Why Usher Shouldn’t Have ‘Confessed’ on OWN

by Demetria L. Lucas

I’d planned to stay up Sunday night and write about Usher’s interview on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” right after it aired.  I went to bed instead because I knew — just knew — that his ex-wife, Tameka Raymond, was going to respond to Usher’s take on their marriage if not swiftly, then deftly, and there was no sense in writing about the same issue twice. But then Tuesday night rolled around and 48 hours later, Tameka was still mum. It was unlike her. Usher and his mother didn’t hesitate to shade Tameka throughout the Oprah interview, and she has always defended her name by any means necessary.

I admitted I was wrong, then rolled around reasons Tameka might be taking the high road this time. Maybe she had given up the good fight after a judge denied her appeal for custody of the two sons she shares with her ex-husband. Maybe she just doesn’t care anymore. My best answer, though? Maybe she realized there was nothing to defend herself against. For every time in the interview that Usher made her look bad under the guise of just being honest, he unintentionally made himself look worse.

In 60 minutes, Usher never did answer a direct question with a direct answer, which was frustrating as a viewer and would be doubly so in the context of a relationship. And he seemed to spin everything into a light that made it sound less screwy than it actually was instead of just taking accountability for his shortcomings.  On the subject of whether he fired his mother as his manager, he told Oprah that he didn’t, he only “relieved her of duties.” Really? On his fidelity to his wife, Usher explained, “I was faithful in heart, but not all the way” before finally admitting he cheated, but with the qualifier that it was only after they were separated. Did he actually have sex with one of Tameka’s bridesmaids, as his ex scandalously alleged? The Usher spin: “It’s always been complicated and very difficult” and “I had exchanges with her.” All that to get to “yes” and confirm that Tameka wasn’t making up that ish.

The interview actually confirmed all my suspicions about his image as the victim of an evil cougar attack, which are loosely that he wasn’t a victim at all; he just has better PR. I don’t know Tameka to gauge whether the popular and unflattering perception of her has any truth to it, but I know after watching “Oprah’s Next Chapter” that if she were the one wilding out in the marriage, she wasn’t the only one. And after his confessions, it seemed that if any of the rumors about her behavior toward him were true, he had a lot of it coming. I don’t know many women who could carry on in a civil manner with her ex-husband knowing that of all the people in the world he could have sex with, he picked her girl, one so close she was in the wedding.

Perhaps Usher’s revelations shouldn’t be so surprising to me. He is the same fellow who, in the midst of divorce proceedings, added fuel to the fire by renaming his sixth album “Raymond v. Raymond.” He’s also the same type of man who, in equally bad taste, too soon after winning primary custody of his children, posted images for public consumption of the little ones with his new lady and her family. That wasn’t accidental, coincidental, or harmless. That was cold. I thought he would have come off better “in person.” Not so much.

It takes two to tango, so the old folks say. Tameka’s spoken often about what when down between her and Usher, with little of it pretty. For doing such, she’s been characterized as angry, bitter, and unlikable. Usher’s silence on the matter has often garnered him the benefit of the doubt. He would have been better off to remain silent. There’s an Abe Lincoln quote that the old folks like to trot out: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Unfortunately, Usher’s interview with Oprah proves it true.

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. ABIB is available for download and now in paperback. Follow her on Twitter at @abelleinbk.

  • Yvette

    It’s rare that only one person is to blame for destroying a relationship.

  • K

    this whole article was on point couldnt agree more..i would also add as Wendy said on her show the other day, what type of man continues with proceedings to take two children from his ex wife right after she lost one, now essentially she has lost three children, just sad all around.

  • http://AirInDanYell.tumblr.com Erin

    She’s the one that wanted to continue with the custody proceedings, according to the interview. Usher claimed he asked the judge to delay the trial, and that Tameka wanted to continue with it despite the fact that she had just lost her son. From what I gathered, they’re both two screwy individuals that really didn’t need to be married or have children together at all. Because just because Usher was a nasty, freaky douche in this interview, it didn’t make me like Tameka’s side any more than I don’t already.

