Published Monday, 17 September 2012
The R&B superstar and his former partner Tameka Foster were embroiled in a fight over their two sons for more than three years until 24 August, when a judge awarded Usher primary care of Usher V, four, and Naviyd, three.
He broke his silence about the dispute in an episode of Oprah's Next Chapter, which aired on Sunday, telling host Oprah Winfrey: "This will be the only time that I've ever chosen to speak about it. I've been a man of integrity throughout the entire process, which I hope my boys will understand. That's the way to go. That's the way to be."
In the candid chat, Usher shot down Foster's allegations that he was an absentee father, insisting the claim hurt him because his own father was out of his life for 25 years.
He adds: "(I was) absentee from the aspect of having to go and work, that probably would be her version or idea what absentee would be. But no, I'm not an absentee father at all... I was born to do what I'm doing as a dad. I realised that once I had a child. When I had them, that's when they became a priority... Having not had a father (myself) wasn't a reason not to be a good father."
The Yeah! hitmaker reveals he and Foster, who wed in July 2007, tried to save their marriage by seeing a counselor, but they couldn't resolve their issues and he filed for divorce in June 2009 - and they still don't get along.
He explains: "We don't see eye-to-eye. The friend that I was to Tameka, I don't know that I could ever be again, because I really felt like we were friends. She made us enemies in a way that I could never understood (sic). It wasn't until I was on the stand, where I cried, when I realised, 'Oh, this is an attack.'"