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CondiLicious
Nov 14th, 2006, 11:43 PM
There's a video up here:

http://www.wptv.com



Reporter says to Venus and Serena Williams as they walk into court Tuesday, "how concerned are you about this trial? Any comment?"
Serena Williams says, "not now."
Reporter says, "are you anticipating staying for the whole day?"
Serena Williams says, "we'll see."
Serena Williams and her sister Venus did stay in court as potential jurors were quizzed about how much they've heard about the multi-million dollar breach of contract case.
Judge Jeffrey Winikoff says to potential jurors, "if you have read, heard or seen anything about this case."
Most people at the minimum recognize the Williams sisters as top tennis players. The fact they're being sued has generated buzz as well. So much so, that on Monday the jury pool began with 150 people and was cut to 70. John Romano represents the people suing the Williams.



John Romano, attorney for plaintiff, says, "whether or not they have pre-conceived feelings or opinions in case like this about high profile persons like the Williams sisters. How they might feel about our clients."
The sisters and their father are being sued for upwards of $15 million. Two promoters say the tennis stars' father promised the sisters would play in a 2001 battle of the sexes style tournament, and the Williams sisters backed out. The sisters and their father say there was never a contract.
Tuesday, the attorney for the Williams sisters had no comment saying he doesn't want to taint the jury pool. The attorney for the sister's father says he will reserve comment until the trial begins because it's a high publicity case.
John Romano says, "the most important thing is that when come in they can sit there and say I will be fair to both sides."
Both sides will get to make their case to six jurors deciding a case where millions are at stake.
Jury selection is expected to finish Thursday. Opening statements could be given on Friday. The trial is suppose to last five weeks.



http://www.wptv.com/News/111406_TennisStarsinCivilCourt.cfm



I love how Venus blanked the reporter. :hearts:

stevos
Nov 14th, 2006, 11:50 PM
Looks like Venus was chatting on MSN :lol:

Wow, five weeks. Bummer for them. I'd love to be on that jury :D

perseus2006
Nov 15th, 2006, 12:23 AM
?!? McDonald Tour, Trips to Africa, 5-week civil trial ...

When will Venus and Serena have time for conditioning for 2007 AO???

This doesn't seem good to me.

Stamp Paid
Nov 15th, 2006, 01:26 AM
oh dear.

LH2HBH
Nov 15th, 2006, 01:36 AM
WOW - nice to see all of us discussing the matter as adults! "Juicetine, Fag and ahem.... 'Penis' " :rolleyes:

ANYWAYS! That's too bad, but it's all part of being a star, a celebrity and a businesswoman. Contracts go bad and people get sued.

olivia100
Nov 15th, 2006, 01:40 AM
WOW - nice to see all of us discussing the matter as adults! "Juicetine, Fag and ahem.... 'Penis' " :rolleyes:

ANYWAYS! That's too bad, but it's all part of being a star, a celebrity and a businesswoman. Contracts go bad and people get sued.

No, people are greedy and always looking for a free buck. Those people need to go find a job and stop trying to live off of other people. As soon and someone earn a couple of bucks other people are always out there trying to see how they can get it from you.

Rocketta
Nov 15th, 2006, 01:46 AM
Dag, Venus definitely stonewalled that reporter. :lol:

CondiLicious
Nov 15th, 2006, 01:48 AM
Dag, Venus definitely stonewalled that reporter. :lol:

I'd have ignored her too. I don't like her.

Serena was a little more "polite" though.

fufuqifuqishahah
Nov 15th, 2006, 01:56 AM
why is it gonna freaking last 5 weeks? it's like contract or not haha.

Brooklyn90
Nov 15th, 2006, 02:11 AM
now they will get even less practice :sad:

tennisIlove09
Nov 15th, 2006, 03:27 AM
I am lovin' Vee's new hair :drool:

darrinbaker00
Nov 15th, 2006, 03:38 AM
now they will get even less practice :sad:
Outside of their testimony, I don't see why they would even have to be there. This is a civil trial, after all.

dreamgoddess099
Nov 15th, 2006, 03:43 AM
Those plaintiffs are pathetic. Just face it, they sneakily befriended Richard and tried to make a deal with him behind Venus and Serena's backs without personally even getting confirmation from them. Richard may have done some managing for them when they were still minors and were legally his responsibility, but by 2001 they were both grown and out on their own. He no longer had the authority to act on their behalf and by then their agents were the ones making their deals. Why didn't they go to their agents, or them themselves?

plantman
Nov 15th, 2006, 04:02 AM
This has been along time in coming to trial. The last I remember reading was that Richard may have done some business dealings without the supposed knowledge of his daughters! My, my,my........What drama~!

Kunal
Nov 15th, 2006, 07:44 AM
more nonsense

CondiLicious
Nov 21st, 2006, 12:03 AM
http://www.wptv.com/

There's another video on the main page ^^^. It's of Richard testifying today. Serena and Venus were both there.

Denise4925
Nov 21st, 2006, 12:19 AM
http://www.wptv.com/

There's another video on the main page ^^^. It's of Richard testifying today. Serena and Venus were both there.

That's the only one that's up now. I can't find the link to the reporter and Vee and Rena. :sad:

tennisIlove09
Nov 21st, 2006, 12:34 AM
Williams sisters’ father testifies in breach-of-contract case


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -The father of Venus and Serena Williams testified Monday that he never served as their manager and had no authority to commit the tennis stars to play in a 2001 ``Battle of the Sexes'' match.
Richard Williams and his daughters are accused of reneging on a deal to play in the event, costing promoters millions of dollars and prompting a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the family.
``I was never Venus and Serena's manager, never,'' Richard Williams said.
Promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes, owners of a company called CCKR, allege that Richard Williams committed his daughters to play in the match, and they failed to live up to the agreement. The promoters are suing the sisters, their father and his company, Richard Williams Tennis & Associates, seeking unspecified damages.
The Williams sisters did not sign any contract with CCKR. They contend their father could not make such a commitment because he did not have the authority to enter into the deal and has never served as their manager.
The dispute centers on whether Richard Williams was acting as the sisters' manager at the time the deal was made. The plaintiffs attorneys Monday showed jurors copies of tax returns from 1998-00 for Richard Williams' company that indicate he was paid nearly $2 million in ``management fees'' from his daughters.
``Is it true that it says management fees because you have told your accounting firm that you were the manager and agent for Venus and Serena?'' asked John Romano, the plaintiffs' attorney.
``No sir,'' Richard Williams replied. ``I never told my accountant ... that I managed Venus and Serena.''
Williams said he was unaware his accounting firm was characterizing the payments from his daughters as management fees.
Attorneys for the sisters and their father claim the payments were mischaracterized for tax-deduction purposes and that Richard Williams was paid merely for coaching services.
Richard Williams acknowledges drawing up terms of a potential contract for the 2001 event, but he insists he told promoters they would have to go through the IMG sports agency, which represents Venus and Serena, to complete any agreement.
The promoters claim the tournament could have made about $45 million, of which 80 percent was to go to Richard Williams' company.
A first trial ended in a mistrial in December. This second trial, before Judge Jeffrey Winicoff, began Friday and is expected to last five weeks.
The sisters were in court Monday and were seated at a table near their father, who is represented by a different attorney. Richard Williams was set to return to the witness stand Tuesday for cross-examination.
The Williams sisters have won a combined 59 singles events on the WTA Tour, including 12 Grand Slam singles titles, with more than $32 million in prize money.

