Odd things about Mariah Carey’s relationships
Mariah Carey is a special snowflake in most areas of her life. She’s the queen of Christmas, has a reputation for being a diva, and is generally considered eccentric, which extends into her romantic life as well. Though her demands from now-ex-fiancé James Packer have made headlines, Carey’s love life has never exactly been normal. Here are the oddities that we know about.
Her first husband was allegedly hyper-controlling
A Vanity Fair profile of Tommy Mottola and his marriage to Carey was harrowing. Mottola was Carey’s record company boss at Sony Music. He was also more than 20 years her senior and married with kids when they met. Sources told Vanity Fair the industry executive often engaged in locker room talk with other record label staff about his intimacies with Carey, who was just 18 years old when they allegedly hooked up.
After Carey and Mottola married, he allegedly kept her cloistered in their mansion with security guards 24/7, even when the songbird went to the bathroom. She had to get his permission to leave the property, and even then she’d have to be shadowed by a “chase car.” (She later reportedly refered to the home as “Sing Sing.”) Vanity Fair also claimed Mottola told Carey when to sit and stand, including at the Grammy Awards.
Mottola has denied any wrongdoing, but he did admit in his memoir (via Billboard) that it was “absolutely wrong and inappropriate” to become romantically involved with Carey, adding that he is “truly sorry for any discomfort or pain that all of my good intentions inevitably caused her, and most of all for the scars it left on my two oldest children.”
Mottola may have tried to sabotage her career after they divorced
Carey and Jennifer Lopez had a longstanding, seemingly one-sided feud that made headlines when Carey infamously quipped, “I don’t know her” when asked about J. Lo. Rumor has it, Mottola played a big role in that beef.
Record producer Irv Gotti explained to XXL magazine (via Fox News) that Mottola attempted to sabotage Carey’s Glitter album by pilfering a sample and a song style she intended to use on the record to Lopez. “Ja [Rule] wrote a song with him and Mariah singing back and forth on the title track,” Gotti said. “I get a call from Tommy Mottola, who I have a great relationship with, and he’s like, ‘I need you to do me a favor. I want you to do this remix for Jennifer Lopez. I want you to put Ja on the record.’ Immediately I knew what he was doing because we just finished the Mariah record.”
The song was reportedly “Loverboy,” for which Carey supposedly chose a sample of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Firecracker.” The song was reportedly included in viewings of the 2001 movie Glitter, which also starred Carey. A source told Fox News that Mottola was “surreptitiously viewing footage of Glitter while his ex-wife was shooting it.” Gotti alleged Mottola heard the song, knew Glitter was months away from completion, and passed along the idea to Lopez for her song “I’m Real.”
“Mariah was so paranoid about the music getting out that we had another singer sing the temporary versions,” the insider told Fox News. “When Jennifer Lopez’s record came out, and had the exact same song, we knew she had a right to be paranoid. We couldn’t believe it.”
Additionally, the music publisher of “Firecracker” told Fox News, “Mariah Carey called us to license a sample from ‘Firecracker’ first. Then, within a month, Jennifer Lopez also called for it.”
Mottola denied all of those claims.
She hid her relationship with Derek Jeter
Carey reportedly met New York Yankees baseball star Derek Jeter when she was still legally married to Mottola in 1996. The shortstop and the singer reportedly kept their relationship very quiet, only confirming they’d dated after they split in 1998, well after her divorce from Mottola in 1997. Carey’s rep explained to Entertainment Weekly, “The media pressure became too much for them.”
Her relationship with Luis Miguel may have triggered her breakdown
Many people didn’t even know Carey dated singer Luis Miguel for nearly three years. The duo flew far under the media’s radar and were reportedly very on-again, off-again. Miguel supposedly inspired much of her 1999 album, Rainbow, and the Daily Mail called him her first truly serious relationship following her divorce from Mottola.
