Tameka Raymond is mostly known as the (insert any negative word) ex-wife of multi-talented superstar Usher Raymond, but the celebrity stylist, mother-of-five happily sets the record straight about who she is outside of the media-hyped now-debacle that is she and Usher’s child custody hearings of their two sons, Usher IV and Naviyd, and their failed marriage.
Besides a hands-on mother, the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Fashion by the Art Institute of Atlanta is also a boutique owner of merged “Estella” and “Estella Home” which sells a wide-range of high end items and owns a franchise of KangaZoom which is an indoor entertainment haven for children. Check out some excerpts from Tameka’s candid interview with Kirsten Savali of The Grio,
How did she and Usher get to divorce?
“Well, if I had to point to one thing, one time, it would be after the birth of our second son, Naviyd. Until that point, we were a very passionate, very loving couple, but then the pressure of the entertainment industry began to slowly creep in and poison our marriage. There comes a point when as a married man with throngs of adoring female fans, you still have to pretend you’re available, but he wasn’t available… and that began the problems.”
What are the most hurtful rumors?
“I’ve been a mother for a very, very long time and for anyone to think that I would put a relationship — especially a relationship they believed to be founded on superficial reasons — above my children is not something that I take lightly.”
“I had enough money of my own to last a lifetime and I think it’s an insult to my ex-husband to insinuate that I chased him for those reasons. What, because he’s affluent, he’s not lovable? It’s not dissing me to say he’s unworthy. He was really attractive, funny, sweet and we were friends first. Even more hilarious, is that these people spreading the rumors don’t even know him, yet they ‘love’ him. I’ve known Usher over 10 years, why is it impossible to believe that I loved him? There are over 100 ‘Mrs. Raymonds’ following me on Twitter and they’re married to a poster. It’s just a backwards concept.”
How did the child custody hearings come about?
“I did not start this. I did not file this. Usher did. I begged him to withdraw the petition, but he didn’t listen. The media jumped on my answer to his petition for custody as if I initiated it, and I did not. Why would I try to keep his children away from him? We have joint custody and I want to continue to have their father around to help out. Raising children is a lot of work.”
What’s important to Tameka?
“My kids take precedence over business; however, I do business for my kids. I want them to know that their mom works and she’s independent. I have to leave a legacy for my sons, so that eventually when I go on to glory, they have the savvy to keep it going. I definitely want to birth an entrepreneurial spirit within them. I don’t believe in silver-spoon children and you will not see my boys hanging on a beach all day, posing for paparazzi.”
Does Tameka’s insight make you see her differently?