Serena Williams‘ wedding to Alexis Ohanian may have looked like a fairy tale, but the November nuptials didn’t go off without a hitch.
Recalling her wedding day in the new HBO documentary “Being Serena,” the newlywed revealed that her father, Richard Williams, backed out of walking her down the aisle one hour before showtime.
“He was in New Orleans, he had a suit, and I know he was really excited,” Williams, 36, said, per Vogue. “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.’”
Williams, who had given birth to daughter Alexis Olympia two months prior, replied to her father in a collected manner.
“Daddy it’s okay, if you don’t want to come to the wedding at all, that’s okay too,” Williams wrote. “I’m not going to be upset with you about it, so I don’t want you to be upset about it.”
While pal Meghan Markle has endured her own family drama, with father Thomas Markle bowing out ahead of Saturday’s royal wedding, Williams found she was able to put things into perspective where her dad’s well-being was concerned.
“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,” Williams noted.
“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 [them] 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,” she continued.
Williams’ father suffered a stroke in July 2016, prior to her and sister Venus’ victory at Wimbledon. She will return to London this weekend for Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry.
SOURCE: Page Six – Jaclyn Hendricks