature to sell his valued 1999 Bluebird Wanderlodge Motor Coach for $45,000.

The Palm Beach property, purchased by Richard Williams in 1995 for $355,000 with his then-wife Oracene Price, is now valued at $1.4 million. After their divorce, Richard retained ownership until his marriage to Graham-Williams in 2009. Post their separation in 2017, Graham-Williams assumed control of the residence.

Williams, aged 81 and suffering from dementia and having had two strokes, filed for divorce from Graham-Williams after learning about the alleged forgery and transfer of the house deed.

Despite these allegations, the divorce case was recently dismissed by Judge James Martz, leading to speculation about the couple’s current relationship status. They initially married in 2010 when Williams was 69, and their marriage has been tumultuous, culminating in the highly publicized and contentious separation in 2017.

Throughout the legal battles, the tennis patriarch’s health complications limited his participation in court proceedings. Recent reports indicate that he is now considered capable of engaging in these processes. The famous dad nicknamed “King Richard” missed an important court appearance, which led to the divorce petition dismissal.

His son Chavoita LeSane attributed the absence to Williams’ fear and distrust of the legal process.

“With the strokes and stuff, he’s just terrified of the court procedures,” LeSane said. “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. 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 also added that his dad’s last lawyer “had it set where he was unfit to stand trial, and that was seven years ago.”

With Richard Williams’ health challenges and Graham-Williams’ legal status as his wife, she bore sole responsibility for the debt repayment, which has culminated in the potential loss of the Williams family home.

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