- (Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)
Usher, 33-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer, broke down on the stand during the custody hearing for his children after ex-wife Tameka Foster's lawyers accused him of using drugs and making partying a priority over parenting.
Usher dabbed at his eyes with tissues while taking the stand in an attempt to get sole custody of his two sons Usher Raymond V, 4, and Naviyd Ely Raymond, over 40-year-old Foster, who he separated from in 2009 after two years of marriage. The singer reportedly filed to obtain custody in January, after the mother of his children refused to let them travel on a world tour with him.
The singer broke down in the Atlanta courtroom on Tuesday after Foster's attorney presented images of him partying in Europe in February.
"I was in Holland when these pictures were taken," Usher told the lawyer, before being reprimanded for interrupting the proceedings.
Still, the singer was questioned about his alleged drug use and admitted to smoking marijuana in the past. When questioned about partaking in ecstasy use, Usher's lawyer objected.
While the singer did not deny the ecstasy use according to TMZ reports, he said that he had not used any drugs while in front of his children. However, he did not confirm or deny whether his children were in his custody while he was under the influence.
Usher first denied accusations of drug use in November after Foster filed a request for him to submit to drug testing after she reportedly found pills in a jacket pocket in 2008. Foster also claimed that the singer was inebriated at one of his concerts in Germany, according to a New York Post report.
In November, Usher called Foster's allegations "frivolous and unfounded." While in court on Monday, the singer shed light on his ex-wife's alleged violence toward his current girlfriend, manager and stylist, Grace Miguel.
Foster, Usher's former stylist, reportedly attempted to attack Miguel when the singer was attempting to drop off one of their sons with her in the car.
"Of course, I tried my hardest to prevent the situation from escalating … but (Foster) continued to swing, spit, at this point she had pulled the door open and began to pull Ms. Miguel," Usher testified. "We exchanged words. I just told her this was no way to act."
In an ABC News report, Foster said Usher was rarely available and that it was embarrassing that the only time he came around was with his girlfriend.
"If he's gone for months at a time and comes back traipsing in with his girlfriend, it was embarrassing," said Foster, who also alleges that the singer cut off her Saks Fifth Avenue credit card and failed to pay $34,000 to the children's nannies.
The custody trial between Usher and Foster was scheduled to continue on Tuesday in Atlanta.