It's called greed. I mainly posted this for Swampi Marjorie's benefit, seeing as how she's always accusing Serena of perjury, when Serena wasn't even found to have breached the contract.
I still don't get how they found Richard liable when it was proven that he couldn't bind Vee and Rena to the contract. How did he breach if he couldn't perform what he promised. It wasn't that he was able to and didn't...he couldn't. The contract was void, i.e. not legally enforceable.
Williams Sisters' Father Liable in Suit
By BRIAN SKOLOFF
The Associated Press
Thursday, December 21, 2006; 4:44 PM
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams is liable but doesn't have to pay damages in a lawsuit that claimed he reneged on a deal for his daughters to play in an exhibition match.
A jury Thursday cleared Venus Williams of all allegations but said Serena Williams let her father act as an agent for her. Neither sister must pay damages.
The Williams sisters expressed relief at the verdict.
"Venus and I would really like to thank the jury again because they really were able to see the truth in this matter," Serena Williams said.
Added Venus Williams: "We're ready to start a new chapter in our lives." Attorney for the Williams' father also said they consider the verdict a victory.
The dispute centered on whether Richard Williams had authority to commit his daughters to play in a 2001 "Battle of the Sexes" match that never took place. Venus and Serena Williams testified during the more than monthlong trial that only they have authority to approve contracts.
Promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes, owners of a company called CCKR, brought the breach of contract lawsuit.
"The first thing I said to the jury is this case is about the sanctity of a contract. And the jury understood that," said John Romano, the promoters' attorney. "To say that I'm disappointed would be the understatement of the century."
Romano said he almost certainly will appeal.
Richard Williams acknowledged drawing up terms of the agreement with the promoters, but insisted he told them they would have to go through the IMG sports agency, which represents Venus and Serena, to complete any deal. The promoters said he made no such disclaimer.
Richard Williams also acknowledged he lied to the promoters when he told them his daughters were aware of the negotiations. Both sisters testified they knew nothing of the deal and never would have agreed to play in the match.
Despite the agreement with Richard Williams, the sisters' attorney, F. Malcolm Cunningham, noted to jurors in closing arguments that neither Venus nor Serena signed anything.
Throughout the trial, attorneys for the promoters showed jurors tax returns that indicate payments to Richard Williams by his daughters for management fees, bolstering their contention that he had authority to sign contracts for them.
However, attorneys for the sisters and their father claimed the payments were mischaracterized for tax purposes and that Richard Williams is not their manager and was paid merely for coaching services.
The promoters sued the sisters, their father and his company, Richard Williams Tennis & Associates, for unspecified damages. They claimed the tournament could have made about $45 million, of which 80 percent was to go to Richard Williams' company. An initial trial last year ended in a mistrial.