Serena Williams Tells Why Her Father Skipped Her Wedding


By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: Mike Pont/WireImage

HBO’s new documentary series Being Serena is shaping up to be a lot more telling than many of Serena Williams’ fans thought it would be.

As the film’s trailer was being pitched across television and the internet, it became obvious that two of the star tennis players talking points in her new film would be her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and giving birth to her first child, a daughter named Alexis Ohanian, Jr.

Baby Alexis was born on September 1, 2017. Williams began dating Ohanian some time in 2016 and by the end of the year, the pair was formally engaged. In November of 2017, the two made it official by tying the knot in a beautiful wedding in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Since its debut last week, Being Serena has started off focusing on some of the more exact details regarding the near-death experience Williams endured while giving birth to her first child. Her testimony spoke to a tragedy that is affecting more and more black women like herself today.

However, in a article published today by Vogue Magazine, Williams supposedly talked about something that she has not delved into before, such as her father not walking her down the aisle at her star-studded wedding, which was attended by Williams’ good friend and mega music star Beyonce.

Williams will elaborate on this more in her docuseries. “[My father Richard] was in New Orleans, he had a suit, and I know he was really excited. But then he wrote me and said: ‘Serena, I don’t want you to be mad at me, but I just can’t walk you down the aisle. I’m not myself anymore,'” he texted.

“I’m just too nervous,” he continued. However, Williams said she quickly texted her father back.

“Daddy, it’s okay, if you don’t want to come to the wedding at all, that’s okay too. I’m not going to be upset with you about it, so I don’t want you to be upset about it,” she texted.

Williams went on to explain in Being Serena that she understood her father’s rationale. She made the following statement in the film’s narration:

Maybe a lot of daughters wouldn’t react the same way, but I know the struggles he’s had these last few years. His health is better now, but I know he still doesn’t feel like himself, doesn’t feel like he’s perfect. And if he doesn’t want to be up there in front of a lot of people, I completely understand. Look, when we first came on the scene, there were a lot of people who didn’t get him. I don’t think a lot of them wanted to get him. I don’t think a lot of him could have anyway. Our family knows what we have. We just want each other to be happy. That’s what matters. I don’t think anything could ever change that.”

Watch a Being Serena clip of Episode 3 below.

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