Usher sat down in his kitchen with Oprah for an episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter, where he opened up about his recent divorce and custody battle with Tameka Foster-Raymond. Until now, Usher has kept quiet on the bitter fight with his ex-wife, that ultimately ended with a judge leaving the R&B star with primary custody of the couple’s two sons — Usher V, 4, and Naviyd, 3 — last month.
Oprah acknowledged that she had approached the R&B star several times for an interview, but to no avail. Usher was clear that his chat with O would be the “only time” he’d speak about his failed marriage.
“I’ve been a man of integrity throughout the entire process, which I will hope that my boys would understand,” explained the “O.M.G.” singer. “That’s the way to go.”
Usher married Foster-Raymond in 2007 without the blessing of Usher’s mother, Jonetta Patton. Despite being his manager and rock, Patton did not attend the wedding, but she did join the interview. She told Oprah that at the time of her son’s nuptials, she felt that he was marrying the wrong person.
“There were a ton of people who believed in the marriage, and a ton of people who didn’t,” Usher said. He clarified that he “never fired” his mom as his manger after the wedding, but relieved her of her duties so she could “have what truly matters, which is family.”
As for fans accusing Foster-Raymond of being a gold digger: “Of course it hurt me,” Usher spoke on the backlash. “This is supposed to really be the light of my life, and nobody is responding the way I’d like them to respond.”
Usher explained that it wasn’t until right before Navyid’s birth that he’d given up on the marriage.
“It was obviously too much for me,” he said. “I didn’t want to get to the point where I would cause myself harm or do anything that I felt like would be harmful to me, so I couldn’t stay in it.”
Oprah did not hold back asking blatantly if he had cheated on Foster-Raymond. “Towards the end of our marriage, I found myself lost, and I just wanted out,” Usher went on. “No. I was faithful at heart, but not faithful all the way. Even having a conversation with another woman, period, about matters of your relationship or emotions is, in my opinion, not being faithful.”
“But were you with another woman sexually?” pressed Oprah.
“When we were separated, yes, I was,” Usher responded. “We were not divorced.”
Another of Foster’s allegations in the divorce was that he was an absentee father. “Absentee, I guess, from the aspect of having to go and work,” the 33-year-old retorted. “That probably would be her version or idea of what absentee would be. But no, I’m not an absentee father at all.”
While Usher won primary custody, it seems the battle has only begun. “The friend that I was to Tameka, I don’t know that I could ever be again, because I really felt like we were friends. She made us enemies in a way that I could never understood. It wasn’t until I was on the stand, where I cried, when I realized, ‘Oh, this is an attack.'”