In the latest episode of her HBO docu-series, Being Serena, tennis champ Serena Williams revealed why her father didn’t walk her down the aisle at her November wedding.
Vogue shared that an hour before Williams’, 36, nuptials to Reddit co-founder and venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian was set to begin, her father Richard Williams sent her a text saying that he didn’t feel up to walking her down the aisle.
“He was in New Orleans, he had a suit, and I know he was really excited,” said Williams. “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 too nervous.'”
The star and her father, who also doubles as her longtime tennis coach, are close, so Williams replied insisting that she harbored no ill feelings toward his decision.
“Daddy, it’s okay, if you don’t want to come to the wedding at all, that’s okay too,” she responded. “I’m not going to be upset with you about it, so I don’t want you to be upset about it.”
Williams went on to explain that she took comfort in knowing that her father, who is in better health than he has been in recent years, is back to happy.
“Maybe a lot of daughters wouldn’t react the same way, but I know the struggles he’s had these last few years,” she said. “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.”