Court records show that Usher and Tameka Foster-Raymond were separated for nearly a year before the singer filed for divorce on Friday, calling the marriage "irretrievably broken," according to The Associated Press.
A divorce petition obtained by the AP states the couple has lived separately since July; they were married in August 2007.
The petition says there is "no reasonable hope of reconciliation" between [artist id="1270"]Usher[/artist], 30, and Foster-Raymond, 38. The couple have two sons together: Usher Raymond V, 18 months, and Naviyd Ely Raymond, 6 months. Usher is reportedly seeking joint custody of the children.
Randall Kessler, who is representing Foster-Raymond in the divorce, told the AP on Monday that his client was a "faithful wife and loving mother," and declined to comment about Usher's conduct during the marriage.
He also told People.com that he and his client will respond to the divorce filing in a "timely manner," adding, "We were hoping this case would be resolved privately, but since Usher filed it publicly we will have to respond."
The marriage reportedly has been strained for months now. Sources have said the pair haven't lived under the same roof for quite some time, as Usher has relocated to Nevada to work on his next solo album. Pictures and video of Usher, alongside Jermaine Dupri and others, partying in Las Vegas have appeared online in recent weeks.
The couple's relationship has been fraught with controversy ever since Usher broke the news — somewhat off-handedly — to MTV News in March of 2007 that he and Foster were engaged. The couple married later that year in Atlanta in a simple ceremony, after canceling the original, more lavish wedding. Rumors were rampant about the reason for the cancellation of the original wedding plans, including that Usher's mother disapproved of the relationship, claims the couple later denied.
Throughout their marriage, the couple was dogged by insinuations that the singer was being controlled by Foster, and further reports of discord with his mother, whom he released from her duties as his manager in 2007 before rehiring her the following year. Questions about the singer's fidelity also arose. Usher took umbrage with much of the discussion and fired back at the gossip in interviews.
In a "TRL" appearance in May of 2008, Usher unleashed a verbal broadside about the rumors. "I love my wife very, very much," he said. "There was a little rumor earlier this week about us separating. It ain't true. We in love. Get outta there," he said, raising his left hand and showing off his wedding band. "Matter of fact, I'm tired of people continuing to talk so much trash about me, know what I'm saying? And my relationship."
Early this year, Foster suffered cardiac arrest before undergoing plastic surgery in Brazil. Upon learning of her condition, Usher canceled his performance at Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy gala and flew to the foreign country be to with her. Davis told the crowd at the party that Usher had to leave town due to a "serious injury in the family." People's sources called the event a "brief reunion in an otherwise troubled marriage."