Sam L
Nov 21st, 2006, 12:49 AM
Shouldn't things about Venus and Serena be in non-tennis by now?

fufuqifuqishahah
Nov 21st, 2006, 12:49 AM
Williams sisters’ father testifies in breach-of-contract case


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -The father of Venus and Serena Williams testified Monday that he never served as their manager and had no authority to commit the tennis stars to play in a 2001 ``Battle of the Sexes'' match.
Richard Williams and his daughters are accused of reneging on a deal to play in the event, costing promoters millions of dollars and prompting a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the family.
``I was never Venus and Serena's manager, never,'' Richard Williams said.
Promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes, owners of a company called CCKR, allege that Richard Williams committed his daughters to play in the match, and they failed to live up to the agreement. The promoters are suing the sisters, their father and his company, Richard Williams Tennis & Associates, seeking unspecified damages.
The Williams sisters did not sign any contract with CCKR. They contend their father could not make such a commitment because he did not have the authority to enter into the deal and has never served as their manager.
The dispute centers on whether Richard Williams was acting as the sisters' manager at the time the deal was made. The plaintiffs attorneys Monday showed jurors copies of tax returns from 1998-00 for Richard Williams' company that indicate he was paid nearly $2 million in ``management fees'' from his daughters.
``Is it true that it says management fees because you have told your accounting firm that you were the manager and agent for Venus and Serena?'' asked John Romano, the plaintiffs' attorney.
``No sir,'' Richard Williams replied. ``I never told my accountant ... that I managed Venus and Serena.''
Williams said he was unaware his accounting firm was characterizing the payments from his daughters as management fees.
Attorneys for the sisters and their father claim the payments were mischaracterized for tax-deduction purposes and that Richard Williams was paid merely for coaching services.
Richard Williams acknowledges drawing up terms of a potential contract for the 2001 event, but he insists he told promoters they would have to go through the IMG sports agency, which represents Venus and Serena, to complete any agreement.
The promoters claim the tournament could have made about $45 million, of which 80 percent was to go to Richard Williams' company.
A first trial ended in a mistrial in December. This second trial, before Judge Jeffrey Winicoff, began Friday and is expected to last five weeks.
The sisters were in court Monday and were seated at a table near their father, who is represented by a different attorney. Richard Williams was set to return to the witness stand Tuesday for cross-examination.
The Williams sisters have won a combined 59 singles events on the WTA Tour, including 12 Grand Slam singles titles, with more than $32 million in prize money.

45 million for one tournament is a shit load. lol.

im confused why they are suing for 15 million though that's so much. :o

CondiLicious
Nov 21st, 2006, 12:51 AM
That's the only one that's up now. I can't find the link to the reporter and Vee and Rena. :sad:

If you access the site using Internet Explorer and click on any of the video links to any of the stories on the main page then you'll get a video pop-up screen and on the left side of the pop-up will appear a list of videos... if you keep on scrolling you will eventually find the first story on Serena and Venus.


At the moment it's something like 40th on the video list. You can only do this if you use internet explorer though. If you get the windows media pop-up accessing it through firefox or anything then you can only watch current videos.

Direwolf
Nov 21st, 2006, 04:04 PM
Can't they just and a friend of theirs to ask a friend of theirs to ask a friend of theirs to ask a friend of theirs to ask a friend of theirs to ask a friend of theirs to ask a friend of theirs to ask a friend of theirs to ask a friend of theirs to ask a friend of theirs to ask a friend of theirs to hire a killer and kill the guy....

vwfan
Nov 21st, 2006, 05:55 PM
Shouldn't things about Venus and Serena be in non-tennis by now?then you'd have a much harder time finding threads to come in and troll! :lol:

i never quite get why people come into a thread about Venus and Serena to ask why someone started the thread, or to say that they're not interested in the topic or the sisters, or to imply that others shouldn't be either. don't get it.

rjd1111
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:06 PM
Shouldn't things about Venus and Serena be in non-tennis by now?

Why! Are they still Tennis Players?

cheo23
Nov 28th, 2006, 04:23 PM
Venus Williams testifies in breach of contract case

By BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press Writer
November 27, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Tennis star Venus Williams testified Monday during a breach-of-contract case that her father was never her manager and had no authority to enter her into an agreement for a 2001 "Battle of the Sexes" event.

"My dad was my coach. My dad was my dad. My dad supported me all my life, but he was not my manager," Venus Williams told jurors.


Promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes, owners of a company called CCKR, allege that Venus Williams' father, Richard, committed his daughters to play in the match, and that they failed to live up to the agreement. The promoters are suing the sisters, their father and his company, Richard Williams Tennis & Associates, seeking unspecified damages.

Serena Williams was expected to testify Tuesday. Richard Williams concluded nearly four days of testimony on Monday. He, too, insisted that despite entering into contract negotiations with the promoters, he never had authority to commit his daughters to play in the match.

The dispute centers on whether Richard Williams was acting as the sisters' manager at the time of the agreement. He acknowledges drawing up terms of a potential contract for the 2001 event, but he insists he told the promoters they would have to go through the IMG sports agency, which represents Venus and Serena, to complete any agreement.

Richard Williams also testified that he lied when he told the promoters in 2001 that his daughters were aware of the deal.

The promoters claim the tournament could have made about $45 million, of which 80 percent was to go to Richard Williams' company.

The Williams sisters never signed any contract with CCKR and insist their father does not manage them, and therefore has no authority to commit them to any deals.

"I make my own decisions," Venus Williams told jurors.

The promoters' attorney, Jim Beasley, noted that Venus Williams' tax returns show she paid her father about $1.6 million between 1999 and 2001 for "manager and coaching fees."

"How much of that was for managing and how much was for coaching?" Beasley asked.

"They were all for coaching," Venus Williams replied. :rolleyes: :smash:

"Do you know why it says manager and coaching?" Beasley prodded.

"No," she said.:weirdo:

During previous testimony, promoters' attorneys showed jurors copies of tax returns from 1998 to 2000 for Richard Williams' company that indicate he was paid nearly $2 million in "management fees" from his daughters.

Attorneys for the sisters and their father claim the payments were mischaracterized for tax-deduction purposes and that Richard Williams was paid merely for coaching services.

A first trial in the case ended in a mistrial in December. This second trial, before Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey A. Winikoff, began Nov. 17 and was expected to last five weeks. Jurors have the option of finding Richard Williams liable, alone. They also could find the sisters and their father liable or dismiss the allegations.

cheo23
Nov 29th, 2006, 06:16 AM
Venus Williams testifies she never agreed to 'Sexes' event

By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer
November 28, 2006

AP - Nov 28, 3:17 pm EST
More Photos



WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Venus Williams insists she never committed to play against men in a 2001 "Battle of the Sexes" event, and such a splashy exhibition did not interest her.

"That wasn't my thing," she testified Tuesday in a breach-of-contract lawsuit. "I'm a professional women's tennis player. I want to play serious tennis."

Williams spent a second day on the witness stand in a lawsuit brought by promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes. Also testifying Tuesday was her sister, Serena.

The two owners of a company called CCKR that intended to stage the tournament between men's and women's tennis stars contend the Williams sisters reneged on a playing agreement arranged by their father, Richard Williams.

Venus Williams said her father had no authority to commit her to any business venture and that her interests are handled solely by the IMG sports management agency. IMG, she said, never brought the "Battle" proposal to her and she never talked about it with her father or anyone else.


"I didn't agree to any contract with the 'Battle of the Sexes' at all, with any person, at any time," Venus Williams said.

Richard Williams acknowledged that he put together a potential contract for the tournament but insisted he told Clarke and Rhodes they would have to go through IMG to get his daughters to play.

Venus Williams laughingly recalled how her father pushed his daughters to play tennis as children and has always acted as their coach and mentor. But, she said, since becoming an adult he has not had the power to make business deals for her.

Clarke and Rhodes contend the event could have made $45 million. They are suing the sisters, their father and his company, Richard Williams Tennis & Associates, for unspecified damages. An initial trial last year ended in a mistrial.

Serena Williams testified that she remembered having fleeting conversations with Clarke about a women's sports Internet site but never agreed to lend her name or prestige to the venture. Serena Williams said a signature bearing her name on an agreement for Clarke's Internet site was not in her handwriting, but she would not say whether it was similar to her father's handwriting.

