R&B singer Usher wins custody fight for sons
FILE - In this May 22, 2012 file photo, hip-hop artist Usher Raymond takes the witness stand in court in a legal battle with his ex-wife in a custody fight involving their two sons, in Atlanta. Fulton County Court Clerk’s office spokeswoman Cherrise Boone says a judge ruled Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 that the 33-year-old singer will have primary physical custody of Usher Raymond V and Naviyd Ely Raymond. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
ATLANTA (AP) — Grammy-winning R&B singer Usher was awarded custody on Friday of his two sons, ending a long legal fight with his ex-wife.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane ruled that the 33-year-old singer will have primary custody of Usher Raymond V and Naviyd Ely Raymond, according to court clerk's office spokeswoman Cherrise Boone. His custody will start Sept. 1.
Boone said Usher and his ex-wife Tameka Foster Raymond will have joint legal custody.
Usher's lawyer, Ivory Brown, did not immediately return a call on Friday. Lisa West, a lawyer for Tameka Raymond, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
Usher, whose real name is Usher Raymond IV, married Tameka Raymond in 2007. They divorced two years later. He said the couple had been separated since July 2008 and claimed there was "no reasonable hope of reconciliation" and the marriage was "irretrievably broken."
In May, Usher testified that Tameka Raymond spit at and tried to fight his girlfriend during one visit and that his ex-wife hit him during the dispute. He said he didn't press charges because: "I didn't want the boys to know that their father put their mother in jail."
Tameka Raymond's attorney claimed that Usher provoked her client and that his account is exaggerated.
The custody decision comes after Tameka Raymond's 11-year-old son Kile Glover died last month after he was critically injured in a boating accident. The boy was run over July 6 by a personal watercraft on Lake Lanier, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Lake Lanier is about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta.