Serena Williams Says She 'Cried' Seeing Actress Portray Late Sister Yetunde in 'King Richard'

Serena and Venus Williams' sister Yetunde Price was shot and killed in 2003 when she was 31

Yetunde Price, Serena Williams
Yetunde Price and Serena Williams. Photo: SGranitz/WireImage

The upcoming film about Serena and Venus Williams' family has the tennis icons reflecting on losing their older sister.

During Wednesday's episode of Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk with host Will Smith, Venus, Serena and their sisters Lyndrea and Isha Price spoke about the new movie, King Richard, in which Smith portrays family patriarch and tennis coach Richard Williams.

In the film, the siblings' late sister Yetunde Price, who was murdered in 2003, is portrayed by actress Mikayla LaShae Bartholomew. Serena said seeing Yetunde (or Tunde) in the film made her emotional.

"I think I cried the whole time. Whenever she came on film, I just — personally, I just started, like — I mean, even still," Serena recounted.

Their mother, Oracene Price — who was also part of the Red Table Talk interview — added of Yetunde's portrayal, "It was a quiet moment I think. 'Cause we know how it was, and then how it — you know, it just — it was just something that you kind of try and put in the back of your mind and don't want to remember."

Yetunde, a 31-year-old mother of three at the time of her death, was a nurse and the owner of a hair salon, according to a previous PEOPLE report. She also worked as a personal assistant to her tennis superstar half-sisters. (Yetunde's father was Yusef Rasheed.)

Yetunde was shot and killed on Sept. 14, 2003, in Compton, California, by Robert Edward Maxfield. Maxfield was a member of the Southside Crips gang, prosecutors argued, and the shooting was retaliation on who he thought was another gang member.

Maxfield allegedly opened fire with an assault weapon on Price's SUV, with her boyfriend behind the wheel, as they traveled near a suspected drug house.

He pleaded no contest in 2006 to voluntary manslaughter in Price's death. He had been charged with murder but accepted the lesser count before his third trial, following two mistrials. (A no-contest plea essentially has the same effect as a guilty plea, but the defendant does not admit the accusations against them.)

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Maxfield was sentenced in April 2006 to 15 years in prison, the Los Angeles Times reported, and he was paroled in March 2018, according to state corrections officials.

During the interview, Lyndrea said that she misses Yetunde, teasing, "I could tell on Isha with her. Isha was so bossy, and I'd be like, 'Tunde.' "

Isha chimed in, "First of all, I'm not bossy. I am not bossy!" as her sister continued, recounting saying, " 'Tunde, get her. Can you get Isha, please?' And Tunde would be like, 'I'm on it.' "

Overall, Venus said, Yetunde just "loved to have fun." She added, "She knew how to have fun."

Yetunde's siblings opened the Yetunde Price Resource Center, in Compton, California, in late 2016. The center provides resources and programming to those affected by trauma.

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