Judge denies Usher's ex-wife custody of sons after accident

Saturday, 10 August 2013 - 8:13am IST | Agency: Reuters
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A judge in Atlanta on Friday denied the ex-wife of R&B singer Usher temporary primary custody of their two children after one of them was hospitalized following a swimming pool accident at Usher's house. Fulton County Superior Court Judge John J. Goger dismissed the motion for primary custody filed on Tuesday by Tameka Foster, saying that there was no reason for the singer to relinquish primary custody because of one accident.

Usher, 34, has custody of 5-year-old Usher Raymond V and his younger brother Naviyd, 4. The Grammy winner and coach on NBC's TV singing contest "The Voice" won custody of the boys last year. He was married to Foster, 42, from 2007 to 2009.

In her court filing, Foster had alleged that Usher failed to personally exercise physical custody of the children by using caregivers and also traveled excessively, which took away from his parenting time. The singer, whose full name is Usher Raymond IV, was not at his Atlanta area home on Monday when Usher Raymond V's arm got caught in a swimming pool drain when he tried to retrieve a toy.

The boys' aunt, Rena Oden, and two other women tried to pull the child free but could not. Contractors installing audio-visual equipment at the house jumped into the pool, rescued him and administered CPR. "What happened here was an awful accident," Goger said when explaining his decision.

"Based on the evidence here, I'm not certain that one person could have done any better than Ms. Oden. Ms. Oden did impress me." Usher, Foster and Oden all testified at the hearing. The boy is recovering in an Atlanta hospital and is expected to be released on Sunday, Usher's attorney said. Last year Foster's older child and Usher's stepson, 11-year-old Kile Glover, died after suffering a brain injury during a jet-ski accident.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Mary Milliken and Mohammad Zargham)


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