"All I know is, that's not my signature," Serena Williams said. "I never saw this document."

Serena Williams was expected to continue her testimony Wednesday.

cheo23
Nov 30th, 2006, 06:24 PM
Serena Williams says she felt harassed by 'Sexes' match promoter

By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer
November 29, 2006

AP - Nov 29, 3:16 pm EST
More Photos



WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Serena Williams told a jury Wednesday that she felt "harassed" and "violated" when one promoter of a "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match called her personal cell phone and repeatedly urged her to take part in the event.

Serena Williams, testifying in a breach-of-contract lawsuit brought by promoters Keith Rhodes and Carol Clarke, said she thought it was "unprofessional" for Rhodes to contact her directly about the event. And she was surprised that Rhodes had her personal cell number, she said.

"I felt harassed at the time. He kept telling me that I need to do it. I said 'I don't have time to talk about this. This is not something I want to be a part of,"' Serena Williams said. "I didn't like the way he was talking to me. I felt violated."

Serena Williams was also asked by her attorney, F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr., if she ever had any interest in playing a match against men's tennis star John McEnroe, whose name had repeatedly come up in connection with the possible event and who had publicly challenged Serena Williams to a match.

"Playing John McEnroe would not advance my career. It would just be a sideshow," she said. "I never saw an upside to playing John McEnroe or anyone else on the men's tour."



Rhodes and Clarke contend in their lawsuit that Richard Williams, father of both tennis stars, committed them to play in a 2001 "Battle of the Sexes" event that would have earned some $45 million. Richard Williams testified earlier that he put together a draft contract for the exhibition but insisted that he told Clarke and Rhodes they would have to go through the IMG sports management agency to get approval from his daughters.

Rhodes and Clarke are likely to testify later in the trial.

Echoing previous testimony from Venus Williams, Serena Williams told jurors that she never saw any of documents related to the proposed event, that her father did not have authority to obligate her to contracts and that his primary role was that of coach, trainer and mentor.

"My dad has the influence of a great father and a great person. My dad came from nothing and made myself and my sister to be somebody," Serena Williams said. "We're not going to let somebody take that away from us."

Rhodes and Clarke contend that Richard Williams billed himself as a conduit to doing business with his daughters. Their lawyers played parts of a 2002 biography film, "Raising Tennis Aces," in which Serena says of her father: "As a manager he's the best," noting that he had handled two champion players.

"You knew that the public perception was that your father was your manager, correct?" asked Judy Hyman, one of the promoters' lawyers.

"I don't know what the public thought about as to my dad," Serena Williams replied.

Attorneys for Rhodes and Clarke tried repeatedly to show jurors evidence that Serena Williams had some knowledge of the possible "Battle" match, including comments she made a press conference during the 2000 U.S. Open tournament questioning why McEnroe hadn't challenged higher-ranked female players.

"I think he wants to get a rivalry going," Serena Williams said then.

But Serena Williams said she was unaware of any negotiations. And Peter Johnson, former chief operating officer of IMG, said he told Rhodes in a telephone call that he had no right to work on such an event with the Williams sisters or their father.

Johnson also said Richard Williams had asked IMG to work with Rhodes, but Johnson rejected that and called the proposal to play McEnroe, Jimmy Connors or some other male player "a terrible idea."

"I thought it was a no-win situation for them," Johnson said. "If they won, everybody would say 'well they should have won.' If they lost, I thought it would hurt their reputation. This was two of the greatest players in women's tennis. To play a man at the height of their career would have been foolish," Johnson said.

The Williams sisters have won 59 singles events combined on the WTA Tour, including 12 Grand Slam singles titles. Venus Williams is currently ranked No. 48 and Serena No. 95 by the WTA.

meyerpl
Dec 1st, 2006, 07:12 AM
then you'd have a much harder time finding threads to come in and troll! :lol:

i never quite get why people come into a thread about Venus and Serena to ask why someone started the thread, or to say that they're not interested in the topic or the sisters, or to imply that others shouldn't be either. don't get it.

The post you're responding to was what's commonly referred to as a "joke". The poster wasn't pondering why someone started the thread, nor was he expressing or promoting disinterest in the topic; he was engaging in a bit of levity, frivolity or flippancy. The post was totally lacking in seriousness or earnestness. It was an attempt at jollity intended to inspire amusement or laughter. You see, Venus and Serena haven't been in playing in many tournaments lately. Get it?

cheo23
Dec 2nd, 2006, 06:05 AM
Plaintiff suing Williams sisters says father committed to deal

December 1, 2006

AP - Nov 29, 3:16 pm EST
More Photos



WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Richard Williams falsely represented himself as having authority to commit his daughters Venus and Serena to play in a "Battle of the Sexes" match, a promoter suing them all testified Friday.

Promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes allege that Richard Williams agreed to a contract to have his daughters play in the 2001 match. The promoters claim they lost millions of dollars when the sisters reneged.

The plaintiffs' attorneys played a video clip for jurors showing Richard Williams negotiating the deal with Clarke. In the video, taken by Richard Williams, he tells Clarke that Venus and Serena are "well aware of what I am doing." :eek:

Richard Williams later testified he was lying. :rolleyes: :weirdo: ..whatever RICHARD!!!!! :smash:

Clarke said she took Williams at his word and moved forward with the event.


The sisters have testified that he has never been their manager, and didn't have the authority to commit them to such an event. Both sisters have also said they would never have agreed to play in the match.

The plaintiffs' attorneys have showed jurors copies of tax returns for the sisters and their father that show hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to Richard Williams for coaching and management fees.

Attorneys for the sisters and their father claim the payments were mischaracterized for tax-deduction purposes and that Richard Williams was paid merely for coaching services.

Richard Williams acknowledged drawing up terms of a potential contract for the 2001 event, but he insists he told promoters they would have to go through the IMG sports agency, which represents Venus and Serena, to complete any agreement.

Clarke testified Friday that Williams made no such mention. She was expected to continue testifying throughout the day.

The promoters claim the tournament could have made about $45 million, of which 80 percent was to go to Richard Williams' company.

A first trial in the case ended in a mistrial in December. Jurors have the option of finding Richard Williams liable, alone. They could also find the sisters and their father liable or dismiss the allegations.

darrinbaker00
Dec 2nd, 2006, 06:16 AM
Attorneys for the sisters and their father claim the payments were mischaracterized for tax-deduction purposes and that Richard Williams was paid merely for coaching services.
They admitted in a court of law that they lied on their tax returns?
:cuckoo: :cuckoo: :cuckoo:

cheo23
Dec 2nd, 2006, 11:45 PM
They admitted in a court of law that they lied on their tax returns?
:cuckoo: :cuckoo: :cuckoo:
:lol: ...doesn't make any SENSE. I wonder if the IRS is goin to GIVE them an AUDIT!!!!:help:

venus_rulez
Dec 3rd, 2006, 01:23 AM
:lol: ...doesn't make any SENSE. I wonder if the IRS is goin to GIVE them an AUDIT!!!!:help:

I took that statement to mean that they were "mischaracterized" as in on top of coaching fees they might have paid him for other things as well (possibly management fees or whatever) and instead of listing every single one on the tax returns they put it under the blanket of "management fees"

darrinbaker00
Dec 3rd, 2006, 06:52 AM
I took that statement to mean that they were "mischaracterized" as in on top of coaching fees they might have paid him for other things as well (possibly management fees or whatever) and instead of listing every single one on the tax returns they put it under the blanket of "management fees"
Those are the red flags the IRS looks for, my friend. Whatever Venus and/or Serena paid their dad for, be it coaching managing, gardening, or whatever else, they should have listed it separately on their tax returns. Any reputable accountant would advise their clients to do so.

trivfun
Dec 3rd, 2006, 05:13 PM
This has been along time in coming to trial. The last I remember reading was that Richard may have done some business dealings without the supposed knowledge of his daughters! My, my,my........What drama~!

sounds like Steffi Graf all over again.

