Usher's ex-wife Tameka Raymond says she doesn't blame her superstar ex-husband for their son's near-drowning accident, but is "angry that it happened on his watch" and believes the couple's two children aren't getting the proper care under the music mogul.
Raymond's 5-year-old son, Usher Raymond V, nearly drowned in the singer's pool at his home outside Atlanta on Aug. 5. The boy survived and was recently spotted with a bandage on his arm, but the accident pushed the couple's bitter custody battle over their two children to center stage.
"I didn't blame [Usher] for it. I just was angry that it happened on his watch because while accidents happen, never have my children been injured on my watch," Raymond, 42, told ABC News' Dan Abrams in an exclusive interview.
The incident prompted Raymond to file for emergency temporary custody of the couple's two children, but a judge ruled on Aug. 9 that Usher will retain primary custody.
Raymond says 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.
After 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.
"I was at a dental appointment. And, you know, he doesn't call me regularly. So when I saw his number come up, I immediately jumped up. I figured he has the boys. I need to get there," she said.
Raymond said when she arrived at the hospital her sadness over her son's injuries then turned into anger.
"I was mad, because I was like, 'How did this happen? Who was watching him? Why was my son underwater for nearly three minutes?'" she said.
For Raymond, it was a horrifying case of déjà-vu after her 11-year-old son from a former relationship, Kile, died in a jet skiing accident in July 2012.
"It was like I relived it. Like, my brain just went into all those modes…I even said on the phone, 'I've had this call before,'" Raymond said.
Just one day after little Usher's accident, Raymond requested an emergency hearing in hopes of winning temporary custody of her two sons with the Grammy-winning singer. The couple also has a 4-year-old son named Naviyd.
"I'd like to have my first right of refusal, which means that when he is not present, the kids come home to their mom. They don't stay home with the nanny and Skype him all night. They don't stay with the nanny and watch whatever show he's on," Raymond said.
"I had to see on Instagram that my 4-year-old lost his first tooth. That's my baby, you know? Things that are precious moments, milestone moments, I'm just missing them," she said.
Raymond thinks Usher is a good father and insists she does not hate him.
"He is the father of my children. I think that he has good intentions for the children. I think that he's a control freak, a bit. You know, I think that he's accustomed to getting his way. I think that people give him his way. And I think that he just want wants to have the kids under his control."
"He wasn't raised with his father. So I think sometimes that makes him overcompensate or be a little overzealous as it pertains to my kids," she added.
ABC News reached out to Usher's representatives, but they declined to comment.
- Family & Relationships
- Tameka Raymond