Usher Retains Custody of Kids After Emergency Hearing, Pool Accident
The singer and his ex-wife Tameka Raymond spent today in court.
Aug. 9, 2013— -- Usher will retain primary custody of his two sons with ex-wife Tameka Raymond after an Atlanta judge dismissed her emergency custody motion this afternoon.
"What happened here was an awful accident [but] I'm not certain that any single person ... could have done a better job than [Usher's aunt and the kids' caretaker] Ms. [Rena] Oden," Judge John G. Goger ruled. "So I'm dismissing the motion but I will say, Mr. Raymond, in the future, you should be well-advised to keep your former spouse informed about your whereabouts and who is taking care of the kids."
The request for an emergency custody hearing was granted after the Raymonds' five-year-old son, Usher Raymond V, was involved in an accident in the singer's pool earlier this week. After the boy got his hand caught in the pool drain, his aunt and a housekeeper were unable to pull him loose. Finally, a man who had been working in the home intervened, pulled him out and resucitated the child by using CPR.
In her testimony, Tameka Raymond, 42, alleged that Oden, who called 911 after the incident, was an unfit caregiver.
"It was chaos, pure chaos," she said, sobbing. "She's a good person and nice family member, but a nanny? No. ... I don't know if my son is going to have a brain defect. ... I don't know if he'll be 100 percent the son he was before this accident. This is an emergency."
The distraught mother also accused her ex-husband of not spending time at the hospital with their son (Usher's lawyer said he'd been spending all of his time there), and said that her ex-husband does not keep her informed of details of the boys' day-to-day lives. (The two also have a second son, Naviyd, 4.) She also said he failed to give her basic information about the accident after it happened.
"I was still trying to figure it all out -- I was just reacting as any father would, out of concern," "The Voice" coach said during his testimony, adding that the moment he'd learned of an accident, he rushed home to ride in the ambulance with his "hysterical" child. "Once I figured out how serious, I called Ms. Raymond.... I didn't know what happened and wanted her to remain calm."
A lawyer for Usher Raymond, who said his client works one exit away from the Atlanta home he shares with the boys, painted a rosy picture of the boys' life with their dad, which, on the day of the accident, included a pizza lunch together and a trip to the aquarium with Oden while the singer was at his music studio.
After the judge's ruling, the ex's hugged.
"I just want what's best for my babies," the superstar said.