R&B singer Usher and his ex-wife, Tameka Raymond, faced off in court in Friday for an emergency hearing as she said her children are unsafe in his custody after one nearly drowned on Monday.
Usher Raymond V, 5, became stuck when he tried to pull a toy out of a swimming pool drain at a home his father was renting in Atlanta. Two audio-visual contractors working at the home freed him and performed CPR while Usher’s aunt Rena Oden called 911.
“The child is fine,” Usher’s attorney, John Mayhew, said in an opening statement. “The child is fortunate that he has a loving, caring parent.”
Mayhew said Rena Oden was a capable caregiver who knew how to swim and knew CPR.
Attorneys for Tameka Raymond put Oden on the stand and she said she was not formally trained in CPR but learned from her mother, a nurse. She said she knew how to swim and that a back injury that caused her to receive government disability did not interfere with her swimming.
Tameka Foster Raymond is the mother of Usher’s two sons, and had numerous criticisms of Usher’s parenting.
Mayhew said that Usher had canceled “over 87 concerts and (other) live appearances” to spend time with his sons.
“My son basically had died,” Tameka Raymond said of the Monday incident. She said that Usher did not tell her about the accident for an hour after it happened and that he said the boy had a cut on his arm, only later mentioning the pool drain.
Usher and Tameka Raymond married in 2007 and divorced two years later. They went through a lengthy child custody battle, and Usher was awarded primary custody of the boys last year.
Tameka Raymond said Usher does not answer her emails or phone calls about her sons. She said she has not left the hospital since the accident except for Friday’s court appearance, but that the singer has not been there often. “Where has he been at night when his son is in the hospital?” she asked.
The 911 call after the accident was played for the court. Oden could be heard on the phone relaying information and also calling Usher’s other son, 4-year-old Naviyd, multiple times.
“The whole scene was chaos,” Tameka Raymond said before breaking down in tears. “I think (Oden) is a good person and a nice family member. A nanny, no.”