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 3rd, 2006, 07:39 PM
http://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Features/Photo_Galleries/TENNIS_Gallery/2006_11_27_Serena_week.jpg

darrinbaker00
Dec 4th, 2006, 03:56 AM
http://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Features/Photo_Galleries/TENNIS_Gallery/2006_11_27_Serena_week.jpg
Judge: "Move out of the way, Richard. I'm trying to peep your daughter's rack!"

Direwolf
Dec 5th, 2006, 01:11 PM
sounds like Steffi Graf all over again.

could you please kindly explain....

raquel
Dec 5th, 2006, 06:31 PM
Looks like this trial could start getting very personal....

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/pbcsouth/content/local_news/epaper/2006/12/05/m5b_williams1205.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=17

Tennis trial may air dirty laundry

By Jane Musgrave

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH — An already contentious trial, charging Venus, Serena and Richard Williams with reneging on what was supposed to be a lucrative battle-of-the-sexes tennis match, could get even uglier.

Attorneys representing two would-be promoters in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the famous tennis family said they may drag out some particularly dirty family laundry if the Williamses' attorneys try to paint their client as a liar.

The not-so-veiled threat came Monday when attorney F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr., who is representing the sisters, persuaded Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Winikoff to let him call one of Carol Clarke's former associates to testify that Clarke once told her that she had cancer.

The testimony is important because Richard Williams has testified that one of the main reasons he committed his daughters to the match was because Clarke told him she needed money to pay for her cancer treatment. Clarke, meanwhile, has told the jury that she never had cancer and never told Williams that she did.

Testimony from the former business associate would show the jury that Clarke told others, in addition to Williams, that she had cancer, Cunningham successfully argued.

Clarke's attorney, John Romano, countered that if her cancer becomes fodder for speculation, so too may Richard Williams' failed marriage.

"Then we can get into the spousal abuse," Romano told Winikoff.

Allegations that Williams beat the mother of Venus and Serena would become relevant because he also claims that he agreed to have his daughters participate in the event planned for late 2001 after Clarke promised to help him reunite with his then-estranged wife, Oracene, Romano said. The couple divorced in 2002.

The allegations would raise questions about his emotional testimony about how much he loved his wife, Romano said.

Jan Michael Morris, who represents Richard Williams, objected that the evidence of abuse, based only on sketchy police reports, never would be admissible.

Winikoff cut him off. "I don't need a preview of coming attractions," the judge said, adding that he would decide whether abuse allegations would be allowed into evidence if and when Romano makes a formal request.

At the end of the day, Romano said he didn't know whether he would do so. He said he would prefer not to but that it might be necessary to combat the testimony that Clarke claimed she had cancer to elicit sympathy.

The battle over who can testify about what came as the trial entered its third week.

Clarke spent most of the afternoon on the witness stand with Cunningham trying to portray her as a gold digger who latched on to the Williams family, trying to make the fortune that has long eluded her.

A former insurance agent, she met Richard Williams after she had gotten into films. Her brother, who ran the tennis shop at BallenIsles where Venus and Serena occasionally trained, introduced her to him in 1997 after he expressed interest in getting involved in film and video projects. She became a regular visitor at his Palm Beach Gardens home.

Before cooking up the idea in 2000 for the battle-of-the-sexes match, which Clarke estimated would net $45 million, they discussed various moneymaking ventures that never reached fruition.

Williams, who owned a bus company, at one time suggested that they outfit a bus with Web-casting equipment to feature his daughters on tour. She at one time suggested using the notoriety of the top-ranked sisters to market a magnetic tennis bracelet.

The only projects Clarke did with Venus and Serena Williams, however, were interviewing them for a documentary on Althea Gibson, the first black person to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament, and several public service announcements. The sisters were never paid for their participation.

Clarke is slated to continue to testify today, followed by Keith Rhodes, her partner in the failed match. The trial is due to wrap up Dec. 15.

pigam
Dec 5th, 2006, 06:42 PM
pffff...
I study law (sorry for repeating this) but I don't get anything from these "legal reports" and the course this trial seems to be taking. mmm. feel quite silly :(

cheo23
Dec 6th, 2006, 05:49 AM
Promoters suing Williams sisters allege perjury in case about 2001 tennis match

December 5, 2006

AP - Dec 5, 4:47 pm EST
More Photos



WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Attorneys for a pair of promoters suing tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and their father over a tennis match accused the three of perjury. :eek:

In a motion filed Tuesday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, the attorneys accuse the sisters of "a repeated pattern of deception and falsehood."

Promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes, owners of a company called CCKR, allege that the sisters' father, Richard Williams, signed a contract on their behalf committing his daughters to play in a 2001 "Battle of the Sexes" match. The promoters claim they lost millions of dollars after the sisters reneged on the deal.

Despite tax returns that show payments to Richard Williams for management fees, Venus and Serena Williams have both testified that their father has never been their manager and had no authority to commit them to a deal. Attorneys for the sisters and their father claim the payments were mischaracterized for tax-deduction purposes and that Richard Williams was paid merely for coaching services.

A telephone call Tuesday to the plaintiffs' attorneys was not immediately returned.


The sisters' attorney, F. Malcolm Cunningham, said the sisters are the only ones who can commit to any contract where money is exchanged for their services.

"Since Venus and Serena have been 18, they sign their own contracts without exception," Cunningham said outside court. "Nobody signs for them."

After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Jeffrey Winikoff ordered Venus and Serena Williams' attorneys to turn over to him more than two dozen sponsorship and endorsement agreements by Friday.

Richard Williams has acknowledged drawing up terms of a potential contract for the 2001 event, but he insists he told promoters they would have to go through the IMG sports agency, which represents Venus and Serena, to complete any agreement. The promoters say he made no such disclaimer.

meyerpl
Dec 7th, 2006, 07:18 AM
So, once you cut through all the smoke and mirrors the lawers throw out in court, are the sisters saying their dad is nuts when he claims to represent them; don't pay any attention to anything he signs?

Helen Lawson
Dec 7th, 2006, 06:10 PM
So, once you cut through all the smoke and mirrors the lawers throw out in court, are the sisters saying their dad is nuts when he claims to represent them; don't pay any attention to anything he signs?


Or they sign.....

I hope the jury sees through this bullshit case, but if they signed a bunch of other documents besides their tax returns that state he's their manager, their credbility to the jury is shot. Absent the plaintiffs themselves being bad witnesses, they could be really screwed, though I still maintain the damage theory in this case is ridiculous.

bucklemyshoe
Dec 15th, 2006, 08:41 PM
Judge rules to show jury documents Richard Williams signed for his daughters

By Jane Musgrave

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, December 15, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH — Minutes after tennis great Serena Williams swore she always signed her own agreements, a judge today ruled that a jury could be shown four documents that Richard Williams signed on behalf of his famous daughters.

The ruling was a coup for attorneys representing two would-be promoters who are seeking as much as $9 million from the Williams family, claiming they reneged on a contract to participate in a battle-of-the-sexes tennis tournament to be held in late 2001.

Throughout the four-week-long trial, the family has insisted the contract Richard Williams signed, pledging that his daughters would compete in the match, was invalid. Richard Williams, they have argued, had no authority to commit his daughters to do anything, much less participate in a tennis match that was to net $45 million.

Attorney F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr., who is representing the sisters, tried to persuade Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Winikoff not to allow the four documents to be used.

He described the last-minute appeal from attorneys representing Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes as an "ambush," saying he hadn't had time to review the documents or investigate their authenticity.

John Romano, who represents the two would-be promoters, said he only received them two weeks ago from Leland Hardy, a former Williams family friend who testified earlier that he put various deals together for Venus and Serena in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Under oath today, Richard Williams said the signatures on the four documents were his. Winikoff then ruled that Romano could use them as part of his case.

