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Venus Williams breaks down at Wimbledon over deadly crash

Venus Williams breaks down over deadly crash

WIMBLEDON, England -- Tennis star Venus Williams broke down in tears during a post-match press conference at Wimbledon on Monday when a reporter asked her to comment on how she was dealing with her involvement in a car crash that claimed the life of an elderly man in Florida. 

"There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating, and, yeah, I'm completely speechless," Williams said. 

The five-time Wimbledon champion appeared to be at a loss for words as she wiped tears away from her eyes. 

A man sitting next to Williams at the press conference said, "Before we take any further questions for Venus, please be aware she is unable to say anything more about this."

Williams then broke down in tears and suggested that it was time for her to leave the press conference. She stood up and left the room. 

An attorney representing the family of 78-year-old Jerome Barson filed a lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, against Williams Friday, a day after Palm Beach Gardens police released a report saying she caused the June 9 crash that left Barson with a fractured spine and numerous internal injuries. He died June 22. 

Barson's wife, Linda, suffered several fractures to her right arm and hand in the crash. The family's attorney says she is "physically and emotionally devastated." 

The lawsuit accuses the 37-year-old of running a red light, failing to yield the right-of-way, inattentive driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. 

Barson, a retired teacher who had moved to South Florida from Philadelphia in 1975, had been in good health and was preparing to go on a Disney cruise with his wife of 33 years, three children and 13 grandchildren. 

Williams' attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press. The Palm Beach Post quoted him as saying only that he was aware of the lawsuit. 

Williams has not been cited or charged. Police say she was not drunk, on drugs or texting, but that she drove her 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV in front of the Barsons' 2016 Hyundai Accent after the couple's light turned green. The Accent smashed into the side of the Sequoia. 

Williams, who owns a home near the crash site, told investigators her light was green when she entered the six-lane intersection but she got stopped midpoint by traffic and didn't see the Barsons' car before she crossed their lane. 

The tennis star has career on-court earnings of more than $34 million and her own clothing line, EleVen. According to Forbes Magazine, she also has endorsement deals with Ralph Lauren, Kraft foods, Tide detergent and Wilson sporting goods. 

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