Usher opens up on marriage, divorce and his kids
September 17th, 2012
05:09 PM ET

Usher opens up on marriage, divorce and his kids

If you missed Oprah Winfrey's interview with Usher on Sunday for "Oprah's Next Chapter," you might've missed the only time Usher willingly opened up about his tumultuous separation from his former wife, Tameka Foster.

The 33-year-old superstar spoke to Winfrey about his doubts ahead of marrying Foster in 2007, why he decided to move forward with matrimony, and what led to his filing for divorce in 2009.

Part of his decision to marry Foster, Usher told Winfrey Sunday, was a sense that it was "the right way to do things." Foster was pregnant with their son, Usher Raymond V, and, "really, I wanted to do things right," Usher said. "Or at least the perception of what right may be. I impregnated this woman, we were in a relationship, we were in love, so I felt like, this is the right way."

However, he said, "I always felt like maybe we weren't ready. Maybe this wasn't the time or the way to do it. Part of that, I think, played into the demise of it."

Their planned celebration was scrapped in favor of a more private exchange of vows amidst plenty of backlash from those who didn't support his decision to wed.

He did love Foster, Usher said, but the writing of their eventual split was on the wall before their second son, Naviyd, was born at the end of 2008.

"When we had Usher, it was by far one of the most incredible moments of my life, I couldn't have been more happy," Usher said. "After that, I did get a great sense of the insecurities that were there, and she wasn't coping well being in this position ... being married to Usher, and all that came with that, I guess."

Even disregarding for a moment the stress being married in the limelight can bring, Usher pointed to other issues in their relationship.

"It's hard being married and working the way that I work, period. It's hard being in that position and wanting to make someone happy, and there not really being anyway that you ever can, because they've got their own s*** they've gotta deal with," he told Winfrey. "I didn't know how to balance it, it was obviously too much for me. I didn't want to get to the point that I would cause myself harm or do something that I felt like would be harmful to me. ...  It didn't work out."

And was he faithful? Short answer: "No."

The longer answer the "Climax" singer gave Winfrey was that "towards the end of our marriage, I found myself lost, and I just wanted out. ... I was faithful at heart, but not faithful all the way."

The controversial former couple have been embroiled in a messy custody dispute that resulted in a judge granting Usher primary custody at the end of August. Along the way, Foster's accused the singer of being an absentee father.

"Absentee from the aspect of having to go and work, that probably would be her version of what absentee would be. But no, I'm not an absentee father at all," Usher told Winfrey. "I was born to do what I'm doing as a dad. And I realized that once I had a child. When I had them, that's when they became a priority. It wasn't because of this case."


Filed under: Celebrities • Usher

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. what the hell is all this writing...

    throw him down girl...throw him down!!!!

    September 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. they don't have to remain friends

    but they have to be civil in front of the children

    September 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. I.

    would love to see him in concert.

    September 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sue Roy

    Why he had a 2nd child with this lady – it just happened as it does it many relationships...the most important is the children and that they are taken care and loved. Once a relationship breaks down it is almost impossible to find again. And it doesn't really matter as it is his life and his business – I have alot of respect for him or any man who takes care of the children. Us adults it is our responsbility when their are children involved to remain friends with each other for the children not for each other :)

    September 19, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. QuietStormX

    But why did he have another child with this women he didn't love? I understand relationships do go bad and break up. Then going to Court to get primary custady from his ex wife says alot about this woman or babies mama. He was seperated at the time of his transgression, so that is no problem as some feel so. The Man had needs and some women don't understand that. You want someone who is attractive inside and out. His ex wife must have been trying to use the kids as a bank for her life?

    September 19, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Claire

    She got pregnant and he married her. Oldest story in the book. She got her money, which is what she probably wanted all along. Win-win. Let Usher enjoy his life; he's a good guy.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. whatajack

    I think this is the height of pathetic. What a great "soul" man to kick a girl when she just lost her child. I no longer have ANY respect for this p*ck*rwood. I thought he was nice before. Yes, she has givesher, U suck. Why dont you dig up her dead son and parade HIM up and down Sunset Boulevard? It would be less self-serving and pity-sucking of you.

    JERK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2012 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. huh

    was he married before the kids,or as usual,after...

