King Richard, 80, seen looking frail in rare social media videos after two strokes as Will Smith gets Oscars buzz

AILING Richard Williams – the elderly father of tennis stars Serena and Venus – has been seen looking frail in rare social media videos ahead of this weekend's Oscars ceremony.

The 80-year-old, who is portrayed in the Academy-Award nominated movie King Richard starring Hollywood actor Will Smith, shared a number of short videos on his Facebook page.

He can be seen staring into the camera looking confused in a number of clips wearing casual clothing, including a bright red Nike t-shirt and a light green polo.

The Sun understands the former tennis coach, who is battling his third wife in court, Lakeisha Williams, is now living a low-key life with family in a home in a gated community in West Palm Beach. Florida.

Williams, who has reportedly suffered two strokes, has been absent from the promotional campaign for the biopic, written by Zach Baylin and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green.

The film, which has reportedly made more than $35M at the Box Office, is nominated for an impressive six Academy Awards ahead of the ceremony on Sunday.

It has garnished nominations for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress [Aunjanue Ellis], Best Film Editing, Best Original Song [Beyonce], and Best Actor nomination for Smith.

And while the stars may take to the stage this weekend to collect a golden statue, it is unlikely Williams will be in the audience at the great Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

His daughters, who were involved in the making of the film, will likely be attending the awards, and make appearances at the numerous glitzy after parties.

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Williams has reportedly suffered two strokes in recent years and has a neurological condition that has left him "barely able to talk".

According to his lawyer, he has suffered "irrepairable brain damage" and dementia in recent years and rarely makes public appearances with his famous daughters.

He is now looked after by his son, Chavoita LeSane, a music promoter who has been named power of attorney, according to court documents filed in Williams' divorce.

Separate filings seen by The Sun show LeSane has a long rap sheet from 1998 to the present day and has been involved in court proceedings 61 times in the last 23 years. 

Williams is now retired and the movie about his life has faced criticism, particularly from his firstborn, daughter Sabrina Williams, who claimed he abandoned her as a child.


He married Sabrina's late mom Betty Johnson in Los Angeles in the early sixties and they had four other children – Richard III, Ronner, Reluss, and Reneeka.

Williams dumped his wife and five kids, allegedly walking out of the door to buy Sabrina a bike – and never returning – then went on to marry Serena and Venus's mother Oracene.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun ahead of this week's Oscars, she slammed the movie, claiming it omits the truth about Williams and how he left his first family.

"But I don't think Will should get an award for how the movie was made," she said. "Because it didn't tell the whole truth. Is that his fault? No, he's an actor. What's his job? To make money. I get it.


"But to me, I feel it's a moral thing because other movies [show the backstory]. It just seems like everybody purposely was trying to keep that out because they wanna keep the good image [of Richard]. And don't want to hear about any of that."

Reflecting on his role playing Williams, actor Will Smith said: "[He] is a very difficult and a very complicated character.

"This is a film about family, about faith. It’s a film about big dreams, you'd have to be a Grinch to walk out of this film and not be inspired."

Meanwhile, Serena has painted her father as a doting parent, describing the 2021 film about their upbringing as being like a Marvel flick.

"I think King Richard is like Iron Man and that there still are other stories around it," she told Harpers Bizarre.

"The next, obviously, would be the Venus story, and then there's always the story about our other three sisters, and then there's like a mom, and then there's the Serena story."

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