  • Camillia

    That quote is actually from the book of proverbs…..The thing with this is I’m glad he told the truth. I’ve read some of the nastiest comments about Tameka R. coming from women. If u don’t live in that persons home, u can’t judge. Even if u did live there. What goes on between married people is our business. Also, I may add NEVER put your marriage business out in the street. I don’t know when people will get it.

  • Lo

    I agree. He came across as unauthentic during that interview. I would love to hear Tameka’s side of the story and no offense but not a sit down with one of the urban blogs…talking a major network. I’m sure some of her actions were the result of a woman scorned. From the outside looking in, I’ve never been a huge Usher person. His arrogance coupled with what appears to be just a “sneakiness” about him…not a good look. He just appears to have some “bi**ha**ness” in him. Releasing those photos was in poor taste. Sorry to say this but I believe in the case of both he and D Wade they pursued primary custody more so due to the very public divorce, animosity towards the women and just not wanting to pay child support. In the end, glad to see black men taking steps to ensure they’re a part of their kids life but not a fan of how Usher went about this situation.

  • K

    1) thats why i said it was sad all around (in reference to your “it didnt make me like Tamekas side anymore” i feel the same way)

    2) for clarity, i heard she wanted to continue as well i meant drop the proceedings PERIOD, all together and continue to share custody (which is what I believe they do now)


  • Tami

    I just don’t think Tameka & Usher belonged together. Too many people were against their union from the very beginning & that’s always a red flag. I like Usher. I like Tameka. However, I thought that was so very wrong of him to have sex with her bridesmaid. I mean, out of all the women in the world that he can get because of his celebrity status, you mean he has to sex a friend? Now, that right there did me in.

  • Lady P


    I agree “NEVER put your marriage business out in the street. I don’t know when people will get it.”

    This is a crazie ongoing fight. All I can think about are those two precious boys.

  • cocochanel31

    Great post Demetria. I agree 100%. Usher came across as very arrogant, just the little things he said about himself jokingly to Oprah made it known that he is very much into HIM and I can see how Tameka would fall by the wayside. He is and was very immature and definetly took that woman thru it. She doesn’t deserve that. She can do bad by herself. I wish her and the boys the best. She is better than me, bc after the bridesmaid incident I would’ve caught A CASE!

  • OSHH

    What do you expect from a stunt queen?

  • http://VerityReign.com Verity Reign

    Love this! I’m waiting for somebody to give Tameka her chance to voice her side. I know she tweets it here and there, but I want a full, in-depth interview!

  • Starla

    Great article. I actually always liked Tameka, at least her public persona. I think she is doing the best thing by keeping quiet on this. Afterall, she just lost her firstborn and I can’t see how the Usher interview, or his opinions would be paramount in her world.

    All I gotta say is that Usher is sowing some seeds he will have to reap one day. He better be prepared for the harvest.

  • Ms. Write

    I have long thought Usher to be arrogant. He showed his true colors way back. I never believed the reports that painted Tameka out to be some kind of gold-digging crazy cougar. It takes two to tango.

  • Hehe

    Its so funny to me how badly he came off. Usually when ppl tell their side of the story they tend to paint themselves in a positive; not Usher. He came of real narcissistic and arrogant. I hate when ppl only indirectly answer questions. He even admitted to not being fully involve in his kids life like he wanted to so why ask for sole custody.

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    @OSHH … I see you. Agreed. Stunt queen indeed. The photo with the new chick and all the kids was a wrap for me. She did the right thing by not even acknowledging him.

  • KitKat

    Why ask for sole custody? So his mama could raise them, and he could could keep trickin.

  • Q

    I can’t get over him screwing the bridesmaid. That is sorry as hell.

  • tonisha

    sleeping with the bridesmaid ……..just all kinds of wrong. never liked usher

  • http://gravatar.com/lovegiraffes onegirl

    And looking at the posted picture, he probably should have brushed his hair prior to the interview. Look at those beady beas (as Martin Lawrence would say)! What a tool.

  • Marisa

    Your right what Usher should have done was put it on an album called Confessions Part 2 My Marriage Really Sucked

  • African Mami

    Never mix business with pleasure. These two were in a disillusioned relationship, from jump! Usher and Tameka had maintained such a long and prosperous professional relationship. He as her muse, she as his stylist. How they got to where they are today, is such a mystery….but stranger things have happened in this journey called life.

