Essence.com: Do you and Usher spend a lot of time together?
T.F.: Usher and I are friends. We are road dogs. We hang out like friends. We shop, laugh, work out, get mad in the middle of the day about what we want to eat, debate about what’s fattening in a smoothie and just do regular things.
Essence.com: How does Usher get along with your three sons?
T.F.: Usher loves my children. My ex-husband and I have joint custody. It’s a wonderful arrangement that allows me time to do things with Usher one-on-one and to spend time with the kids. I’m not looking for a father for my kids because they have one and they just happen to be lucky enough to have two strong men in their lives.
Essence.com: You’ve been labeled a “poor mom” because supposedly, you’re never with the kids. Your reaction?
T.F.: Do you think Usher would really be engaged to a woman who would leave her kids? My children are with us much more than people think. They’ve gone to the Bahamas with us and attended play-off games. I purposely keep my children out of view. I don’t want them scrutinized and talked about because that would be a problem. Everyone wants to know, “Where are her kids?” Out of these pictures, that’s where.
Essence.com: Shifting gears a bit, is it true that Usher’s mom fired you as his stylist and you in turn convinced Usher to fire her as his manager?
T.F.: I never worked for Usher’s mom; I worked for Usher. Now, I don’t know if she persuaded him to feel certain ways about me, but she never fired me.
Essence.com: So does that mean you and future mother-in-law have beef?
T.F.: No, we do not. Any mother with a son as successful as Usher is going to have raised eyebrows about any woman who comes around. I’d be the same way about any one of my sons. His mother and I have a great rapport. There are no hard feelings and I had nothing to do with his decision to no longer have his mother manage him.
Essence.com: So his mom didn’t get a restraining order against you?
T.F.: Never. Even she thought that was ridiculous. And for what? Like we’re going to fight or something? If she told me not to come around her, I simply wouldn’t.
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