TLC’s Chilli shares how she ‘got over’ former beau Usher despite incredible ‘chemistry’
TLC member Chilli looks back at the ups and downs of her on-again, off-again relationship with Usher in a new interview.
The 52-year-old singer (born Rozonda Thomas) spoke to People about how she and 44-year-old Usher — who reportedly emerged with a bloody nose after a confrontation with Chris Brown last month — had “chemistry,” even though she kept coming back to him long after being healthy.
She described how she managed to get the Yeah! singer by completely banishing him from her life as a defense mechanism.
However, since breaking down a new path, she has since launched a new romance with the actor Matthew Lawrence, 43.
“We definitely had some chemistry,” Chilli admitted as she reflected on her relationship with Usher.
Moving on: Chilli, 52, told People that she and Usher dated off and on for years after their official split in 2004, though she eventually grew tired of their different values; seen together in 2002
However, she noted that “working chemistry” doesn’t necessarily translate well to one’s personal life.
“When we were working, it was great. But beyond that, we’re so different,” she said of herself and her fellow singer.
Complicating the situation was how much their fans wanted the two to be a happy couple.
However, she claimed that Usher just couldn’t meet her demands, which she was coy about.
‘[The relationship] looked great but in real life… he knew he had to treat me a certain way and he couldn’t,” she said.
She said it was issues 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 hit album Confessions was inspired by their breakup.
“I was in the studio with him the whole time,” she said, and sessions for the album began in 2003, when they were still together.
But even after they broke up in 2004, the two of them still got together occasionally over the years.
Doesn’t calculate: Chilli said she and Usher had great “working chemistry,” but things weren’t quite as solid when it came to their personal lives; seen in April in NYC
Incompatible: ‘When we were working, it was great. But we’re so different out there,” she said, pointing out that they had different values and trust issues; Usher seen in LA in 2002
Ending it: Chilli revealed that she seemingly cut off contact with Usher for good in 2019 as a way to move on with her romantic life; seen May 6 in Las Vegas
“I like hard,” Chilli said, explaining why she couldn’t let go. “I was like, ‘God, why can’t I get over this?’
“He couldn’t do it either,” she added.
But by 2019, she drew strength from her Christian faith and decided to end communication with Usher, seemingly for good.
Instead, she wanted to try “focus.”[ing] about myself.’
“I even stopped dating,” she explained. “Because before that, I thought if I met the right guy at that time, it wasn’t over [Usher] it wouldn’t work. I would never want to be astride the fence.’
While she doesn’t seem interested in talking to Usher, she made it clear 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 great love, Boy Meets World actor Matthew Lawrence.
“I’ve never experienced anything like it,” she said of their ongoing romance.
“He wants to be the best man he can be and who God wants him to be,” she gushed about Matthew. “God willing, we’ll get married someday.”
Getting serious: Since moving on, Chilli fell in love with Matthew Lawrence late last year. After seemingly showing an interest in having children, she said in March that they should get married first; seen in March in LA
Matthew and Chilli were an item for the first time in January, and TMZ reported that the two got serious around Thanksgiving of 2022, which was also the year he finalized his divorce from Dancing With The Stars’ Cheryl Burke after three years of marriage.
Things have since gotten serious between the couple and he appeared to say he wanted to have kids with the TLC veteran in the future in an interview with ET.
Although Chilli claimed on the Ryan Cameron Uncensored radio show in March that his friend’s comments were misleadingly edited, she didn’t rule out the possibility of children, although she did have one important condition.
“I must be married … and I’m not married yet,” she said.