Tameka Foster takes on the Queen of All Media.
Radio Talk: "Wendy Williams is obsessed with me."
Essence.com: You aren't just talked about in cyberspace; you're being shouted out on the airwaves as well, especially by shock jock Wendy Williams.
Tameka Foster: Wendy Williams is obsessed with me. I think that is so sexy to have someone talk about me every day, especially when I don't have a CD, demo or TV pilot. I'm just a stylist and designer and if I can be mentioned in the same breath as Diddy, then I must be doing something right. I think she loves me more than she lets on. I need to make her a part of my marketing team.
Essence.com: Has she ever met you?
T.F.: Yes, I appeared on her show a couple of years ago after meeting her at a fashion party for Rocawear at the Hotel Gansevoort in Manhattan. She invited me to come on her show and talk about my clients. I knew she'd ask me some personal things. When I showed up she jumped right into asking me questions about Usher and his mom and whether or not he is rude to her and if they get along. I didn't go there for that. So her version is that I was drunk when she met me but I never had one drink. She also claims I came to her show to air dirty laundry on Usher and got cold feet. But the truth is she was mad because I wouldn't dish on anybody.
Tameka Foster talks about her fantasy wedding and walking down the aisle as Mrs. Usher Raymond.
Love Jones: "I have a good man in every sense of the word."
Essence.com: When did you know that Usher was The One?
Tameka Foster: I knew he was the man for me when I told him personal things about me and he didn't flinch. I never felt like he judged me. Instead, he just accepted me for who I am. I am 36 with three children so I don't have the body of a 21-year-old. I have flaws, I have an attitude problem, I never make flights and the list goes on. Overall, I have issues that a person could either love or hate, but he accepted me completely. And every day he still treats me like we just met. He opens my car door, calls me to ask if I need anything. He gives a 100 percent and doesn't waver on consistency.
Essence.com: Aww, Black love. So why do you think people still believe your relationship is a publicity stunt?
T.F.: That's so foolish. Usher doesn't have to date any woman to sell albums. He has one of the best voices and can outperform almost anyone. He naturally garners attention wherever he goes. The fact is he has many options and could have chosen to be with anyone, including a Hollywood actress that the press would have loved to write about daily.
Essence.com: I hear you have a 10 carat ring.
T.F.: Actually, it's bigger. It's 11.5 carats Asscher cut. A man is not going to go out and buy 11-plus carats to be playing games. If that were the case, he could have just said he was engaged rather than go through the motions.
Essence.com: Whoa! I guess Plymouth Rock didn't land on us, it landed on your hand!
T.F.: [Laughs] Yeah, it's pretty serious. I don't wear it everywhere. It's just a great reminder of our promise, but I would be happy to be engaged with nothing because he's a bigger jewel than any ring.
Essence.com: I'm sure his proposal was equally as fabulous!
T.F.: It's a long story, but it was a beautiful proposal. We were in a studio with a mutual friend of ours, Robin Thicke, who serenaded me while he played the piano. He was playing the piano and singing "The Stupid Things" from his first album.
Essence.com: Did you have any idea Usher would get down on bended knee?
T.F.: No, I was shocked! He made a statement and Robin began singing the song and it was just beautiful. You know, I have a very good man, in every sense of the word and not because of his celebrity, but because he treats me like a woman.
Essence.com: When is the wedding?
T.F.: I'd like to get married sooner, but I'm engaged to a really busy guy. He has a lot of things on his plate. He owns sports teams, restaurants and has an album coming out at the end of this year that he has to promote. I just want to make sure he has time to be at his own wedding. I haven't set a date, time, place or decided how many guests we'll have. I'm not worried about what I'm going to wear because that's the furthest thing from my mind. I might even hire a stylist to help me shop. But it's all okay because it's like we're already married. We are happy with each other and clear about where we are.
Essence.com: Would you elope?
T.F.: Mmmm. I've considered that as well with all the press, but I doubt it. I think our close friends would be offended if we did.
Essence.com: What do you say to those who question the sincerity of your relationship?
T.F.: Tell them to keep watching. Usher has done a major coming-of-age. So if he's doing anything that doesn't fit the cookie-cutter image people expect from him, then they have something negative to say. If I'm not the right person for him, let time tell. I don't know that we'll be together until we die, but we're happy now and we ain't bothering nobody.
Credit: Derek Blanks/dblanks.com
Up close and personal.