But in a new interview with People magazine, Tameka Foster-Raymond claims that “Papers” is purely “entertainment,” saying “people shouldn’t take it literally.” And even though the mother of Usher’s two children doesn’t believe he intended the song as a commentary on their short marriage, “Given what we’re going through,” she said, “it’s in poor taste.”
In the magazine’s November 9 issue, on newsstands now, Foster-Raymond, 38, opens up about the painful divorce proceedings, revealing that she found out about them when friends and family called to ask her if she was OK. “Usher and I weren’t really speaking then,” she said. “He was away recording, and I was angry at other things going on.”
The magazine claims that during the time Foster-Raymond was alluding to, Usher was spotted out with another woman while working on his upcoming Raymond vs. Raymond CD. “He filed two days later.”
She still claims not to know why the two-year marriage ended and said their relationship is cordial now and she’s still in love with him. She said their marriage was “pressure-filled” from the beginning, with careers, children, fans and age combining to undercut their chances. “I don’t blame myself,” she said, knocking down reports that she got pregnant in order to trap the 31-year-old star into marrying her. “We definitely tried for it. And last I checked, he wasn’t trapped. He did music videos while I was pregnant.”
The one rumor Foster-Raymond did confirm was that she has had disputes with Usher’s mother/manager, Jonnetta Patton, though she said they were not serious disagreements and that their relationship was cordial. “We didn’t have documentable arguments,” she said. “I don’t think she was happy about [me and Usher]. He was a sex symbol, and I don’t fit in the marketing plan. She probably felt it was career suicide.”
Foster-Raymond describes Usher as a very romantic, caring partner and said that if they ever argued, it was about him leaving the family behind for work. And while she said their second child (Naviyd ) was unplanned, she paints the period where Usher left to begin work on the new album earlier this year as the time when things began to fall apart.
“When I see my kids, I think of what should have been,” she said of Naviyd and older brother Usher Raymond V . “I saw us growing old together. The world is probably saying, ’She’s already old!’ ”
Foster-Raymond also described her near-death experience in February when she went into cardiac arrest when she was about to undergo liposuction in Brazil. She claims she was visiting an employee’s son for his birthday and decided to have plastic surgery so she could have a flat stomach by Valentine’s Day.
“I was in a coma for two days,” she said. “I woke up, like, ’Where am I?’ My husband was there. He was so sweet. He washed my hair and made sure I had quiet.”
As for the 911 call Usher made September 11, in which he cited “potential domestic violence” the previous day, Foster-Raymond said she had no idea what the incident was about but questioned why she’d key a car registered in her name.
“I still love him very much, and I’m sure I always will,” she said. “Do I want to be with him? I don’t know.”