The Tragic Story Of Serena And Venus Williams' Half-Sister's Death

The film "King Richard," in which Will Smith plays Richard Williams, Serena and Venus Williams' father and tennis coach, shines a light on an oft-forgotten part of the champion duo's origin story. Their half-sister and personal assistant, Yetunde Price, was shot dead in Compton in 2003, reports People.

The Williams sisters appeared on "Red Table Talk" to talk about the film, and Serena discussed how seeing her late sibling portrayed on screen made her feel. "I think I cried the whole time," she said. "Whenever she came on film, I just — personally, I just started, like — I mean, even still," she continued, struggling to get the words out. Their mother, Oracene Price, agreed, calling it "a quiet moment ... something that you kind of try and put in the back of your mind and don't want to remember." This sentiment echoed Serena's comment to The Guardian in 2005. "I haven't really coped yet," she admitted. "I'm trying to figure out how to cope with it. But not a day goes by when I don't think of it and I try to make sure I talk to all of my sisters every single day."

So what led to Yetunde's tragic murder at 31, and how did it all unfold?

Yetunde's boyfriend recalls the tragic shooting

Rolland Wormley, who was dating Yetunde Price and was with her when she was shot and killed, revealed intimate details from that fateful night in an exclusive interview with Page Six. Wormley and Price had met just five months before Price's murder when a mutual friend brought her to Wormley's birthday party. Wormley told the tabloid he initially approached Price because she was sitting off to the side while everyone else was on the dance floor. "I didn't know who she was ... but I just wanted to make sure everyone was happy," he said. Ultimately he succeeded. "We talked and danced the whole night, and we ended up going to my brother's after-party," he continued. "We spent the whole night together."

The two quickly became an item, though Wormley consciously took things slowly as Price was a single mother of three young children. "I told her, 'I don't want to hurt you and be in the kids' lives and end up breaking up,'" he said. While Price was a registered nurse, beauty salon owner, and a personal assistant to her sisters Venus and Serena, Wormley was caught up in gang life. He insisted, however, that he told her about it and refused to involve her with that side of his life. "It was a totally different life with me and her," he said. Unfortunately, Price got caught up in it inadvertently.

Yetunde was in the wrong place at the wrong time

It was September 14, 2003. Richard Wormley told Page Six that he and Yetunde Price were supposed to go on a date, but he had forgotten about it. Wormley claimed Yetunde had been "calling and calling" him, but he assured her, "We still got tomorrow." She eventually picked him up at a friend's house but asked him to drive her car, as she had been drinking. Wormley agreed but drove on less-trafficked side streets as he didn't have a valid driver's license. Wormley recalled Price crying as he drove her car. "It freaked me out," he said. "I was desperately trying to make it up to her."

Then, just as they drove past the tennis courts where Venus and Serena Williams practiced, someone began shooting at their car. Wormley immediately floored it, driving straight through the next set of lights. "The back window is just shattered," he told Page Six, beginning to sob. "I pull over... I didn't see where she got shot and now I'm freaking out ... it was a lot."

Wormley rushed to his mother's house where she called 911. But when authorities arrived, they seemed less interested in saving Price than they were in apprehending Wormley, as he alleged. Wormley alleged authorities left Price dying in the car while they arrested him. "They didn't care about anybody [who was] black or coming to their rescue, especially when it was gun violence," he said.

Serena reacts to the release of Yetunde's murderer

Richard Wormley told Page Six he was held in jail for more than a week, forcing him to miss Yetunde Price's funeral. Wormley also claimed he was not allowed to call a lawyer or his family, as the cops did not want him to "harm their investigation." He lamented, "All I did was get in the car and drive. I'm sorry I turned down the wrong street."

Wormley was eventually exonerated, and Robert Maxfield, a former Crip, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for Price's killing. But 12 years into his sentence, Maxfield got released on parole in 2018 for "good behavior," according to TMZ. Serena Williams told TIME of the decision, "No matter what, my sister is not coming back for good behavior. It's unfair that she'll never have an opportunity to hug me. But also...the Bible talks about forgiveness. I'm not there yet." She also shared, "It was hard because all I think about is her [Yetunde's] kids and what they meant to me. And how much I love them."

Yetunde was a beloved daughter, sister, and mother whose life tragically ended too soon. And Serena and Venus will continue to honor her memory, no matter what.