King Richard's daughter says Serena and Venus Williams didn't have childhoods – and she wouldn't switch places with them

King Richard's daughter says Serena and Venus Williams didn't have childhoods – and she wouldn't switch places with them

March 11, 2022

KING Richard’s daughter believes Serena and Venus Williams grew up too quickly and missed out on being children as their dad encouraged them to become tennis superstars.

Sabrina Williams, who has slammed her estranged father for walking out on her as a child, says she still wouldn't swap places with her iconic half-sisters who are now multi-millionaires.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun from her home in Las Vegas, she said: "I believe Serena and Venus did lose a lot from their childhoods because they were always on the courts.

"And the way the story is told, in the book he has, I'm not sure what it's called, they were driven, like any other parent who is trying to get their kid into the NFL or into NASCAR. It was drive, drive, drive.

"They didn't have a childhood, I can't imagine. Some of the things would be normal for them, missing parties because they're Jehovah's witnesses, and that religion doesn't believe in celebrating birthdays, Christmas.

"But I think they missed a lot by not being able to play with their friends, I don't know but that's what I think."

But she insists she isn't jealous of her younger siblings Serena, 40, and Venus, 41, despite being arguably the two most well-known tennis stars ever.

"I wouldn't swap places with Venus and Serena and if I had to do my life all over again from eight years old to 57, I would repeat it," Sabrina told The Sun.

"You know why? Because [this is] the person I am today. I've heard people say he was pushy. He demanded a lot. I can't imagine, like I never saw that part of my dad, because I only had him for basically eight years.

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"I was little, I never saw that part, but my brother Richard and my brother Ronner they told me, you know, he was always like, just get this done, get this done."

The Sun has made several attempts to reach Richard but has been unsuccessful as he reportedly remains in ill health following two strokes.

Sabrina, whose mom Betty Johnson and siblings were left to fend for themselves after her divorce from Richard, has only met her half-sisters once by chance while running into them at a theme park in California.

She feels her siblings wouldn't bring up their children the same way they were raised, although Serena has been filmed on the court with her four-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr with husband Alexis Ohanian.

"From what I've seen of my little niece [Serena's daughter], and I'd maybe one day love to meet her … you can see the difference," Sabrina said.

"There's a commercial when they're on the tennis court, and the little girl is just skipping and Serena is holding her hand, you can just see the love she has for that baby. I'd love to meet her, she's a cutie."

Sabrina's estranged father, now 80 and living in Florida, is being portrayed in the new movie King Richard starring Hollywood actor Will Smith, which she has slammed for not including his full backstory.


The film starts with him training Serena and Venus in Compton, California, when they were children, encouraging them to head out onto the court every day.

In a joint interview with Harper's Bazaar, Serena insists although their dad encouraged them to train a lot as children, he wasn't necessarily overbeating.

"Everyone's like, 'Well, how do you play tennis for so long?’ It’s because we weren’t raised in an environment where it was something that we abhorred," she said.

Richard made the shocking decision to pull his daughters out of a junior competition in the early 1990s so they wouldn't "fall to pieces" due to pressure, and wanted them to focus on schoolwork.

But Venus admitted to the outlet that tennis has often been the number one priority in their lives, saying as they move on to other projects it's strange for them not to be on the court so much.

"From such a young age, all we've done is work," she said, "For Serena and I to explore that freedom is surreal."


Meanwhile, Sabrina feels the King Richard movie, written by Zach Baylin and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, does not deserve an Oscar – after it was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actor for Smith.

She previously told The Sun: "God bless Will. I'm not a fan anymore because you didn't get the backstory.

"I have nothing against my sisters, but Hollywood loves them. They love them. The UK loves them. The world loves them. So why wouldn't he [Will] get an Academy Award?

"But I don't think Will should get an award for how the movie was made. 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."

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