An Atlanta judge Friday dismissed a motion by R&B singer Usher's ex-wife, Tameka Raymond, asking for emergency custody of their two sons 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.
Usher was awarded primary custody of the boys in 2012 after a lengthy court battle.
After hearing testimony from Usher, his ex-wife, and Oden, Judge John J. Goger said he was impressed by Oden's qualifications as a caregiver.
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.
Goger said many people had been cared for as children by relatives who "probably didn't have all the certifications" Tameka Raymond wanted her children's caregivers to have.
But the judge also warned Usher that "you would be well-advised to keep your former spouse informed about your whereabouts and who is taking care of the kids."
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.
Tameka Foster Raymond is the mother of Usher's two sons, and had numerous criticisms of Usher's parenting.
Usher's attorney said that the singer 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.
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.
Tameka Raymond's attorneys tried to make the point that they felt Oden did not have control of the children, as evidenced by her having to call Naviyd many 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."
After the judge issued his decision, Usher and Tameka Raymond hugged in the courtroom.
First published August 9 2013, 1:39 PM