    September 19, 2012 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. BounceU

    whatever you want.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. give me a break

    They had been fighting over custody of the kids long before anything happened to her son. Not to say who is the better parent but why is it that he "took" the kids away from there mother. So I guess by default a mom should always get the kids? Yes she lost a child and I couldn't imagine if anything ever happened to my son but does the loss of a child makes her the better parent? Maybe the loss of her child is why the judge decided what he did. So that maybe she could have some time to grieve and get things right with here older children and not have the extra stress of dealing with too young ones.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jobs Are Not There

    usher could be popular today and gone tomorrow...you can juggle both ...my cousin and her husband say
    we have to work and give as much attention to the kids as possible..but we need our jobs

    September 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hysterical

    -

    September 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nik

    @The Graduate – VERY funny! I hope @nay nay is able to make the necessary corrections.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Meh

    after you spunked up the ho, why didnt you just delete the little ball of unthinking goo before you wasted everybody's time with marriage and then divorce.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jobs are not there...

    usher could be popular today and gone tomorrow...you can juggle both ...my cousin and her husband say
    we have to work and give as much attention to the kids as possible..but we need our jobs...

    September 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Money is First

    there are no jobs nowadays–so the fact that he has one is is important now–especially if he has kids he has to send to them college...he has to work as much as possible because you never know what could happen.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      Really? So Usher is struggling to the point where he has to take extra work and find a part time job? Think about what you're saying..

      September 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      But even so, I work full time right now and make enough to pay the bills, take care of the kids, and handle my business. If my job, or another job were to offer me a position in which I knew I would hardly get to see them or not see them at all then I would not take the position. I understand how much they need a guide and a father way more then any material item money can buy, not just a meal ticket or some guy who just pays the bills who they hardly get to spend time with. Money is not first. It will never be first. It does not come before your wife and kids. We all need it but it should not run your life. And if you have that mentality that is a serious error in thinking.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  17. quietpups

    money is first that how your take care of the family...end of story

    September 18, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      No, you got it twisted and thats the problem today. Money comes and goes. Your son or daughter is more imprtant then your money- period. How you gonna be a father when you too concerned with making money? You might as well not show up at all because what impact are you making in their lives? NONE. There is a balance between the two and Usher refused to make that sacrifice.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Joel

    Your wife and kids come before your "work"...no matter how much money you make. He should have placed them as first priority, not himself or his fans. And he has enough money to take a LONG break on their behalf. He was selfish, end of story.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  19. Chaka

    you don't make anyone do that..he wanted out.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Mohatmah

      Lets be honest, in that community stability and being faithful isnt cool! Especially in Hollywood and the rapper mentaility.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  20. RICK DA RULA

    Guess his mistress made him want to leave the one he was with...ah ah.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  21. Chaka

    you ok? you appear hysterical...

    September 18, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  22. Mandie

    Dear Usher..glad you got rid of the pain in the butt...

    September 18, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  23. whalewatch

    anything the though is technically none of anyones business...

    September 18, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • WHATAJACK

      It is as long as little bit**es like him love to go cry to Oprah. Oprah will always feed into a pity party...girl may have been a pain in as$..but even SHE has a right to grieve without little man boo-hooing to the public..not our business? Got a feeling both sides are bit**es.

      September 19, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  24. nobody has to explain anything to you...

    thats for sure–you hysterical glen are you ok?

    September 18, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  25. glennwharris

    There r 3 sides 2 every story. Your side their side and the truth

    September 18, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  26. martina

    i'm sure she has a story too–

    September 18, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  27. Barr. T~Pain

    Wow, Usher everyone who hears this would also like to hear the other side of the story (i.e your wife side of the story), let us hear her own.

    September 18, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  28. Mish here

    they are not nick and vanessa. i love watching marriages that work..it makes me happy.
    unfortunately this one did not.

    September 18, 2012 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  29. LaVerne

    Cold-blooded to take children away from a mother who lost another child so tragically. If he witnessed Tameak being an unfit mother to the child from her previous marriage before, then why would he have two with her? Was the judge star-struck with his celebrity? I wonder what his children will think of him 10-20 years from now. Celebrity is money and money always talks in our society. My heart goes out to any mother who loses a child. This woman has lost three in a matter of months. Cold-blooded may be an understatement. Usher has no heart as far as I am concerned. I pray those kids don't grow up with some serious issues. Mostly, I pray that Tameka will survive this travesty. My fear is that old adage that, desperate people do desperate things. Sometimes it's not a good idea to push people over the edge. Taking children from a mother is a very scary, unpredictable thing. May GOD give Tameka peace and comfort in her loss.

    September 18, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Snugbug

      Usher wanted to postpone the hearing so that she could grieve properly before having to deal with the custody thing. However, she said she didn't want her son's death to be a factor in the custody issue and insisted that they continue with the hearing as scheduled. So, nobody "did" anything awful to her; it was an unfortunate issue of timing and her insistence on taking the chance so soon after the death of her son.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

      September 19, 2012 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  30. Michelle

    noboby harmed anyone...they don't get along...

