Mariah Carey says being married to music executive Tommy Mottola from 1993 to 1998 was “like being a prisoner.”
In a new interview with Cosmopolitan, which she’s the current cover girl for, the 49-year-old talked about what it was like being so young, marrying a man not only 20 twenty years her senior, but also a very powerful one.
“You might want to picture a child bride,” she said. “There was a conscious effort to keep me as this all-American, whatever that means, girl. It was very controlled. There was no freedom for me as a human being. It was almost like being a prisoner.”
This isn’t the first time Carey has had less than good things to say about her time with Mottola. On her short-lived E! series Mariah’s World in 2017, the music legend alluded to their marriage, saying that her ex-husband “had a lot of control over my life.”
“He was older than me by a lot and had a lot of power and he wanted me to remain away from most people, like sequestered,” she said.
“I had to get permission to leave [the house],” she added. “I never thought I would get out of there.”
She also mentioned in 1995 that even with all of the control her ex tried to exert over her, they didn’t have a physical relationship.
“My relationship with my husband was not a physical relationship. It just wasn’t…. that relationship shaped who I am. It beyond shaped me. I still have nightmares about it,” she said.
“Even though I owned that house, the only thing I felt like I owned was my pocketbook,” she added. “He didn’t even know why I always had my bag with me. But in my mind I thought, ‘If something jumps off…I’m ready.’ I lived like that for a long time. I used to wish, hope and dream that someone would kidnap me.”
Carey would marry again, tying the knot with Nick Cannon in 2008 before their marriage ended in 2014. She was also briefly engaged to billionaire James Packer in 2016, but they called it quits mine months after announcing their engagement.