- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2009

Usher wants divorce

R&B singer Usher filed for divorce Friday from Tameka Foster Raymond, less than two years after their glitzy wedding at a Georgia resort.

The 30-year-old Grammy-winning artist (real name Usher Raymond IV), filed the petition in Superior Court in Atlanta. Records posted to the court’s Web site did not give any details about the split between the couple.

About 200 people attended the August 2007 wedding between the two at resort built in the style of a 16th-century-style French chateau on 3,500 hilly acres outside Atlanta.

They have two young sons, Usher Raymond V, 1½ years old, and 6-month-old Naviyd Ely Raymond. His wife has three children from a previous marriage.

In a May 2008 interview with Associated Press, Usher addressed negative feedback from bloggers over his relationship with his wife, who is 8 years older and was once his stylist.

“People are so attracted to drama. … I decided to marry this woman, then I decide to be a father to my child,” he said. “It’s not like I got caught with a gram of coke in my car or speeding or was caught for murder, so why would I be ridiculed, that’s why I don’t understand.”

Driving Miss Meyer

The woman in the passenger seat the night Morgan Freeman crashed a car on a rural Mississippi highway was partly to blame for the accident, the actor’s attorney said Friday in court papers.

Demaris Meyer is suing the 71-year-old actor in U.S. District Court in Oxford, Miss., claiming that the Oscar-winning star was negligent when the car he was driving ran off the side of a road in the Mississippi Delta and flipped several times.

Miss Meyer and Mr. Freeman were seriously injured in the August crash on a two-lane highway about five miles west of Mr. Freeman’s home in Charleston.

Miss Meyer, who lives in Memphis, Tenn., sued Mr. Freeman in February for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent disability and property damage. The lawsuit claims Mr. Freeman was drinking that night, although it stops short of saying he was intoxicated. No charges were filed.

Mr. Freeman’s attorney, Jack H. Hayes Jr., responded to the lawsuit Friday in a four-page court document denying almost all the allegations or saying Mr. Freeman doesn’t know enough about them to form an opinion.

Mr. Freeman admitted driving the car and that it left the road and “sustained significant damages.” The filing said he “would show [Miss Meyer] is comparatively negligent,” although it did not describe what that means.

Mr. Hayes would not elaborate. “It’s just a car wreck case and that’s it,” he said.

She’s the man

Chastity Bono is having a sex change to become a man.

A spokesman for Miss Bono, born a girl to Sonny and Cher, says his client “has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity” and began the sex-change process earlier this year.

Publicist Howard Bragman said that his client hopes “that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue.”

Miss Bono, the 40-year-old writer, activist and reality-TV star came out as a lesbian 20 years ago, Mr. Bragman said.

In the book “Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming-Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families,” Miss Bono describes the realization of being “somehow different — specifically different from who my mom expected me to be.”

Compiled by Richard Slusser and Robyn-Denise Yourse from wire and Web reports

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