    September 18, 2012 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  31. Rose Morin

    Its really nice of Usher to take care of his children along with his rocking music he has been composing for many years. But if the relation is not working out, opting for divorce in a good option instead of harming the person himself or the others in the family.
    Divorce laws are different for states in the US and it is necessary to follow them. I recommend http://www.edivorceinflorida.com which is one such site that talks about divorce particularly in the state of Florida.

    September 18, 2012 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  32. Kat

    i heard the wife was crazy.

    September 18, 2012 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
  33. Rachel

    He will be there for his kids which is the most important part of this whole mess.

    September 18, 2012 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
  34. There---

    is a reason usher did not want to be married anymore, only they know what happenend.

    September 18, 2012 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
  35. Mara

    he may have not been ready for marriage.

    September 18, 2012 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  36. Sweety

    U did what u had to do keep yo head up and take care of the kids lov yo music

    September 18, 2012 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  37. Name*T- Sharp

    Usher where is Jesus christ in your situatuon.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  38. Freddy

    Yeah Usher just give her custody of the kids because she just lost the one she had previously. Give me a break...some of you think that just because you carried them for nine months it automatically makes you a better parent. Not so much.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  39. kitten

    Lol, Usher is funny. He wanted to make her happy, but she was insecure. I bet the cheating had something to do with it, brilliance. *Newsflash* there's no such thing as "faithful at heart" and marriage isn't compulsory!

    Bottom line: It's not that you shouldn't have married her. You just shouldn't have married.

    Oh...and wear a rubber.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  40. confused

    faithful at heart but not all the way? did somebody change the definition of faithful when i wasnt looking? lets try the word justification.

    September 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Shelshok

    Ahhhhh shiznitz happens. Least he didnt stay & pretend iit was a fairytale thing! & her son passing had nothing to do w the divorce! How many of us breakup & have x's? Aite then...his is just public knowledge. Usher- great singer & dancer! :)

    September 17, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Shelshok

    Ahhhhh shiznitz happens. Least he didnt stay & pretend iit was a fairytale thing! & he son passing had nothing to do w the divorce! How many of us breakup & have x's? Aite the...his is just public knowledge. Usher- great singer & dancer! :)

    September 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  43. rachel

    Things happen for a reason. just keep your head up, be a great dad. just live laugh love. Everybody have their own thoughts about this. This your life!!! Do what you need to do for you and your family

    September 17, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Mammy says

    Interesting article. Now I'm ready to take a big steaming pooh on my neighbor's driveway.

    September 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Chunks here...

    these are the funniest blogs i have every read.

    September 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  46. warren

    Real woman. You are probably a chunky chic. Anyway she was so hostile during the divorce. Reap what you sow.

    September 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Marina

    he appears to be a good guy and will do whats best. marriage ended what can you do.

    September 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Alice

    I really am happy he is going to be one of the judges on American Idol. He is young and hip and should expand their viewing audience. I think he was a good choice.

    September 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  49. LP

    i agree and i'm a woman..find a boyfriend and work it that way..there are a handful of marriage i know that are working out and very few in hollywood i respect...stay single yet be in a committed relationship.

    September 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Apple

    dont' like divorce but too bad. that's the way it goes..if she manipulated the marriage he will go. he's is wealthy and do the right thing for the kids.

    September 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Nick

    This dumb mfer actually thought getting married was a "good idea". Hey moron, marriage means you can't sleep around anymore. How'd that work out for you genius?? Stick to making feminine tampon music and stay out of relationships.

    September 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Dell

    I don't so much like him. Pretty much any song made after 1979 isn't too good except for ones by Guns-n-Roses.

    September 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  53. mareka

    it didn't work out.. as long as their is a divorce system that works where the kids are not affected that much there
    should be no problem

    September 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  54. ChakaKahn

    great voice...new song without you is amazing

    September 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  55. grassisbrown

    the rich people always get their side of the story heard... she just lost a son from a former marriage AND now you wanna fun and take the other two kids, Usher? Have. a. heart. Get to be a real dad and share custody... you just don't wanna pay child support. Grow up, for real. Still seem like a lil' boy to me. And keep that thing in your pants and stay away from stupid decisions – geeeeeze. Give away your diaper son.

    September 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Teresa

    It is hard to be married when you are in the spotlight. It was admirable what he did. There allways two sides to ever story. I believe he did what he thought was the honorable thing to do at the time. I admire him for that.

    September 17, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  57. nay nay

    Usher shouldn't have married her anyway, she was way to ugly for him he is fine he need someone special like me. Im a real women.

    September 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  58. FIFI

    Mr.Usher, we have heard your side can we now hear tameka's side. There are always 2 sides.

    September 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |

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