A nephew of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams has reportedly died by suicide. Alphonse Williams died February 3 after having suffered a multitude of mental and physical health issues include bipolar disorder and a rare condition known as Peyronie’s Disease. He was 21.
Williams lived in Las Vegas and was the grandson of the tennis icon’s father Richard Williams. Sabrina Williams, Richard Williams’ eldest daughter from his first marriage, was Alphonse’s mother. She told the British tabloid the Sun in an interview that they had no relationship to their famous relatives and that she knew her son had long struggled with his mental health, including a previous attempt to end his life.
From the Sun
“I knew he was on loan and God called in that loan.”
Sabrina, who lives in Las Vegas and shared a home with Alphonse and his elder brother Elijah, 23, only knew the devastating impact Peyronie’s disease can have on mental health after her son’s passing when she read about the condition online.
Alphonse, who also had bipolar disorder, felt like his life was over and is believed to have taken an overdose of unknown medication. His autopsy results are yet to be released.
Richard Williams, who turned 80 on Feb. 14, is best known for coaching Venus and Serena Williams from tennis prodigies in Los Angeles to becoming decorated champions in the sport and global superstars off the court. He had been nearly omnipresent in the early stages of his daughters’ tennis careers but stepped back from his public presence in recent years.
His story was chronicled in the 2021 movie ‘King Richard’, which starred Will Smith, who received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Williams, and was executive produced by Serena Williams.