Before the trial was adjourned for lunch, Serena Williams, 25, was shown two of the documents. She said she hadn't seen them before.

One has to do with an deal she made with Puma in 1998 to wear its shoes and clothing. While she was only 16 when the Puma deal was inked, the others were signed after she turned 18.

One was an agreement to allow she and her older sister, Venus, to serve as grand marshals of the 2000 Orange Bowl parade. Two others were agreements for both to participate in anti-drug public service announcements.

Romano said in each case, like the battle of the sexes contract, only Richard Williams signed the documents.

He has also asked Winikoff for sanctions against the Williamses' attorneys for not providing the documents earlier. Winikoff has not ruled on that request.

The trial continues this afternoon. Closing arguments are expected Wednesday.

RunDown
Dec 16th, 2006, 12:37 AM
Yikes @ that article.
This case isn't looking good for the sisters or Richard. If I were a betting woman, I'd be betting against them. :(

venus_rulez
Dec 16th, 2006, 12:39 AM
^^^^

That certainly is a big deal and doesn't look good for the sisters, but couldn't they just as easily argue that in those cases they wanted to participate so Richard committing them wasn't a problem? I still don't really understand all of this. And this really can't be as simple as Richard is their manager and committed them so the sisters are legally bound, because then couldn't ANY manager commit the stars they're representing to anything?

RunDown
Dec 16th, 2006, 12:46 AM
And this really can't be as simple as Richard is their manager and committed them so the sisters are legally bound, because then couldn't ANY manager commit the stars they're representing to anything?

Good point.

Stamp Paid
Dec 16th, 2006, 01:42 AM
Judge rules to show jury documents Richard Williams signed for his daughters

By Jane Musgrave

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, December 15, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH — Minutes after tennis great Serena Williams swore she always signed her own agreements, a judge today ruled that a jury could be shown four documents that Richard Williams signed on behalf of his famous daughters.

The ruling was a coup for attorneys representing two would-be promoters who are seeking as much as $9 million from the Williams family, claiming they reneged on a contract to participate in a battle-of-the-sexes tennis tournament to be held in late 2001.

Throughout the four-week-long trial, the family has insisted the contract Richard Williams signed, pledging that his daughters would compete in the match, was invalid. Richard Williams, they have argued, had no authority to commit his daughters to do anything, much less participate in a tennis match that was to net $45 million.

Attorney F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr., who is representing the sisters, tried to persuade Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Winikoff not to allow the four documents to be used.

He described the last-minute appeal from attorneys representing Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes as an "ambush," saying he hadn't had time to review the documents or investigate their authenticity.

John Romano, who represents the two would-be promoters, said he only received them two weeks ago from Leland Hardy, a former Williams family friend who testified earlier that he put various deals together for Venus and Serena in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Under oath today, Richard Williams said the signatures on the four documents were his. Winikoff then ruled that Romano could use them as part of his case.

Before the trial was adjourned for lunch, Serena Williams, 25, was shown two of the documents. She said she hadn't seen them before.

One has to do with an deal she made with Puma in 1998 to wear its shoes and clothing. While she was only 16 when the Puma deal was inked, the others were signed after she turned 18.

One was an agreement to allow she and her older sister, Venus, to serve as grand marshals of the 2000 Orange Bowl parade. Two others were agreements for both to participate in anti-drug public service announcements.

Romano said in each case, like the battle of the sexes contract, only Richard Williams signed the documents.

He has also asked Winikoff for sanctions against the Williamses' attorneys for not providing the documents earlier. Winikoff has not ruled on that request.

The trial continues this afternoon. Closing arguments are expected Wednesday.

Oh come on, those are not major business deals such as the one that this tennis match would have involved. :rolleyes: Im sure they werent even paid for the PSAs or for serving as grand marshals in the parade. The Puma contract was when Serena was 16 so OK, but the other ones are not exactly relevant IMO. They dont show that Richard was allowed to make business deals on their behalf.

stkenyi
Dec 16th, 2006, 02:32 AM
So, I have been following the case because I love V and S and I am a law student. I chose to follow this of many cases for one of my classes this Semester.

Darrinbaker00 :worship:

I couldn't have summed it better about the contracts.They show no pattern whatsoever regarding Richard's rights to sign major contracts for Venus and Serena. The PSA and the Orange Bowl contracts were all appearance deals. The only $$$ contract Richard signed was the Puma deal when Serena was underage. Serena said on the stand that she really wanted to where Puma clothes at the Australia Open in 1998 so that is why the deal was worked out quickly...hence Richard signed it.

FYI: Venus and Serena's attorney was brilliant because after Serena he put their IMG rep and then Venus last(Venus was hilarious again) before resting. Apparently, Venus signed her Reebok contract and Wilson contracts she was 14 and underage.

The other thing is Venus and Serena are named in the law suit together whereas Richard (his company) is a separate entity and the Jury can find him guilty. In my opinion...there is no way the Jury can convict V and Serena. Venus never signed anything and her name was crossed out the in
battle of sexes contracts. Serena's name is on the contract and Richard forged her signature on the contract. He admitted under oath that he forged it. :fiery:

plantman
Dec 16th, 2006, 02:57 AM
"a law student" not yet a lawyer! That in itself tells us alot! I have no experience in the field of law, but have more than a few acquaintance's who do and they see it (this case) much different. Those contracts that Richard signed on behalf of Venus/Serena regardless if no money was to exhange hands is going to be a big part of this mess. Looks like the Judge already made that clear!

and the saga continues...............

Stamp Paid
Dec 16th, 2006, 03:00 AM
damn Richard forged her signature too?? :speakles: :lol:

franny
Dec 16th, 2006, 05:46 AM
Wow, Richard Williams is some guy. Who would do that to his daughters? To forge their signatures and commit them to something they have no interest in. They aren't his properties.

bucklemyshoe
Dec 16th, 2006, 07:16 PM
Serena Williams insists she signs her own deals

By Nancy L. Othón
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted December 16 2006


Tennis superstar Serena Williams was back on the witness stand Friday, repeating what became a mantra during her testimony -- that she signs her own agreements, whether they are big-time endorsement deals or other types of contracts.

Williams repeatedly insisted only she has the authority to sign contracts, despite dogged questioning from attorneys suing her, her sister and father for breach-of-contract.



LocalLinks

Serena and Venus Williams, along with their father, Richard, are accused of reneging on a deal that the sisters would participate in a 2001 Battle of the Sexes exhibition featuring John McEnroe. Promoters Keith Rhodes and Carol Clarke, principals in the company CCKR that filed suit against the Williamses, say Richard Williams committed his daughters to playing in the event.

The Williams sisters have steadfastly maintained they never agreed to participate and that they -- not their father -- sign their deals.

On Friday, attorneys for the Williams sisters presented their case and put the women back on the stand, but CCKR attorney John Romano used the opportunity to grill them once again. This time, he referred to recently discovered business agreements supplied to him by a former business associate of the Williams family that Richard Williams signed on behalf of one or both of the women.

The documents include a Puma contract for Serena Williams signed by her father before her 18th birthday, an agreement to appear in a public-service announcement and a contract to appear as grand marshals of the Orange Bowl Parade.

Romano also asked Serena Williams specifically about three recent appearances she made in Colorado, North Carolina and Louisiana. Referring to an appearance at a Colorado sports complex near Denver, Romano asked Serena Williams if she signed a contract for the event.

"As of right now, I don't know," she said.

"Are you saying under oath to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury that you always sign your agreements, or are there exceptions?" Romano asked.

"That I'm aware of, I sign all my contracts, all my agreements," Serena Williams said.

The documents have not yet been entered into evidence. Outside the presence of the jury, CCKR attorneys questioned Richard Williams about several of the agreements in order to authenticate the documents. Richard Williams indicated that the signatures on the agreements did appear to be his.

