Usher‘s ex wife Tameka Raymond took him to court in Atlanta on Friday in an emergency request for full custody of their two young sons after their oldest, 5-year-old Cinco, nearly drowned in a pool related incident on Monday.
After battling out for a couple of hours, offering testimony from both sides, Usher ended up winning in the end and will keep full custody of both Usher Raymond V (aka “Cinco”) and their 4-year-old son Naviyd. And though she lost the custody battle, Tameka did win something: a random hug from her ex-husband.
Both Usher and Tameka took the stand in court on Friday, along with Usher’s Aunt Rena, who was watching Cinco and Naviyd at the time of the accident and was the one who called 911.
According to the police report, Cinco had fallen to the bottom of the pool (some news reports indicated he swam to the bottom to retrieve a toy), and somehow had gotten his arm caught in the pool’s uncovered drain. Aunt Rena, as well as a housekeeper, tried to free him but were unsuccessful.
Thankfully, a pair of contractors working in the home heard the commotion and were able to dive into the pool, pull Cinco’s arm out of the drain and perform CPR on him. Aunt Rena called 911 and when EMS workers arrived, they said he was “conscious, alert and breathing.” Cinco was still recovering in the hospital as of Friday.
In court, Tameka — who lost an 11-year-old son (from a previous relationship) to a water-related accident last summer — alleged that the children were in a “dangerous environment” and she used the pool accident as a prime example of Usher being an “inattentive father, who employs incompetent caretakers,” a claim she has made in previous court hearings over the custody of their sons.
But Usher’s lawyer shot back, saying that the R&B singer is a great father and the children are doing well with him, despite the pool mishap, which Usher said could have happened to anyone.
Of course Tameka was Tameka and brought out the dramatics with her dry crying while talking about her son’s accident, saying that the whole thing was “chaos, just chaos!” all while trying to force tears when they played the 911 call. The judge eventually asked her to step down when she became too hysterical.
Tameka claimed that Usher, who has full primary custody of their sons, rarely speaks with her regarding their sons, explaining that she never knows where he is, where the children are or who’s taking care of them. “He doesn’t confer with me regarding anything,” she said.
Usher is an international superstar who travels frequently, so he is sometimes forced to use caregivers, like his his aunt, for instance, to watch their sons, and Tameka says that the caregivers he chooses at times are neither “trained” nor “qualified” to care for young children.
Tameka also claims that Usher doesn’t answer the phone, rarely responds to her e-mails and never updates her on who’s caring for their children at any given moment.
“I don’t know where my children are, and I don’t know who they are with,” she said. “The caregivers he introduced to me, I didn’t know they had quit … [Usher] doesn’t answer the phone, he doesn’t answer emails.”
When he took the stand, Usher refuted those claims, saying that he sends her an e-mail every Sunday detailing their children’s plans for the upcoming week, and she is free to contact the children whenever she pleases.
“Every Sunday I send her any weekly activities, any doctor’s visits… summer camp, any information that’s pertinent to their activities,” he said. “She can contact the children at any moment and any of the people who will be with them at this time.”
Fulton County Superior Court Judge John Goger said that he thought Tameka’s standards for a caregiver are unsually high and pointed out that lots of people leave their children with other family members while they’re working or tending to errands.
At the time of his son’s pool accident, Usher was just one exit away at a recording studio, and Tameka’s lawyer attacked him for not calling her about the accident until nearly an hour after it happened.
Usher testified that he was trying to get more information about the severity of the situation and his son’s condition before calling her.
In the end, Tameka lost the custody battle (again), with the judge — who described the accident as “awful” — dismissing the case and ruling in Usher’s favor. After all was said and done, Usher approached Tameka and the two awkwardly hugged it out.
As for Little Usher’s condition, he’s still in the hospital because Big Usher doesn’t want him discharged until doctors are more than 100% sure that he’s okay. But Tameka says that’s not the full story, and doctors are trying to make sure Usher V didn’t suffer any permanent brain or heart damage.