Source: Getty Images

What Herpes Scandal? Usher Shakes off Past Controversy With New Relationship



It’s been a year-and-a-half since Usher announced his separation from second wife Grace Miguel, and it appears the father of two is finally moving on after officially filing for divorce in December. Here’s what we know about his blossoming relationship.

Who is Usher’s new girlfriend?

According to multiple reports, the 41-year-old is currently dating music industry executive Jennifer Goicoechea. She is the director of the rhythm and soul department at ASCAP, a non-profit performance-rights organization that works to protect its members’ musical copyrights.

On Jennifer's LinkedIn page, it says that she is "responsible for discovering and fostering Urban (Hip-Hop/R&B) songwriters, composers, and music publishers."

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Rumors about the brunette beauty and the "Yeah!" singer began circulating in June after they were spotted together at a birthday party for record producer Keith Thomas. But a picture posted to Instagram on Oct. 9 showing Jennifer kissing Usher’s cheek seems to have cemented their romance.

Photographer Jennifer Johnson, who caught the intimate moment between the duo, captioned the shot, "'Cause she's such a good kisser! Caught a rare moment with [Usher] backstage the other day. I stay catching moments like these boys be catching feelings!" Here’s hoping that’s the only thing he’s catching…

Is Usher’s herpes scandal behind him?

In July 2017, court records pertaining to a 2012 lawsuit filed against the dancer leaked online alleging that he had infected a sexual partner with the herpes virus. The documents state that Usher convinced the unidentified woman to engage in unprotected sex after claiming that an STD examination result came back negative. 

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He reportedly settled for $1.1 million, but the revelation spawned additional lawsuits. Accuser Laura Helm, who claimed to have had intercourse with Usher in April 2017, sought $10 million in damages, saying she wouldn’t have slept with the star if she knew he was a carrier of the herpes virus. She later upped the number to $20 million.

TMZ reported in May 2019 that the lawsuit had been dismissed by Helm after the two parties reached an "amicable resolution." Details of a possible settlement have not been revealed.

The STD saga took place just seven months before Usher and Grace confirmed their split, though neither ever implied that the court cases factored into their divorce. "After much thought and consideration, we have mutually decided to separate as a couple," the pair said at the time.

"We remain deeply connected, loving friends who will continue supporting each other through the next phases of our lives. The enormous amount of love and respect that we have for each other will only increase as we move forward."

Source: Getty Images

The duo tied the knot in September 2015 after six years of dating. Their relationship began shortly after Usher’s marriage to Tameka Foster ended in 2009. The Grammy winner has two sons, Usher "Cinco" Raymond V and Naviyd Ely Raymond, with his first wife.

"They make me want to get up and live, you know," Usher said of his kids in a 2010 VH1 documentary. "I have a purpose that is greater than just, you know, amassing wealth and being recognized."

All we want is for our early ‘00s crush to be happy!

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