Serena Williams said she was excited to be a grand marshal at the Orange Bowl and doesn't remember any written agreement about it, adding that she doesn't sign agreements when she commits to appearing in awards shows either.

She also testified she did not want to participate in a Battle of the Sexes exhibition because it would not have helped her career.

Peter Johnson, a former executive at the IMG management company that represented the Williams sisters, testified Friday that the exhibition was a losing proposition from which the sisters had nothing to gain, except possibly money.

Venus Williams was even more direct about her disdain for such an exhibition.

"I wanted to play serious tennis ... not sideshow tennis," Venus Williams testified.

In an unusual move, the Williams family all received subpoenas during the trial Friday to be present Monday for the trial.

azinna
Dec 16th, 2006, 08:07 PM
Why the subpoenas to be present on Monday?

hingisGOAT
Dec 16th, 2006, 08:35 PM
loves it :)

KishG
Dec 16th, 2006, 08:39 PM
Sorry about this but when is the trial going to OFFICIALLY end?

I think it says it somewhere but I don't know where.

I've just lost interest on the whole bullshit it has become. The only thing Im interested in is when it's going to end.

alias
Dec 16th, 2006, 08:52 PM
Sorry about this but when is the trial going to OFFICIALLY end?

I think it says it somewhere but I don't know where.

I've just lost interest on the whole bullshit it has become. The only thing Im interested in is when it's going to end.

yep, I really don't think they'll be mentally ready for the start of the season.

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 16th, 2006, 09:34 PM
Documents contradict Williams' statements
By Jane Musgrave

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Saturday, December 16, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH — Minutes after tennis great Serena Williams swore she always signed her own agreements, a judge on Friday ruled that a jury may be shown four documents that Richard Williams signed on behalf of his famous daughters.

The ruling was a coup for attorneys representing two would-be promoters who are seeking as much as $9 million from Venus, Serena and Richard Williams, claiming they reneged on a 2001 contract to participate in a battle-of-the-sexes tennis match.

Throughout the four-week trial, the family has insisted the contract Richard Williams signed, promising his daughters would participate in the match, was meaningless. Richard Williams, they have argued, had no authority to commit Venus and Serena to do anything, much less participate in a match that the promoters claimed would net $45 million.

But, according to attorneys representing shunned promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes, the four documents may not be the only ones that dispute the family's claims.

Late Friday, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Winikoff signed an order demanding the release of agreements that paved the way for the sisters' recent appearances at charity events in Denver, New Orleans and Charlotte, N.C.

Attorney John Romano, who represents the promoters, said the sisters didn't sign documents to play at the three events that benefitted Ronald McDonald House Charities. He said he got his information from an attorney involved in the event outside Denver. The appearance contracts, he said, were signed by their agent.

F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr., who represents the sisters, argued vehemently that the documents involving the recently-completed charity matches, like the other four agreements, have nothing to do with the lawsuit over the battle of the sexes match.

"More irrelevancy," he said.

Winikoff disagreed.

"Your client sat on the stand and said, 'I sign all my contracts.' She was most insistent no matter how [Romano] asked it," he said, before signing the order that will be sent to an attorney in Colorado.

Afterward, Cunningham said he may file a lawsuit in the Rocky Mountain State, preventing the documents from being released.

The dispute underscores the animosity surrounding the case. Attorney James Beasley, who also represents the promoters, and Amy Fischer, who works with Cunningham, yelled at each other when Winikoff asked them about what progress they'd made in drafting instructions he will read to the jury before it begins deliberations.

Further, a Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy, accompanied by at least three others, entered the courtroom to deliver subpoenas to Richard, Venus and Serena Williams to testify Monday as part of Romano's case.

Cunningham said such high-handed tactics were unnecessary. Romano could have simply walked across the courtroom and alerted them he intends to call them to the stand, he said.

Jan Michael Morris, who is representing Richard Williams, agreed. "They're putting on a show," he said.

Romano said he took the step because he was afraid the Williamses wouldn't show up.

Before most of the fireworks, Romano quizzed both Serena and Venus Williams about the four documents Romano said their father signed on their behalf.

Like her younger sister, Venus Williams, 26, insisted she always signs her own agreements.

Cunningham described Romano's decision to bring up the documents in the closing days of a four-year-old lawsuit as an "ambush."

The trial continues Monday. Closing arguments are expected Wednesday.

venus_rulez
Dec 16th, 2006, 09:35 PM
loves it :)


Hey look you're stupid. :lol: Sorry couldn't resist.

venus_rulez
Dec 16th, 2006, 09:40 PM
This case is very intriguing to me (apart from being a fan of both ladies) but also because there are so many things the jury could decide to concentrate on that would affect their decision. One of things that keeps sticking in my mind is how stupid were these promoters to go on with the event (in whatever way they did) without getting direct confirmation from Venus and Serena stating they agreed to this battle of the sexes? Were the men they were supposed to play signed on too? It sounds like the promoters were half duped by Richard and half stupid for engaging in bad business by not making sure the star attraction of their engagement was signed on. Either way, whether or not Richard and or the sisters are found liable it's not like they don't have the money. Nine million between the three of them is probably pocket change.

meyerpl
Dec 16th, 2006, 11:18 PM
damn Richard forged her signature too?? :speakles: :lol:
Isn't that a felony in most states?

vogus
Dec 17th, 2006, 12:42 AM
Serena would never make it as a politician with such piss-poor lying skills. She didn't even sign her own contracts for the friggin McDo's exhos?? The prosecution is eating her alive. The Williams are lucky only 9 million is on the line here.

bucklemyshoe
Dec 19th, 2006, 01:17 AM
Tempers flare again in Williams trial

By Jane Musgrave

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Monday, December 18, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH — Rancor that has punctuated much of a nearly five-week trial involving the famous Williams family bubbled up again Monday as those involved fought over what evidence could be presented to the jury.

At one point, an angry Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Winikoff harshly silenced an attorney representing Venus and Serena Williams. "I understand you think I'm favoring them," he told attorney F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr. "That's nonsense. I don't care who wins." Cunningham was trying to stop Winikoff from restricting what questions could be asked of Boca Raton accountant Andrew Kramer who was hired by attorneys representing the tennis stars' father, Richard Williams.

Kramer disputed an analysis done by another Boca Raton accountant that the doomed battle-of-the-sexes match could have netted as much as $38.7 million. The match, between Venus and Serena Williams and unnamed male tennis greats, is at the root of the breach of contract lawsuit would-be promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes filed against the Williames.

Winikoff ruled Kramer could only say that accountant Robert Zucker failed to follow accounting principles. Kramer was not allowed to detail how he felt Zucker over-estimated the amount of money the 2001 match would have generated.

Winikoff also said he didn't understand what possible use could be made of a document that involves a charity tennis match Venus and Serena Williams played in late November. Attorney John Romano, who represents Clarke and Rhodes, on Friday persuaded Winikoff to sign a court order to release the document.

Romano claimed it would help dispute repeated claims by Venus and Serena Williams that they always sign their own contracts. The basis of the family's defense is that the contract Richard Williams signed to have his daughters participate in the match was meaningless because he had no authority to commit them to do anything.

Winikoff said the document appeared to be a simple rental agreement to use an arena in the Denver area for the event that benefited Ronald McDonald House Charities. It was signed by an agent. He turned it over to Romano but said he couldn't imagine how it could relevant.

The trial is to wrap-up Tuesday. Closing arguments are scheduled Wednesday.

bucklemyshoe
Dec 19th, 2006, 01:18 AM
Thank god the trial is almost over.. But it doesn't look good for Venus/Serena/Richard.

cheo23
Dec 19th, 2006, 06:01 AM
Promoter: Williams' father was in charge of deals for Venus, Serena
By Jane Musgrave

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Monday, December 11, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH — The first time he floated a business deal to Venus and Serena Williams, Keith Rhodes said the tennis phenoms made it clear that their father was the one he should talk to about money-making ventures.