In 2001, when Carey had her infamous “emotional and physical breakdown,” the Daily Mail suggested it may have been during one of her rough patches with Miguel. During the meltdown, Carey’s mother called 911 seeking medical help for injuries her daughter allegedly sustained smashing glasses and dishes during her rage. While the singer was hospitalized to reportedly receive physical and psychiatric treatment, Carey’s own publicist claimed Miguel did not visit her.
She refused to acknowledge Eminem
Carey may or may not have moved on with rapper Eminem, depending on which party you ask. Complex reported that Carey and Eminem met up in 2001 to discuss a collaboration for her Charmbracelet album, which ultimately did not make the cut. In 2002, Eminem mentioned Carey twice on The Eminem Show, though neither name-drop was particularly scathing (for him, anyway). In a 2002 Rolling Stone cover story, Eminem confirmed a dalliance had happened, but added, “I’m not really feeling it. I just don’t like her as a person.”
Carey admitted that she and Em hung out, but denied anything romantic. “Yeah, it happened. Did I have a sexual relationship with him? No, I didn’t,” she told Maxim (via TheMariahNetwork.com). “I knew him, I hung out with him a few times, but nothing sexual occurred. And that’s why I was so upset about the whole thing, because I was like, ‘Look, if I had an intimate relationship with the person, that would be one thing, but…’ Maybe he thought because nothing happened he’d look bad or something.”
Of course, neither party stopped there. Carey shaded him on her tour in 2003 when a marionette in a bleach-blond wig and a Detroit Pistons jersey came out during her performances of “Clown,” and Eminem played voicemail messages allegedly from Carey during his 2005 tour. Carey’s camp said the messages were not from Carey. Em used Carey’s name yet again in a few very vulgar lines in his track “Jimmy Crack Corn” in 2006, and later that year, he told Shade 45 they “did have a relationship for about a good six, seven months” and said that “the fact that she denied [they] ever had something” bothered him.
Just when everyone thought it was over, Eminem released “Bagpipes from Baghdad” in 2009, calling Carey another slew of sexist names and attacking her then-husband Nick Cannon. Cannon responded on his blog (via People), and Carey responded by mocking Eminem in her “Obsessed” video. Finally, Eminem dropped “The Warning” in 2010, which goes into graphic detail about yet another encounter that Carey insists didn’t happen. She shaded him on Watch What Happens Live in 2014…and hopefully that’s the end of all of this, because it’s exhausting.
She had a top-secret romance with a producer
Carey reportedly dated record producer Mark Sudack, who worked on her E=MC2 album, from 2004 to early 2008, but next to no one knew about it until they split…and she met Nick Cannon. “Everyone is scared to call him because no one knows what to say,” a pal of Sudack told Us Weekly (via Today). “He never thought she would go off and marry someone else. He’s heartbroken and shocked.”
She and Nick Cannon moved extremely fast
After just six weeks of dating, Carey and Nick Cannon tied the knot in 2008. She was 39; he was 27. Two years later, they had their beloved twins, Moroccan and Monroe, who they dubbed “Dem Babies.” The couple seemed blissfully happy until 2014, when Cannon began blabbing about their intimate moments to the press and admitted they were living apart. Carey and Cannon announced their separation in August 2014, and Cannon’s own father hinted that Carey’s fluctuating weight was a problem. (Excuse him?) The pair filed for divorce in late 2014, but didn’t finalize proceedings until late 2016 when Carey intended on marrying billionaire James Packer.
Packer was in a hurry to marry her…then dumped her via the press
Carey received a $7.5 million diamond engagement ring in January 2016 after dating Packer for only eight months, but the pair never made it down the aisle, splitting up in October 2016. Depending on who you ask, the breakup was messy. Sources have blamed Carey’s alleged flirtation with backup dancer Bryan Tanaka, Packer’s temper, his family allegedly not liking her, their prenup, his Scientology connections, her diva demands, and her reality show. With that many factors at play, the couple may have been doomed from the start, but it gets even worse. People reported that Carey is “extremely hurt.” Sources told TMZ Packer dumped Carey while they were planning their wedding—she already had a dress, flowers, and flights arranged for guests. Us Weekly said she found out about the split from the press. Ouch.