Tameka Raymond has had more than enough of her fair share of hard times. She went through a high-profile divorce with beloved R&B star Usher Raymond, lost her son Kile Glover in a tragic jet-ski accident and almost faced the same heartbreak with her son Cinco. Tameka has been dragged through the mud by the media but through all of the tumultuous reports, she has remained strong and optimistic. How so? Tameka finds inspiration in the Kile’s World Foundation and caring for the rest of her children who take after their superstar father. We gabbed with the woman begind the myths and she opened up about how she is perceived by in public eye and life after Usher.
HelloBeautiful: How do you deal with all of the negative press?
Tameka Raymond: It’s a game of numbers and someone has to be the underdog. Obviously, my ex-husband has a lot of fans in the media and in the public, you know, just in general and a lot of the media favor him naturally because he’s grown up in that limelight and public eye and I understand. I guess for me now, it rolls off my back. Whereas, when I initially started dating him and we were engaged, it bothered me more because I just couldn’t understand like, ‘Why are they talking about me? What did I do?’
HelloBeautiful: It seemed like everything you did made headlines…
TR: Everything and the other thing is that I was pregnant for basically my entire marriage, the whole two years so when people would see pictures of me, they would always be like, ‘Oh, she’s fat, or look at her face, she looks like this, she looks like that’ and I was usually concealing a big belly.
HB: What message do you want people to know about that you feel was lost in that whole media frenzy?
TR: I think that the world and the media forgot that I was a professional, working, independent woman when we [Usher] met and that I have the ability to stand on my own two feet. I’m not defined by any partner or marriage or anything else and I hate that they never really gave me a chance or got to know me for me outside of what they assumed they knew. It’s funny, I looked at my Wikipedia yesterday. Mind you, I didn’t create it nor did I know I had one, but I googled it and it says I’m an American hairstylist, I was like, I am?
HB: Do you Google yourself?
TR: I don’t Google myself, but yesterday I was looking up a song my friend was playing and we were trying to figure out who produced it. So I Googled it and it was one of my ex-husband’s songs. We were listening to ‘Lifetime’ that he had on that album “Here I Stand,” it hyperlinked [my name] to the album and I laughed and I said, ‘Oh, look at this.’ They were talking about the album and it was about me and yada, yada…
HB: You did compliment Usher’s Men’s Health shoot recently…
TR: Yeah, it was wonderful, it was great.
HB: Does this mean you guys are friends?
TR: “Friends” is a strong word. But he and I are definitely cordial. We have children. I’m definitely supportive of the things he’s doing with his career, ya know. When he does good and I compliment it, it’s no different from me giving Morris Chestnut the same compliment two days ago [in “The Best Man”], you know what I mean? It was never like, ‘Oh, I wanna be with him’ or ‘He’s a great man.’ It was just an acknowledgment.
HB: The media jumped all over it. What do you have to say to that to put all of that to rest?
TR: It was just a compliment and if I can’t state the truth that he looked great in a picture, then who can? I think I’ve earned at least that. I think I’ve earned the right to say that he looked good in a picture and that was all it was. People really took it out of context and I was being silly, I was using like an East Coast accent…I’m a joker. A lot of what I say, you have to understand my humor in order to even get it. I think when people get to see a little more of it, they’ll be like, ‘Ok, she’s just crazy.’ Crazy in the funny kind of way, not crazy in the mental way.
HB: Yeah, in recent times, the media has portrayed you as that crazy
TR: Of course. Whenever, you break up with someone, the first reason why you broke up is because ‘Aww, man, she’s crazy.’ The first description is that, and I’m not saying that he gave me that description, but I’m just saying that’s the first thing that people will say. ‘You know, they broke up ‘cause she crazy right.’ [The woman] is always crazy too. We’re never anything else, we couldn’t just be smelly or it didn’t work out or didn’t want to be cheated on, or…it couldn’t be anything logical. It has to be that ‘She’s crazy.’ That’s all.
HB: How do the boys take after their father?
TR: Navid has a great voice, he’s a little singer. Little Usher is very athletic after his dad in that regard because, I think to be a great dancer, you have a lot of athleticism that goes with it. Number one, you must have great coordination and agility and stuff like that and my son, Little Usher, is very, very strong and very agile, so yeah. He’s very athletic.
HB: Do you have a new man insight?
TR: Oh yeah, I’m having a great time. I’m having a great time, that’s all I’m gonna say.
HB: Does anyone ever get intimidated to date you?
TR: I think so. I think it’s probably a little unnerving, ya know. I always get the, ‘I can’t dance, but..’ I didn’t ask if you can dance. I like being single, it’s been kind of awesome.
HB: Porsha Stewart decided to keep Kordell Stewart’s last name after their divorce. Why do you think you decided to keep Usher’s last name?
TR: Well, I decided to keep my two small children’s name more than his name. My kids love to say, we all have the same last name. They think that’s really cute. Before I remarried, I had my first husband’s last name, so you know, it’s not like I’m just keeping it, it’s because of who my ex is. It’s not uncommon for a woman to keep the name and honestly speaking, to go with the simplicity of it all. It’s easier, when I tell you, making an appointment at the passport office and having to change all that stuff and call five different companies and go to the bank and do all those changes. That’s not a simple task. That may be Porsha’s reason.
HB: When is the reality show kicking off?
TR: Nothing’s confirmed yet, yeah, so that’s what I’m saying. You’ll be the first to know. We’re slated to do something next year, so in the next three or four months, we should know a little bit more.