The R&B superstar opened up on ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter,’ and revealed for the first time what led to the breakdown of his marriage to Tameka, and how he feels about having full custody of his boys. Read on to find out what he said.
Usher has remained extremely private about his personal life, especially about his two-year marriage to his ex-wife Tameka Foster and their subsequent three-year custody battle, until he spoke to Oprah on Oprah’s Next Chapter on Sept. 16.
When asked about how he feels about the custody decision, which awarded him full custody of his two boys Usher Raymond V, 4, and Naviyd Ely Raymond, 3, Usher said he understood why people are surprised.
“Some people are happy, and other people are surprised I think maybe because they would assume the mother would be the primary custodian,” he said, but insisted the judge based her opinion on facts and the facts they presented. Usher admitted that he and Tameka couldn’t co-parent under their previous circumstances, and although they were undergoing a long and drawn-out custody war, he felt they needed to in order to come to an agreement.
The downfall of his marriage
Oprah decided to rewind Usher’s personal life to when he and Tameka were dating and decided to get married, and asked Usher basically how he felt about getting engaged to a woman that nobody really liked.
“I impregnated her, we were in a relationship, we were in love, I thought this was the right thing to do,” he said.
However, Usher’s mother Janetta Patton was an outspoken critic of the whole relationship, and couldn’t support her son marrying a woman she didn’t feel was right for him. When it came down to actually tying the knot, Usher admitted his own hesitation (fueled somewhat about his mom’s disapproval) and canceled the million-dollar (!) wedding hours before it was supposed to begin. He said he wasn’t really sure about it, and wasn’t exactly ready to make that step — until they actually wed a month later at Usher’s attorney’s office.
Usher’s fans were also not fans of Tameka, and called her a number of names, including gold-digger, cradle robber (she was 36 years old while he was 28), and Usher believes Tamek’s insecurities based on the public’s negative perception of her led to the downfall of their relationship. It hurt the singer too, and he wished people would have been more supportive and trusted him with his personal decision.
He admitted the main decline of his marriage happened around when his son Naviyd was born. He said after his first boy Usher V was born, his family was the happiest they have been in a while, but after the second child, Tameka and Usher stopped communicating as much, and juggling work and family life just became too much. Even though they went to therapy, Usher said he still knew it wasn’t working.
They separated in 2009, and when Oprah asked about if he was faithful during their relationship, he admitted — after dancing around the question for a while — the he had cheated. He even said he cheated with Tameka’s bridesmaid, which had been a huge factor of controversy in his custody hearings.
“I found myself lost, and I just wanted out… no, I was not faithful,” he said. “I was faithful at heart, but I was not faithful all the way.”
How he’s preparing for full custody
Usher denied being an absentee father, and Tameka claimed, and only said his work schedule would be a source of conflict.
“I was born to do what I’m doing as a dad, and I realized once I had a child… they became a priority,” he said. He admitted that having help from his personal team of his mom, aunt, and nanny, to balance his house and kids with his busy schedule, but he also insisted that he’s in a place in his career where he can pick and balance his tour schedule so he can spend more time with his kids.
Oprah also wanted to know how he can be a good father if he hasn’t been fathered. “Having not had a father was no reason not to be a good father… it was every reason to be a better father,” he said, and wants to be a good example to his boys of how to act as a man, and how to succeed in relationships with others, especially their mom.
He misses stepson Kile Glover
Usher was in Los Angeles when the tragic jet ski accident happened that rendered his stepson Kile Glover brain dead, but Usher said he was with Kile as soon as he could be. Kile died just a few days later.
“I miss Kile,” he said. “Kile was a great part of my life, we cooked together, we laughed, we played, we sang, he loved to sing, he loved to tell jokes,” Usher fondly remembered about his stepson.
“You can’t imagine how hard it was,” he said, and that’s why he wanted to stay out of court for a while and not battle out the custody agreement in the wake of their loss and grief. It hurt to know Tameka claimed Usher was using the tragedy as publicity for his case, and Usher said he went to the funeral and burial, despite claims of the contrary.
His relationship with mom Jeonetta
Usher said in his life now, he only trusts his kids and his mom, and his relationship with his mom is better than ever. She admitted that she was not supportive of Tameka, and couldn’t go to their wedding. Surprisingly, she does not regret showing up to the wedding.
Although it didn’t work out with Tameka, Usher’s mom said she knew it wasn’t going to work out well, but she didn’t gloat and didn’t say “I told you so.” She just wants to support her son now throughout all the legal troubles as much as possible.
When Usher relieved his mom of her duties as manager — he refused to use the term “fired” — she said she was very upset at first, because she had fought the industry for 15 years to get him to the place he’s at now. But now, she embraces her role as mom and grandma, and loves seeing her son be a family man.
“I love it, I absolutely love it, I melt,” she said.
What did YOU think of Usher on Oprah’s Next Chapter HollyMoms? Did anything surprise you? Let us know in the comments below!
— Christina Stiehl
More Usher news:
- Usher Not Surprised Tameka Raymond Is Appealing Custody Ruling
- Tameka Raymond Blasts Usher: ‘Money Can Buy Many Things’
- Usher Is ‘Eager To Move Forward’ Following Custody Battle Win