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Usher's ex granted emergency custody hearing

2013-08-08 08:08
Atlanta - A judge has scheduled an emergency custody hearing requested by Usher's ex-wife after one of the pair's sons got stuck in a pool drain at the singer's home.

A lawyer for Tameka Foster Raymond filed the request in Fulton County Superior Court on Tuesday and Judge John J Goger approved it the same day, scheduling a hearing for Friday. The court filing says the 5-year-old boy "suffered a near-death accident" while left unsupervised in a pool at the Grammy winner's home on Monday.

Tameka Raymond is seeking temporary primary custody of the former couple's two children, as well as temporary final decision-making authority regarding their education, health care, religion and extracurricular activities.

A lawyer who has previously represented Usher in the custody dispute did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment, and her office said she was scheduled to be in court all week.

'They are true heroes'

Atlanta police have said Usher Raymond V fell to the bottom of the pool and became stuck in the drain on Monday. A housekeeper tried unsuccessfully to free him. A contractor doing work at the home pulled the boy from the pool and performed CPR.

The boy was "conscious, alert and breathing" when emergency medical workers arrived, police said. The boy was in the intensive-care unit of a hospital being treated for his injuries, Tameka Raymond's court filing says.

In a statement on Wednesday night, Usher said he's "blessed and fortunate" that his son is recovering.

"I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers, love and support for my family's well-being. I would like to thank my Aunt Rena as well as the doctors and nurses who are working with us around the clock," he said in a statement issued through a spokesperson.

"I would especially like to thank the two men who saved my son's life, Eugene Stachurski and Ben Crews. They are true heroes and I am deeply grateful to them."

Issues affecting the children

Usher Raymond V is one of two sons of Usher and Tameka Raymond, who divorced two years after getting married in 2007. The singer went through a long legal fight with his ex-wife and was awarded primary custody of his two sons last year.

Tameka Raymond said in a sworn statement attached to the court filing that Usher has failed to discuss issues affecting the children with her and leaves the children with caregivers when he travels around the world for work rather than parenting them himself.

It isn't in the best interests of the children to be left in the care of third-party caregivers, and Tameka Raymond is capable of caring for the children, the statement says. The children have said they'd rather be with her than with caregivers, the statement says.

The alleged near drowning of the singer's son comes nearly a year after Tameka Raymond's 11-year-old son, Kile Glover, died after being critically injured in a boating accident. The boy, who was the stepson of Usher, was run over by a personal watercraft on Lake Lanier northeast of Atlanta.

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