Tameka Raymond’s custody battle with her famous ex, Usher Raymond, has reignited following the recent near drowning of their 5-year-old son in the singer’s swimming pool.
The 42-year-old stylist told ABC News’ Dan Abrams in an exclusive interview that she’s not done fighting, even after a judge ruled that Usher will retain primary custody of their son Usher Raymond V, or Cinco, after Tameka requested an emergency hearing demanding temporary custody.
“I’m a fighter,” she said in the second part of the interview which aired on “Good Morning America” today. “I’m a fighter.”
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Still, the judge’s ruling Aug. 9 following the Aug. 5 incident at the singer’s home outside Atlanta was another heartbreaking defeat for Tameka, following last year’s court decision to grant Usher primary custody.
Tameka believes Usher’s “status” played a role in last year’s decision.
“I think that wealthy men and men that are of status are winning these cases, like, you know, hand over foot,” she told Abrams. “It’s kind of amazing because it’s like they’re winning them, but these are very busy men. … That’s why they’re wealthy.”
Earlier Tameka told Abrams that Usher’s busy schedule forces him to leave the children with a nanny or relatives when they should be with their mother.
“I feel like the kids are not getting proper care. And I think the reason for that is he’s not there. There is no amount of care that a caregiver, nanny, grandmother, aunt, anyone… There’s nothing like a mother,” she said.
When the boy got his hand caught in the pool drain, his aunt and a housekeeper were unable to pull him loose. Finally, two men who had been working in the home intervened, pulled him out and performed CPR.
Usher, 34, was not home at the time of the incident. He was about one mile away at a recording session. His ex-wife says he called her to inform her about the accident.
Things weren’t always this ugly between them.
The superstar singer and the stylist met on the set of his music videos and fell in love.
“We did a lot of travel,” Tameka told Abrams. “We both are foodies. We loved to eat and hang out and … there’s many, many good parts.”
But after two years of marriage and two children later — the former couple have 4-year-old son Naviyd — the relationship hit a sour note.
Tameka said things turned ugly when her ex filed for full custody last year following their split.
“He filed to take my children away,” she said.
During last year’s custody hearing, Tameka took a now-sealed psychological evaluation which found she had a “moderately severe mental disorder” — a diagnosis she’s now challenging.
“I had narcissistic personality traits,” she told Abrams. “That’s what actually the diagnosis was. They ask you a series of questions, like, ‘When you’re walking down the street, do you feel like people are looking?’ My answer is yes, but that was based off of when I’m walking down the street, people do point and say, ‘Oh, that’s Usher’s ex-wife.'”
“I think we all have a little narcissistic personality disorder, especially those of us in the limelight,” Tameka added. “But I don’t think it’s something that affects your parenting.”
As their custody battle rages on, Tameka said her ex is fighting to reduce the $8,000 a month in child support that he pays her.
Asked if her fight for her sons is about the money, Tameka responded, “That’s amazing. Not to, like, gloat or anything, but I come from a very well-earned career. I’ve made lots and lots of money. And $8,000 a month is not a lot of money to me.”
“I’m grateful for it, but for someone to think I don’t love my kids and this is about $8,000, they are really crazy,” she said. “That’s really ludicrous.”
A status conference is scheduled for later this month.