Per: NYP – He died alone, unmarried and childless — but “The Wire” actor Michael K. Williams will always known as “dad” to Karim Anderson and his siblings.
“This man was our father. This is the only person we knew as dad,” Anderson, a private chef, told The Post, speaking out for the first time about Williams’ connection to him, his brother and sister, whom Williams helped raise.
The beloved star of “The Wire” who played the unforgettable Omar left no will when he accidentally overdosed on fentynal-laced heroin in his Williamsburg penthouse in September. His estate is worth a modest $450,000, according to court records.
“That truly breaks my heart,” Anderson said when asked about Brooklyn Surrogate Court papers identifying Williams’ mom, Paula, as his only surviving relative.
“He [would] say he has two sons and a daughter,” said Anderson. “No, he wasn’t a biological father to us. We all lived together. He raised us.”
Williams met Anderson’s mom, Candy, decades ago in Brooklyn’s Vanderveer Estates, the sprawling Flatbush housing complex where Williams grew up. Candy lived in Apartment 1B; Williams, in 4E, Anderson said.
“They met each other on the elevator, and he was holding a baby, and my mom was like, ‘You’re holding that baby wrong,’” Anderson recalled. “And he said, ‘I have no clue, my friend just dropped this baby off in my lap and I have this meeting to go to.’”
Candy helped him out, sparking a bond. But she struggled to raise her three kids, Elijah, Karim and Chanel, at one point sending them to family in Trinidad.
Then Williams — for no other reason than the size of his heart — stepped in.
“He sent for us. He paid for our tickets to leave Trinidad and come back to New York,” Anderson said. “This black man came in, saw this single black mom who was trying to make ends meet and he stuck by her and raised her kids with her.
“They were best friends.”
William lived with Candy and the kids for several years. She helped style his hair during the first season of his breakout role as the gay, gun-toting, drug dealer-robbing Omar, Anderson said.
“This is my family and he made it that. And it is such a beautiful story to tell,” Anderson said. “I’m tired of seeing the narrative of this nephew Dominic going in and finding him dead, and fentanyl. No, this man raised three kids. We moved as a system, we moved as a unit.
“We have so much to be thankful for because of him,” he said, adding, “How happy he was when my sister gave birth to her first born.”
Williams proudly showed off his “sons” in social media posts.
“Two of the best things that ever came into my life my sons happy birthday Karim an many more in health I love and am very proud of the both of u,” he wrote alongside a picture of himself with Elijah and Karim, who has several pictures of Williams on his website.
In January 2021, Williams posted a photo of himself with Elijah, captioning the image, “I U Son.”
It came just days after he paid tribute to Candy, who died Jan. 13, 2021, Anderson said.
“Out of all the things you’ve done for me Candy, putting Elijah Karim and Chanel in my life was the best, they gave me purpose and taught me responsibility. We may not have been the traditional family but we were family nonetheless. Thank you for always loving me no matter who I was. Sleep well Queen.”
Karim remembered Thanksgivings and Christmases with Williams’ family in Pennsylvania — and said his dad’s death was a punch in the gut.
“It felt like when he died, everything we knew about him, everything he did for us, died with him. All the challenges, all the beautiful moments. It was just sad,” he said.
The Anderson kids don’t plan on any legal fight over Williams’ estate.5
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“There’s no animosity, but I will say this whoever is handling the estate, do what’s right. Do what Michael Kenneth Williams would have done. He loved his kids and he loved his circle. Do what’s right for the family that he called his family,” he said.
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