Usher’s Oprah Interview Touches On Divorce, Custody Battles

By Jocelyn Vena

During his in-depth interview on Oprah’s Next Chapter Usher got honest about the aspects of his work and personal life that have become media fodder over the past few months. The R&B singer spent time talking about his divorce from ex-wife Tameka Foster, and all the messy details that came with it.

Not only did he face off in court with his ex-wife, Tameka Foster, over the custody of their two children, but he also lost his stepson, Kile Glover, in a tragic jet-ski accident over the summer. “I miss Kile,” he told Oprah Winfrey during the latest episode of her OWN talk show, “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” in an episode that aired Sunday. “We cooked together, we laughed, we sang. He loved to sing and dance. He loved to tell jokes.”

He then cleared up speculation that he wasn’t there for the 11-year-old before he passed away, sharing that he did visit him in the hospital and that he did attend the funeral. “It hurts me to hear people speculating that I wasn’t at the funeral. I absolutely was at the funeral. I was at the burial as well,” he said.

Usher also opened up about the heated custody hearings over his two sons (Usher Raymond V, 4, and Naviyd Ely Raymond, 3). “This will be the only time that I’ve ever chosen to speak about it. I’ve been a man of integrity throughout the entire process,” he said. “Which I hope my boys will understand.”

He then shut down claims by Foster that he has been an “absentee” father. He said, “Absentee from the aspect of having to go and work, that probably would be her version or idea what absentee would be,” he explained. “But no, I’m not an absentee father at all.”

Usher has since gotten sole custody of his sons but notes that things will never be the same with his ex. “We don’t see eye-to-eye,” he said of his current relationship with Foster. “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.’ ”

When asked if he was faithful to Foster during their marriage, Usher admitted that he did have intimate relationships with other women while they were “separated” including one of Foster’s bridesmaids.

But it wasn’t all dark. Oprah soon steered the conversation to a more light-hearted topic: Does he get into the mood by playing his own music? “Some may say this may be rather narcissistic, but, um, yeah. I’m a good motivator for the moment,” he said. “Some guys don’t take their time; they don’t even put music on. I like to set the mood. A little Luther [Vandross], Marvin Gaye, then your more modern songs, like Usher.”