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Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas Didn’t Marry Usher Out of Fear They Would Have ‘Ended Up Divorced’ (Exclusive)

Chili Never Married Usher Because She Was Scared They Would Have Ended Up Divorced 101
Chili, Usher. Getty Images (2)

Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas knew that her romance with Usher wasn’t built for the long haul.

While Usher recently admitted he was heartbroken when the TLC singer, 53, turned down his proposal in the early ‘00s, a source exclusively tells Us Weekly that fans have no idea what actually went down between the pair during their romance.

“So many people were upset with Chilli when Usher shared that she turned down his proposal but they don’t know the full story,” the insider explains. “She obviously loved him — the entire world knows that — but she has always been convinced that marriage was sacred and she didn’t want to end up divorced.”

The source notes that Chilli “knew” the relationship would’ve “ended up in divorce” with the “way it was at that time,” and for the “Waterfalls” musician, “That would’ve been an even greater heartbreak.”

Usher and Ex-Girlfriend Chilli’s Relationship Timeline

Related: Usher and Chilli's Relationship Timeline

Chilli and Usher, 45, originally met in 1993 but didn’t start dating until nearly a decade later. After getting together in 2001, the pair were together for three years before calling it quits in 2004.

Earlier this year, Usher revealed that he wanted to take the relationship to the next level, but Chilli ultimately rejected the proposal. “I wanted to marry her. I proposed and she told me no. I went through a great deal of pain after that, not trusting women or wanting to open up,” he told People in February, noting that the situation “broke my heart.”

Following their breakup, Usher went on to release the album Confessions, which left many speculating that the themes of cheating were in relation to mistakes he made in with Chilli. Songwriter Jermaine Dupre fueled rumours further when he discussed how Usher’s personal life was the true inspiration for the songs.

Chilli, however, clarified that that the record was not inspired by the duo’s romance — and that they were still together while it was being recorded.

Chili Never Married Usher Because She Was Scared They Would Have ‘Ended Up Divorced’ 102

“All of those songs on Confessions, that was about Jermaine Dupri’s situation,” she exclusively told Us in 2013. “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.”

She continued, “So people assumed that album was about us, but it was not. And Usher and I weren’t oil and water. We broke up because I guess it was that time or whatever. He was that real love for me.”

Chilli later admitted that despite calling it quits, she and the “Yeah” singer stayed in touch over the years before she cut off all contact in 2019 to “focus on herself.”

“I even stopped dating. Because before that I thought if I met the right guy during that time that I wasn’t over [Usher] it wouldn’t work,” she recalled to People in June 2023. “I would never want to straddle the fence.”

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Both Usher and Chilli have since moved on. Usher tied the knot with Tameka Foster in 2007 and the duo welcomed two kids together before their 2009 split. He also was married to Grace Miguel from 2015 to 2018 before he began dating Jenn Goicoechea. The pair expanded their family with two kids born in 2020 and 2021.

Chilli, for her part, found love with Matthew Lawrence in November 2022. When asked in May 2023 if she has found her “forever partner” in the Boy Meets World alum, the singer told Us, “For sure.”

Lawrence also gets along with her son, Tron, 25, whom she shares with ex Dallas Austin, which is an added bonus. “Everybody gets along,” she said. “My son approves. I mean, it’s all great.”

With reporting by Sarah Jones

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