Mariah Carey opens up about her first marriage: 'It was almost like being a prisoner'

Mariah Carey has been through a lot over her storied career, but things weren't always glamorous behind the scenes.

In a recent cover story for Cosmopolitan, the veteran singer discussed a range of topics, including her mixed-race identity, her beginnings in the music industry and the impact she's had on pop music across her three-decade career.

During one portion of the interview, she recalled her first marriage, which was to former Sony Music mogul Tommy Mottola, who is 20 years her senior. She described her relationship with Mottola as controlling, comparing her experiences to "being a prisoner."

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"You might want to picture a child bride,” she told the magazine. “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.”

According to the outlet, Mottola himself has since deemed his relationship with Carey as "wrong and inappropriate," and the couple later broke up after eight years. He did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment.

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The "Always Be My Baby" hitmaker also discussed her now-infamous 2016 New Year's Eve performance mishap, where her ear monitor stopped working, leading her to stop singing mid-performance. The singer fired back at critics at the time, claiming only her "true fans" stood by her after the incident.

"If people think that’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, then first of all, they haven’t studied my career well enough,” she said. "After what I’ve been through, who really gives a s--t if my monitor broke, fell off, came out of my ears because the stupid robe was too loose? These things happen and it’s over. My true fans stick with me, and the rest of the people will get over it."

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Carey, whose precise age has been a subject of debate among fans and the media for years, also briefly talked about her apparent preference for younger men, and claimed she has only been with "five men" throughout her life.

"I haven’t had that many [lovers], but there has been a variety pack. I’ve only been with five people in my life, so I’m kind of a prude, honestly, compared to most others in the field," said Carey, who is currently seeing her former backup dancer Bryan Tanaka.

Another part of the interview had Carey reflecting on her rough childhood, and how it influenced her love for Christmas, ahead of the 25th anniversary of her modern holiday standard "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

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"As a kid, I always hoped for great Christmases, and we didn’t have them. My brother and sister would come back to wherever I was with my mom, and they’d be fighting and ruining the holiday. I would still be like 'You know what? I just want to have the best time.'"