Judge Lets Usher Keep Custody of Sons After Near-Drowning

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By: / August 10, 2013

An Atlanta judge has dismissed the emergency custody motion filed by Usher’s ex-wife, Tameka Foster, following the near-drowning of the couple’s five-year-old son Usher Raymond V earlier this week.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge John Goger ruled that while the incident was “awful,” it was an accident and did not prove that the current care being given to the child was insufficient. Foster was seeking to regain primary custody of the couple’s two boys, but the judge ruled in favor of Usher, who will keep primary custody of the Usher Raymond V and four-year-old Naviyd.

Usher Raymond V almost drowned on Monday (Aug. 5) in the pool of Usher’s Atlanta home after his arm got stuck in a pool drain under the watch of Usher’s sister Rena Oden. Two contractors present at the house jumped into the pool to the child’s rescue and revived him. Raymond V is still recovering from the accident at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Hospital, but expected to make a full recovery. Usher was not home at the time of the incident, but arrived shortly afterwards.

According to Foster’s attorneys the incident was just one in a “series of judgement calls that put the kids gravely in danger.” They charged that Foster could have done a better job caring for the children herself.

“What happened here was an awful accident and…” said Judge Goger, “I’m not certain that had any single person been at the poolside that one person could have done any better than Ms. Oden. And Ms. Oden did impress me as a capable caregiver.”

Usher kept his composure as he took the stand. He was questioned on why he waited an hour to notify his wife of the near-drowning. The “Without U” singer reasoned that “the first thing to do was to respond to the emergency… My son was hysterical and in the back of an ambulance.”

The judge also called Foster’s standards for caregivers “rather high,” pointing out relatives often help watch kids. Foster attempted to throw Usher under the bus, saying he often leaves her out of the loop on what is going on with the two boys. She then broke down as the court played the 911 call made by Rena after the near-drowning.

After the judge’s ruling on Friday, Usher attempted to embrace his ex-wife. Earlier in the week he thanked the two men who saved his kid’s life in a statement.

Usher originally won primary custody of Usher V and Naviyd in 2012 following a lengthy court battle.