"From here on in deal with my father," Rhodes recalled Venus Williams saying. "He handles all my business.":eek: :lol: With those words echoing in his memory, Rhodes said he had no reason to doubt that Richard Williams had the authority to commit his daughters to a potentially multi-million-dollar deal to participate in a battle-of-the-sexes tennis tournament.


"I was under the impression he was their authorized representative to conduct business on [their] behalf," Rhodes testified Monday.

Rhodes' testimony, that came as the trial entered its fourth week, marked the first time he has publicly described the events that ultimately led him and fellow promoter Carol Clarke to sue the Williamses for reneging on the deal that he and Clarke estimated would have netted $45 million. Last year, a mistrial was declared before he was called to the witness stand.

Rhodes description of his relationship with the Williams family contrasted sharply with their memory of him.

For instance, while Rhodes clearly remembered meeting Venus and what she said to him, during her testimony she said she didn't remember meeting Rhodes until after he and Clarke sued her in 2002.

Likewise, Serena Williams said she had a vague memory of meeting Rhodes at her father's house and of a cell phone call from him that left her feeling "violated." Rhodes testified that he met Serena at least three times, including one memorable meeting in New York City where the idea for the battle-of-the-sexes tournament was hatched.

Richard Williams testified he first met Rhodes in a parking lot at the Indian Wells tennis tournament in California, indicating that Rhodes was one of dozens who have tried to glom onto him since his daughters made him rich and famous.

Rhodes agreed they met in the parking lot. However, he said, he was introduced to Richard Williams by Denise Capriati, mother of Boca Raton tennis great Jennifer Capriati. Further, after the chance encounter, Rhodes testified that Richard Williams asked to meet with him the next day, that they talked for hours and he eventually invited him to come to his home in Palm Beach Gardens to talk further.

Ultimately, Rhodes said, Williams offered him a chance to be part of "the family business." "I jumped in with both feet," said Rhodes, of Albany, N.Y. "I felt I was given a tremendous opportunity, working with arguably the biggest athletes, the most phenomenal athletes that were presently on the planet." His role in "the family business" was to close a $30 million deal to fund Women's Sports Zone, an Internet company Clarke hoped to launch with the Williams family. Rhodes said he imagined it could become nearly as successful as broadcast.com, the web-casting company Houston Mavericks owner Mark Cuban founded and ultimately sold for $5 billion.

The battle-of-the-sexes tournament was to generate money to launch Women's Sports Zone.

While Rhodes readily admitted he and Clarke were "nobodies," he said they were capable of putting together a team that could organize the so-called Wow Event and turn it into a global extravaganza. Through his work at various sports-related companies, he said he had lots of contacts.

He said he was friends with Mike Tyson, worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger and had a relationship with former NBA star Jayson Williams. But the match, that was to include retired tennis star John McEnroe, was to transcend sports.

"This was not just going to be a tennis exhibition," he said. "It was going to be a female empowerment event, not just on a national scale, but on a global scale." Just as the famous 1972 match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs led to equality in women's sports, he envisioned the Williams battle-of-the-sexes tournament to be held in late 2001 would help solve women's problems worldwide.

"The theme was equality of women on a global scale," he said.

While Richard Williams was not in court, the two sisters showed no reaction as Rhodes testified.( I wonder WHY!!! :lol: ) Their attorneys and their father's attorneys are to cross-examine him today.

Further, Judge Jeffrey Winikoff ordered the sisters' attorney, F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr. to turn over four contracts to John Romano, who represents Clarke and Rhodes. Last week, Romano told Winikoff he suspected the documents would show that Richard Williams routinely signed contracts on behalf of his daughters ó something the family has vehemently denied.

Without commenting on the contracts he had reviewed privately, Winikoff said he doubted the contracts would add significantly to Romano's case.

bucklemyshoe
Dec 19th, 2006, 07:00 PM
Another suprise document appears in Williams sisters trial

By Jane Musgrave

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another surprise document surfaced this morning on what is to be the last day of testimony in a multi-million-dollar lawsuit over a failed battle-of-the-sexes tennis match featuring Venus and Serena Williams.

When shown a document that purportedly outlined how people were to do business with the tennis greats, their father Richard Williams initially testified that the signature on the letter was his.

However, after looking at it closer he vehemently denied that he signed it.

"I didn't put this in effect," he said of the so-called protocol, alerting people that all business ventures for his daughters should be brought to him. "To be honest this is the first time I've seen this."

Williams also changed his mind about documents he allegedly signed on his daughters' behalf.

Last week, outside the presence of the jury, he testified that he signed the documents dealing with public service announcements in which his daughters appeared. His change of heart meant attorney John Romano wasn't allowed to show the documents to the jury.

Romano, who is representing would be promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes, said he got the douments from Leland Hardy, a former Williams family friend who testified earlier that he had snagged several business deals for Venus and Serena Williams in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The documents would help Romano dismantle a key part of the Williams' family defense. Venus and Serena Williams have repeatedly testified that they always sign their own contracts. Therefore, they argue, the agreement their father signed commiting them to play in the 2001 match against two unnamed male tennis stars was meaningless.

Richard Williams, they insist, had no authority to commit them to do anything.

The other document, that put Richard Williams in charge of his daughters' business ventures, would shore up claims by Rhodes and Clarke. Both have testified that they were told not to discuss business with Serena and Venus; that Richard Williams was the gate-keeper and their manager.

Exchanges between Richard Williams and Romano were testy.

"I'm not going to get up here and lie like you've been trying to get me to do for five years," Richard Williams told Romano at one point.

His anger contrasted sharply with his behavior under friendly questioning from his attorneys and those representing his daughters. He wiped tears from his eyes and asked for short breaks to compose himself when asked to recount his daughters' young years and how he turned them into tennis stars.

Venus and Serena Williams are expected to testify this afternoon. Closing arguments are to scheduled for Wednesday.

Rocketta
Dec 19th, 2006, 07:51 PM
Geez, is this trial ever going to end. :help:

sweetpeas
Dec 19th, 2006, 08:01 PM
Family support! Love. That"s their only only DAD. The same,when" dad "comes to their games?

bucklemyshoe
Dec 19th, 2006, 08:16 PM
http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061219/capt.wxs10212192002.williams_sisters_lawsuit_wxs10 2.jpg
http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061219/capt.wxs10412192006.williams_sisters_lawsuit_wxs10 4.jpg
http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061219/capt.wxs10512192007.williams_sisters_lawsuit_wxs10 5.jpg

MrSerenaWilliams
Dec 19th, 2006, 08:20 PM
I know this is a court trial and all, but DAYUM, Venus looks FINE :drool: :lick:

Couver
Dec 19th, 2006, 09:19 PM
I just want this to be over with, regardless of the outcome. Once it's settled they girls and Richad can finally move on from this.

MrSerenaWilliams
Dec 19th, 2006, 09:45 PM
exactly. I really don't care what happens, I just want Vee and Ree to move on from this and get ready for 2007.

supergrunt
Dec 19th, 2006, 10:02 PM
I want it to be over but I don't want Venus and Serena to lose. :sad:

pigam
Dec 19th, 2006, 10:51 PM
Richard looks healthier than he did the past few weeks.
I also hope it ends soon. It's turning into such a "soap". :unsure:

bucklemyshoe
Dec 20th, 2006, 05:54 AM
Papers indicate Williams signed for tennis stars

By Jane Musgrave

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH — A spurned business adviser came back to haunt Venus, Serena and Richard Williams on Tuesday.

Upset that the famous tennis family had dismissed him during their testimony, Leland Hardy appeared at their multimillion-dollar, breach-of-contract trial armed with documents that punched holes in their repeated claims that Richard Williams didn't speak for his famous daughters.

