TLC's Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas has a confession to make: The girl group singer's two-year relationship with Usher was not, in fact, the inspiration for his 2004 hit album Confessions.
"We were together when he recorded that album," Thomas clarified in an exclusive interview with Us Weekly. "All of those songs on Confessions, that was about Jermaine Dupri's situation. Usher was just singing it. But people kind of bought into it, it was just the timing of our breakup when the album came out."
"So people assumed that album was about us, but it was not," she continued. "And Usher and I weren't oil and water. We broke up because I guess it was that time or whatever," she added wistfully: "he was that real love for me."
Thomas, who, together with Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, formed 90s mega girl group TLC, even admitted that she will "always love" Usher, despite the fact that the pair called it quits on their relationship in 2003.
"In any relationship, even when it came to my relationship with Usher, when it was time to make a move, I had to do that," she said. "I don't care how much my heart was hurting, sometimes you're just supposed to be with people for a reason and it's not always a lifetime. Even if you want it to be, it just doesn't work out that way."
"But I'll always love him, forever, because he was my first adult love, a real love," she added. "But we're cool, we're really cool. There's no hard feelings, nothing like that. It's all good."
After the pair split, Usher went on to date and eventually marry stylist Tameka Foster in August 2007. The "OMG" crooner filed for divorce in 2009; the couple have two sons together -- Usher V, 5, and Naviyd, 4.
In recent years, the former couple has duked it out in an ugly court custody battle, but it's not something that Thomas can sympathize with.
"I didn't have anything to do with it and I was very far away from it," she told Us. "I wasn't a part of any of that kind of stuff. Our relationship was never like that. That's his story."
Both Thomas and Watkins are producers on VH1's upcoming biopic, Crazy, Sexy Cool: The TLC Story, which will air on Sunday, Oct. 20, and stars rapper Lil Mama, Akeela & the Bee star KeKe Palmer, and The Game actress Drew Sidora.