TLC member Chilli is looking back on the ups and downs of her on and off relationship with Usher in a new interview.
The 52-year-old singer (born Rozonda Thomas) spoke to People about how she and the 44-year-old Usher — who allegedly emerged with a bloodied nose after a confrontation with Chris Brown last month — had ‘chemistry,’ even though it kept her coming back to him long after it was healthy.
She described how she managed to ‘get over’ the Yeah! singer by cutting him out of her life completely as a defense mechanism.
However, since setting off on a new path, she has since launched a new romance with the actor Matthew Lawrence, 43.
‘We definitely had some chemistry,’ Chilli admitted while looking back at her relationship with Usher.
Moving on: Chilli, 52, shared to People that she and Usher dated on and off for years after their official 2004 split, though she eventually tired of their differing values; seen together in 2002
However, she noted that ‘working chemistry’ doesn’t necessarily translate well to one’s personal life.
‘If we were working, it was great. But outside of that, we’re so different,’ she said of herself and her fellow singer.
Complicating the situation further was how much their fans wanted to see the two be a happy couple.
However, she claimed Usher simply couldn’t live up to her requirements, which she was coy about.
‘[The relationship] looked great, but in real life … he knew he had to be a certain way with me and he couldn’t,’ she said.
She said it was questions of differing values and a lack of trust that helped crater the relationship, which initially lasted from 2001 to 2004, though she also denied rumors that his 2004 smash hit album Confessions had been inspired by their breakup.
‘I was with him at the studio that whole time,’ she said, and sessions for the album began in 2003, when they were still together.
But even after they ended things in 2004, he two still reunited from time to time over the years.
Does not compute: Chilli said she and Usher had great ‘working chemistry,’ but things weren’t as solid when it came to their personal lives; seen in April in NYC
Incompatible: ‘If we were working, it was great. But outside of that, we’re so different,’ she said, noting they had different values and trust issues; Usher seen in 2002 in LA
Putting a stop to it: Chilli revealed that she cut off contact with Usher, seemingly for good, in 2019 as a way to move on with her romantic life; seen May 6 in Las Vegas
‘I love hard,’ Chilli said as an explanation for why she couldn’t let go. ‘I was like, “God, why can’t I get over this?”
‘He couldn’t either,’ she added.
But by 2019, she took strength from her Christian faith and decided to end communications with Usher, seemingly for good.
Instead, she wanted to try ‘focus[ing] on myself.’
‘I even stopped dating,’ she explained. ‘Because before that I thought if I met the right guy during that time that I wasn’t over [Usher] it wouldn’t work. I would never want to straddle the fence.’
Although she doesn’t seem to seem to have any interest in talking to Usher, she made clear that she has ‘no hard feelings’ for the R&B superstar.
But the lessons she learned from that failed relationship were invaluable when it came to her next big love, Boy Meets World actor Matthew Lawrence.
‘I have never experienced anything like this,’ she said of their ongoing romance.
‘He wants to be the best guy he can be and who God wants him to be,’ she gushed about Matthew. ‘God willing, one day we’ll get married.’
Getting serious: Since moving on, Chilli fell in love with Matthew Lawrence late last year. After he seemingly expressed an interest in having kids, she said in March that they would need to be married first; seen in March in LA
Matthew and Chilli were first reported to be an item in January, and TMZ reported that the two had gotten serious around Thanksgiving of 2022, which was also the year that he finalized his divorce from Dancing With The Stars’ Cheryl Burke after three years of marriage.
Since then, things have gotten serious between the couple, and he appeared to say that he wanted to have children with the TLC veteran in the future in an interview with ET.
Although Chilli claimed in March on the Ryan Cameron Uncensored radio show that he boyfriend’s comments were misleadingly edited, she didn’t rule out the possibility of children, though she did have a major precondition.
‘I gotta be married for sure … and I’m not married, yet,’ she said.