"I was supremely emotionally motivated by being maligned and slandered by (them) saying Leland didn't do this," the New York City man said, explaining why he waited until the last day of a nearly five-week-long trial to present the documents.

After he testified this month, friends and family who had watched the trial that is being Webcast by Court TV told him the three had said he was not part of the family's inner circle of business advisers. Upset after spending years working with the family, he said he dug through thousands of pages of documents he has kept to prove them wrong.

The Perry Mason moment capped weeks of testimony about the failed battle-of-the-sexes tennis match that was to pit Venus and Serena Williams against two unnamed retired male tennis stars, possibly John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

A jury is to begin deliberating today whether would-be promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes deserve as much as $9 million because the family reneged on the agreement Richard Williams signed, agreeing his daughters would participate in the match planned for late 2001.

The basis of the family's defense has been that Venus and Serena Williams signed their own documents. Richard Williams, they repeatedly insisted, had no right to commit them to do anything.

But as jurors watched Tuesday, Hardy offered four documents that Richard Williams apparently signed on his daughters' behalf. Further, he offered a letter in which Richard Williams outlined the correct way to do business with the family.

"No one is allowed to speak directly to my clients Venus and Serena Williams," according to the letter dated Feb. 9, 1999. "Everything must meet Richard Williams' approval."

When shown the letter earlier in the day, Richard Williams denied he wrote it and said the signature at the bottom of it wasn't his. "Whoever gave you this has fudged some stuff," he told attorney John Romano, who represents Clarke and Rhodes.

"We don't put things like this on a document," he said, angrily pointing to the letterhead that read "Tennis & Associates." His company was Richard Williams Tennis & Associates.

Attorney David Slutsker, who represents Richard Williams, sought to portray the letter as a joke. He underscored the sentence that read: "If you wanted to ask Venus the color of her beads, it must be approved by Richard Williams first."

Hardy further denied he was trying to get back at the family for cutting him out of their lives. "I love the family, and I always will," he said.

The four documents he offered included an agreement for Venus and Serena Williams to serve as grand marshals of the 2000 Orange Bowl parade, two extension agreements for the continued broadcast of a public service announcement they filmed and the terms of an endorsement deal Serena Williams made with Puma before she turned 18.

Attorney F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr., who represents the sisters, got Hardy to admit that he had never asked Venus or Serena to sign the extension agreement; he only asked Richard.

Closing arguments are to begin today at 10 a.m.

bucklemyshoe
Dec 20th, 2006, 05:55 AM
He underscored the sentence that read: "If you wanted to ask Venus the color of her beads, it must be approved by Richard Williams first."

:lol:

SelesFan70
Dec 20th, 2006, 06:29 AM
This trial is made for Court TV. I haven't seen it on, but I don't watch that channel much. Nancy (dis)Grace plucks my last nerve. :tape:

pooh14
Dec 20th, 2006, 01:44 PM
the number of times venus and serena have appeared on court is more then they have appear on TENNIS court this year.

i hope they would just settle this fast, it is taken so much of their time.
how are they going to prepare with so much distraction.
i am sure after the court case, they have to discuss with their attorney on what to do for the next day. it takes almost half their day.

darrinbaker00
Dec 20th, 2006, 05:45 PM
This trial is made for Court TV. I haven't seen it on, but I don't watch that channel much. Nancy (dis)Grace plucks my last nerve. :tape:
Court TV must have felt the same way you do, because Nancy Grace is on CNN now. ;)

bucklemyshoe
Dec 20th, 2006, 05:56 PM
Attorneys give closings in lawsuit against Williams sisters

By BRIAN SKOLOFF
Associated Press Writer

Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and their father should be held liable for millions of dollars in a lawsuit alleging the sisters reneged on a deal to play in a 2001 match, a plaintiffs' attorney said in closing arguments Wednesday.

Promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes, owners of a company called CCKR, allege that Richard Williams agreed to a contract to have his daughters play in a "Battle of the Sexes" match that never took place.

They are suing the sisters, their father and his company, Richard Williams Tennis & Associates, for unspecified damages. An initial trial last year ended in a mistrial.

"We have the existence of a written contract in this case," attorney John Romano told jurors. "It's not a case of a verbal agreement over who said what."

Closing arguments were set to continue Wednesday afternoon. The dispute centers on whether Richard Williams had authority to commit his daughters. The promoters claim he represented himself as the sisters' manager and negotiated the deal on their behalf.

Venus and Serena Williams testified during the monthlong trial that only they had authority to approve contracts, and that their father was not their manager.

Richard Williams has acknowledged drawing up terms of the contract, but he insists he told promoters they would have to go through the IMG sports agency, which represents Venus and Serena, to complete any agreement. The promoters say he made no such disclaimer.

The plaintiffs' attorneys previously played a video clip for jurors showing Richard Williams negotiating the deal with Clarke. In the video, taken by Richard Williams, he tells Clarke that Venus and Serena are "well aware of what I am doing."

Richard Williams later testified he was lying, and both sisters have said they knew nothing of the deal and would never have agreed to play in the match.

"It is inconceivable that Venus and Serena Williams ... did not know what was going on," Romano told jurors, adding that Richard Williams "perpetrated a fraud."

Throughout the trial, jurors were shown tax returns that indicate payments to Richard Williams for management fees, bolstering the plaintiffs' contention that he had authority to sign contracts for his daughters.

However, attorneys for the sisters and their father claim the payments were mischaracterized for tax-deduction purposes and that Richard Williams was paid merely for coaching services.

A plaintiffs' witness who had served as a Williams family business adviser testified this week that in 1999 he produced a document that outlined protocol for doing business with the tennis stars. The document, shown to jurors, states that no one is to speak directly to the women without first going through their father.

Richard Williams first acknowledged signing the document but later, under oath, insisted he had never seen it. Richard Williams also denied signing other contracts that appeared to have his signature, including one that committed his daughters to appear in public service ads.

The promoters claim the tournament could have made about $45 million, of which 80 percent was to go to Richard Williams' company.

Jurors have the option of finding Richard Williams liable, alone. They could also find the sisters and their father liable or dismiss the allegations.

Cam'ron Giles
Dec 20th, 2006, 05:57 PM
She still does specials for Court TV...:mad:

King of Prussia
Dec 20th, 2006, 06:33 PM
Richard Williams later testified he was lying.

:tape:

However, attorneys for the sisters and their father claim the payments were mischaracterized for tax-deduction purposes and that Richard Williams was paid merely for coaching services.

:tape:

Richard Williams first acknowledged signing the document but later, under oath, insisted he had never seen it.

:tape:

It seems the Williams will have as much success at the court that they had on the court this year. :haha:

MrSerenaWilliams
Dec 20th, 2006, 07:06 PM
....:rolleyes: if only they had as much success in life as you :shrug: :scratch:

King of Prussia
Dec 20th, 2006, 07:13 PM
....:rolleyes: if only they had as much success in life as you :shrug: :scratch:

Is the thread about me or them. :gluk: You can't deny things are not looking good for them at the moment.

MrSerenaWilliams
Dec 20th, 2006, 10:38 PM
things don't look great, but there really was no need for your sarcastic remarks about their health....I've heard them too many times. It wasn't the first time someone has said something like that, and it's just irritating to take someone's misfourtune and turn it into a joke. :rolleyes: HELLA mature :rolleyes: :lol:

Brooklyn90
Dec 20th, 2006, 10:40 PM
glad that it's almost over!

MrSerenaWilliams
Dec 20th, 2006, 10:41 PM
me 2. now they can focus on tennis again :bounce:

pooh14
Dec 20th, 2006, 11:53 PM
so they lost their case or what?

Brooklyn90
Dec 20th, 2006, 11:56 PM
so they lost their case or what?

no the closing statments were made today

Andy.
Dec 21st, 2006, 12:04 AM
Yeah Im happy to, this needs to end soon so they can get back on the tennis court. Good luck girls.