    My homegirl’s theory is that one day, they were just cha chilling, PROFESSIONALLY sipping on some wine, when it got into their systems. Boom, one thing led to the next. Clothes came off, she got pregnant. They got married just because it was the right thing to do.

    God help my homegirl and I.

  • Jess

    LOLOLO! onegirl, I was thinking the same thing. Ha ha ha – funny!

  • mamareese

    He should really consider joint custody on this for real. At the end of the day you only hurt the kids with fooliness like this. And why he shouldn’t have confessed….don’t nobody care….he comes off as a flake anyway. Please keep in minde her partenting has never been in question and she just suffered a very hard loss. Give this woman back her kids and raise them together boy!

  • lol

    but i still have to wonder how she got with him knowing how immature he is (don’t tell me she didn’t kno) especially since she is older than him…she should have known better…

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Agreed! They are both odd individuals with the same amount of triffling behavior so neither gets a pass or look better than the other in my book. They just didn’t need to be married because clearly Usher is still a little boy and Tameka couldn’t deal with that life. Oh, And maybe that picture was a respond for Tameka calling homegirl “barren and can’t make kids own…” rigt after her kid die on twitter. Both their hands was dirty and both look dumb and immature to me. They need to get it together and raise them babies.

  • Debbie

    WTF..that’s the way his hair grows out his head you idiot. Sit down….

  • bkchica

    I really thought it was in poor taste to bad mouth the mother of his children. Regardless of how things ended. His kids are going to see this one day and I feel really bad for them.

  • http://ellemk.wordpress.com LorriK

    Now that right there is the truth!

  • http://stimulatemymind.wordpress.com hpymrzsimmons

    Wow, I’m sort of shocked and sad to hear this confession from Usher. Not that I would completely put cheating passed him; but it’s still uncomfortable to hear him admit to it from his own mouth. I will confess that I had the perception of Tameka that she was a little looney, clingy, and insecure. I remember hearing a story where she supposedly got really upset when Chilli (his ex) approached Usher, herself, and his mother while they were having dinner. I figured that she was just having a hard time dealing with the fact that his fame was putting him in a spotlight where he was “susceptible” to straying away from the relationship. Now I see that she had a reason to feel uncomfortable. I know that being with someone in the entertainment industry comes with certain inevitable complications, but I still feel bad for women who have to endure them. Especially if they are genuinely in love with the man/woman they married.

  • Echi

    I love it when people bring in some of that good ole’ common sense. Thank you Debbie.

  • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

    On reasons why Tameka has not responded to Usher’s interview; she just lost her son. She is still grieving.

  • Keisha Smith

    I love that no one agreed with the statement. Self hate is sad. How is one’s natural hair bad? Sit down immediately.

  • ATLPeaches

    Others have said it you don’t know what actually goes on in someone’s house unless you are there and sometimes you still don’t know, you never air your dirty laundry out in public. I do know that this woman has has a horrid tragedy with the death of Kile and now the removal of her 2 small boys. I can imagine that she is suffering a pain few if any of us will ever know. I had no interest in watching the interview and I won’t be doing so. You reap what you sow and Usher needs to stop talking about this. I would hate to pick up the AJC and see that Tameka will be featured on the next episode of Snapped. You don’t trash the mother nor the father of your children. It’s bad taste and it shows lack of character on the part of the one saying the dirt. This whole messy divorce is sad, just think of the boys they are the ones who will suffer. SHM!!!!

  • http://pinkpantiesandleopardlipstick.wordpress.com PinkPantiesandLeopardLipstick

    I loved Usher!! I feel like I grew up with him, listening to his music and us being the same age. But I must say, the older he got, the love I had for him slowly crept away… even though I still enjoyed his music.

    Obviously I don’t know him personally, but the persona he gives off is so… so… so… ARROGANT! I can’t take arrogance!! Its really a awful characteristic to have. I clearly don’t know Tameka personally either, but boy oh boy did the media and no he himself paint a ugly picture of her! At the end of the day though, like her or love her, no one has taken stabs at her parenting skills until this custody… she’s been a mom wayyyy before Usher was a dad and seemed to be doing a good job. I think Usher trying to take those boys from her is dead wrong. Joint custody and co-parenting would have been best. Usher better hope and pray his boys don’t hold resentment towards him when they get older.

