Judge rules in Usher's favor, dismisses ex-wife's motion in son's near-drowning
A Georgia judge Friday
dismissed an emergency motion filed by the
ex-wife of music mogul Usher Raymond
seeking temporary custody of their son.
The judge ruled that even though the 5-year-
old child was injured in a swimming pool
accident this week, it was not an emergency
or crisis situation requiring that Usher's two
children be taken from him.
The child, Usher Raymond V, remains
hospitalized but is doing "much better," his
mother posted on Twitter.
"What happened here was an awful accident
and... I'm not certain that had any single
person been at the poolside that one person
could have done any better than Ms. Oden.
And Ms. Oden did impress me as a capable
caregiver," Fulton County Superior Court
Judge John Goger said, referring to the boy's
aunt, Rena Oden, who was caring for the
child at the time of the accident.
"Based on the evidence I heard, not one
person could have done any better than Ms.
Oden," the judge added.
The judge then addressed
Usher's ex-wife, Tameka Foster
Raymond: "Your standards for
caregivers are rather high,"
Goger said, pointing out that
most people have been
watched by a grandmother or
The judge instructed Usher to
keep his ex-wife informed
about his whereabouts and
who's taking care of their two
At Friday's emergency custody
hearing in Atlanta, Usher, as
he is known in his career as a
singer and actor, testified that
he waited an hour to inform his
ex-wife that their son had
nearly drowned in a swimming
pool accident because "the
first thing to do was to
respond to the emergency...
My son was hysterical and in
the back of an ambulance."
His ex-wife testified earlier
that she does not trust the
childcare of Raymond's aunt
who was present when their
son fell into the pool.
Foster Raymond also said
Usher does not keep her
informed about who is taking
of their children or the doings
in the children's lives.
"They come home with bags of medicine. I
don't know why or what illness or who's
taking them to the doctor... he doesn't
confer with me regarding anything, nothing,"
she told the court.
Foster Raymond became extremely emotional
after the 911 call made by Usher's aunt was
played in court.
"I don't know if my son is going to have a
brain defect. I don't know if his heart is
operating correctly. I don't know if my son's
going to be 100% the boy he was before this
incident," Foster Raymond said.
Foster Raymond said Usher's aunt is
incapable of keeping up with the two
In reference to their other son jumping into
the pool to help Usher V, Foster Raymond
testified: "He can't even swim, he was trying
to save his brother. That's chaos, that is
chaos, that's chaos."
She kept repeating "that's chaos" as she
wiped her eyes, and the judge told her to get
off the stand.
Usher testified he's notified Foster Raymond
on several occasions about changes to the
children's caregivers, contrary to her earlier
claims. He also said he's scheduled to be in
Atlanta for the remainder of August.
The children's activities are outlined in a
weekly e-mail, according to Usher. He said
he tells Foster Raymond about doctors' visits,
summer camps, or travel, including the
aliases used to book hotel rooms, in the rare
event he travels with the kids.
When one attorney tried asking why Usher
doesn't update Foster Raymond on his travel
plans, the judge jumped in: "An emergency
means life and death -- that these kids are
in danger and need to be somewhere else."
The judge told the attorney to move on with
At another point in testimony, the aunt took
the stand. Oden said she's disabled because
of her back, but she can swim and attends
therapy sessions in water. The aunt also said
she knows CPR, or cardiopulmonary
resuscitation, though she needs to be
When asked by Foster Raymond's attorney if
she can pick up more than 25 pounds, Oden
said: "Sometimes, it just depends on how my
back is feeling.
"I know how to take care of children," Oden
Five-year-old Usher Raymond V is recovering
from Monday's accident at Children's
Healthcare of Atlanta Hospital, according to
the lawyer for Foster Raymond. A breathing
tube inserted after the accident has since
been removed, attorney Angela Kinley told
Usher, won primary custody of the couple's
two children, Usher V and 4-year-old Naviyd,
last year after a bitter court fight in which
Foster Raymond accused the singer of being
an absentee father.
Foster Raymond filed in May for a custody
modification. That case hadn't been heard by
the time the swimming pool accident
happened Monday, so Foster Raymond filed
Tuesday for an emergency hearing on the