The former wife of singing star Usher has reignited their long-simmering feud by filing for custody of their two sons just a day after the oldest nearly drowned.
The couple’s contentious divorce and bitter custody battle ended last year with Usher receiving primary custody of sons Usher, 5, and Naviyd, 4. Now Tameka Foster has filed an emergency motion in an Atlanta court asking that the children be returned to her in the wake of the “near death” accident.
Friends say Tameka Foster’s quick move for custody isn’t motivated only by the incident involving her 5-year-old son or the former couple’s less-than-friendly relationship. Last year Foster’s 11-year-old son from a previous marriage, Kile Glover, died in a watercraft accident, and friends and family say Foster is still devastated by that tragedy.
“This isn’t just Tameka being hateful, and she can be that way for sure,” said a family member. “Kile’s death broke her heart, and the mere thought of another child of hers dying in a tragic way is really more than she can bear. You have to feel sorry for her with this happening.”
On Monday, 5-year-old Usher Raymond V was playing in the pool when he somehow became caught in the pool’s drain. The singer’s aunt, housekeeper, and another woman rushed to rescue the child but weren’t able to break him free. Two men installing sound equipment at the home were able to pull the child from the drain and perform CPR. On Wednesday, Foster tweeted that her son was doing much better and was talking and asking for food.
But her son’s improvement isn’t doing much to lessen the tension between Foster and her ex-husband. In the stylist’s motion for custody, she alleges that the singer is away from his Atlanta home 85 percent of the time and refuses to let her see the children when he isn’t in town. He “would rather the nanny raised the children,” she added. Usher has not responded publicly to Foster’s claims.
Foster, who is in her 40s, began dating the singing star, 34, while still married to first husband Ryan Glover. She had worked as a stylist for Ciara, Nas, and Dr. Dre before Usher hired her as his personal stylist. Their romantic relationship caused quite a stir in African-American entertainment blogs, where readers expressed heated displeasure at Usher’s choice of a mate. The singer’s mother was reportedly so unhappy with her son’s decision to marry Foster that she refused to attend their wedding in 2007.
“Tameka can rub people the wrong way and has even done so to her own family,” said a close friend of the singer. “Usher was blinded by her charm and smarts, and didn’t realize it until it was too late. Then he was in a mess that lasted for years.”
Foster made headlines in 2009, when she traveled to São Paulo, Brazil, for a liposuction procedure after giving birth to her sons. She suffered cardiac arrest before the surgery and was put into a medically induced coma to aid her recovery. Usher filed for divorce just three months later, citing irreconcilable differences.
While friends close to the singer say they hoped last year’s custody decision would bring an end to the constant feuding between the two, now they fear this week’s accident will fuel yet another showdown.
“All Tameka needed was another way in to get back at Usher for the divorce and for getting the kids,” said a friend of the singer’s. “Now she has it.”