    On another note, sleeping with her homegirl… a homegirl close enough to put in my wedding… DEAD wrong! They both foul for that!

  • MrsMartin

    I’m not surprised in the least that Usher has issues with infidelity with his wife. History repeats itself ( didn’t he cheat on Chilli?)
    The lowest form of scumminess is to take this woman’s children from her after the demise of the marriage and the death of her son. Tameka has every reason to be bitter, angry, pissed, hurt…and any other human emotion that she feels. This woman lost her child. Usher will reap what he has sown.He may feel that he’s the victor or, try to convince the public that he’s “not that bad”, but he has to live with himself and the choices he’s made. My prayers go out to Tameka and her family.

  • http://yahoo silver9391

    Usher in my opinion should have done a whole lot of things differently.Basically he should have kept his mouth shut, what went on between him and his ex-wife was personal. He did not own his fans any insight into his personal life, we don’t know him and he don’t know us, fans are not your friends. Fans are people who like your work,enjoy your concerts,ect. By keeping his mouth shut his fans could have continued to have the illusion of his innocence about a lot of things. Fans are not friends they are very fickle, friends know you and like you any way.

  • Shay K


    He is the same fellow who, in the midst of divorce proceedings, added fuel to the fire by renaming his sixth album “Raymond v. Raymond.”

    I always had a problem with that.

  • ChillyRoad

    She has been on Twitter since her son died shaming Usher along the way.

  • ChillyRoad

    Some of the comments are ming blowing. Usher isn’t a stranger who won these kids in a lottery. He is the father of these two boys. To compare his primary custody award to a death of a child is sick. Let this black man raise these black boys. Let these black boys have something too few black boys have- a father. Thankfully four black boys, Ushers kids, and Wade’s kids are being raised by their father.

    If it is true that Tameka referred to Ushers new romantic interest as “barren,” its obvious she takes motherhood for granted.

    A judge presided over a case. Evidence was brought by both sides and the judge made a ruling in the best interest of the children not want we think Temeka should have because she lost her son, though tragic it was.

    Now, when a father wants custody, its a publicity stunt? Nevermind that a judge has awarded these fathers, Wade and Raymond, with custody. Is the judge in on the plot for fame and fortune for these men or could it be that these mothers just are not fit?

    I find it interesting, when it comes to custody, its the mothers children. When it comes to paying child support, its the fathers children.

    I pray for black children because it seems that its all about what the parents want not what the children need.

  • beks

    that’s funny.

  • Cynthia

    Usher really rubs me the wrong way. I felt like he was arrogant but the interview confirmed it. His mother didnt impress me either. He has custody but has every woman in his family helping raise the boys. The mother should have kept them if his mom, grandmom, aunt are needed to raise them.

  • simplyme

    From the beginning I knew he would get primary custody because of his expensive PR team…. it played out like the Dwyane Wade case. Its really sad especially considering her other son just died…she’s probably too devastated to keep on fighting. If you followed the Dwyane Wade case it all it was the same situation..amazing PR that painted him to be the perfect father and husband to an unstable evil woman. He eventually won custody of the kids. When in reality (per my trusted sources in that world) he was a perpetual cheater among other things…and basically drove her insane with his double life and good boy image. Last I heard he’s now trying to take away her visitation rights and she’s seeing a therapist. I think Dwight Howard attempted the same PR stunt..

    Apparently money and power trump reality. A lot these guys pay for their images… and its easy because their fans are so quick to latch on to every claim that they make. Reason #4373737 to never be involved with a celebrity….or a narcissist of any sort.

  • simplyme

    “Now, when a father wants custody, its a publicity stunt?”

    But why does it always have to be one or the other? The kids suffer with a single parent either way. If the best interest is the children they should have joint custody. And from what I understand that was actually what she wanted and Usher was the one who filed for primary custody. The kids would have had a father either way…

    So yes now they get a Dad, but they won’t have a mother… and their dad will constantly be traveling, bringing home all kinds of women(given his record), and they’ll basically be raised by the help… I’m not sure if thats in their best interest at all.

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