Serena Williams’ father texted her an hour before her wedding telling her he couldn’t walk her down the aisle.
Williams revealed the news on her Wednesday’s episode of her HBO docuseries Being Serena.
“He was in New Orleans, he had a suit, and I know he was really excited,” she says on the show. “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. I’m just too nervous.”
The tennis champion was understanding of her father’s, Richard Williams, struggles and wanted him to be comfortable.
“‘Daddy, it’s OK, if you don’t want to come to the wedding at all, that’s OK, too. I’m not going to be upset with you about it, so I don’t want you to be upset about it,’” Williams recalled telling him. “Maybe a lot of daughters wouldn’t react the same way, but I know the struggles he’s had these last few years,” she says on the show. “His health is better now, but I know he still doesn’t feel like himself, doesn’t feel like he’s perfect.”
Williams married Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans last November.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.